Rushton takes victory in Shropshire and South Staffordshire Road Race League R11

NEIL Rushton took an unexpected win as he charged clear in the last mile and road to victory in round 11 of the Shropshire and South Staffordshire Road Race League.

The 55-year-old from Dudley took his opportunity as the first handicap group escaped the faster riders and took all the honours on the hilly Enville circuit.

In a series which has largely been dominated by the fastest ‘scratch group’ it was the slower riders who held onto a portion of their starting advantage and fought out the win.

After working hard throughout the race the first group started to believe they had a chance of victory in the final of the four laps.

Up the Six Ashes climb veteran rider Kevin Payton (Stourbridge CC) made his bid for home and built up a 20 seconds advantage with several miles left to race.

As the leading group approached the rise up to the last mile and flat finish Payton’s gap shrunk and his team-mates Rushton and Simon Smewin powered across.

Payton hung onto the duo as Rushton powered clear for victory while Payton beat Smewin as Stourbridge CC took the top three places.

“It was an unexpected win I have to say,” said Rushton.

“It’s rare that the first group stay away but the handicap worked for us last night. We ride every week and in our hearts knowing we are going to get caught.

“Luckily we stayed away this week and I managed to get the win. As we were approaching the top of the final climb I was aware group two were baring down on us. So once we turned left into the finishing straight I put my head down and didn’t look back.

“I went as quick as I could and just expected somebody to come past. It’s really unexpected as usually I’m out of the back and I’m not light either so to win on a hilly course is unexpected.”

Behind leading woman rider on the night Hannah Lancaster (Ludlow Brewery Race Team) was also part of the first group and took sixth.

Behind the usually dominant scratch group including the rest of the leading jerseys finished 15 seconds behind and were led home by Charles Walker (unattached) in 13th.

Results
1 Neil Ruston (Stourbridge CC)
2 Kevin Payton (Stourbridge CC)
3 Simon Smewin (Stourbridge CC)
4 Bryan Davies (unattached)
5 Alec Bond (Mid Shropshire Wheelers)
6 Hannah Lancaster (Ludlow Brewery Race Team)
7 Darren Parsons (Pro Vision RT)
8 Andrew Mortimer (Mid Shropshire Wheelers)
9 Steve Whitehouse (Stourbridge CC)
10 Tim Wilfort (Mid Shropshire Wheelers)

Ferguson powers clear to victory in SSSCCRRL R10

Callum Ferguson (Team KTM) powered up the finishing climb before riding clear for victory in round 10 of the South Staffordshire and Shropshire Road Race League.

Callum Ferguson celebrates victory in round 10. Picture: David Perry

On his first appearance at this year’s road race league Ferguson, from Bromsgrove, used his power to ride clear at the top of the second ascent up Bromley Bank, near Bridgnorth after 34 miles of racing.

With the top two overall riders Kirk Vickers and Matthew Garthwaite both sitting out the latest round it was a weakened scratch handicapped group.

After catching the first couple of groups ahead of them on the road the impetus from the bunch went with groups still ahead of them.

Ferguson looked to close the gap individually and then was joined by Jack Stanton-Warren (Wheelbase Castelli MGD).

However, the pace rose from the peloton and the escapees were caught and the race came together before the final ascent up Bromley Bank.

With the race strung out up the climb Ferguson waited until over the top of the climb to power clear to victory.

“I knew that at that time of the race people would be tired and that it would stretch out over the top,” said Ferguson.
“When it flattened out I used my momentum and the other guys felt the effort so going over the top I got down and tried to get aerodynamic and didn’t look back.”

Ferguson took the victory by a couple of bike lengths while Jamie Crump (Successcycling.co.uk) led the charge for second.

Last year’s overall series winner Ben Joughin (Pro Vision RT) took advantage of the absence of Vickers and Garthwaite to take third on the night and move up to second overall.

Jamieson Blain (Halesowen A & CC) kept his hopes of clinching the junior overall series victory alive by taking fourth reducing the gap on junior series leader George Mills-Keeling (Pro Vision RT) who finished seventh.

Matthew Morris (Wolverhampton Whls) was fastest veteran in 10th although Phillip Glaze (Stourbridge CC) holds a commanding lead in that category in the overall series.

With two rounds remaining the series returns to Enville next week when Vickers could seal the overall series victory.

Results
1 Callum Ferguson (Team KTM)
2 Jamie Crump (Successcycling.co.uk)
3 Ben Joughin (Pro Vision RT)
4 Jamieson Blain (Halesowen A & CC)
5 Daniel Butlin (EvoVelo Karbona)
6 Sam Beeston (Pro Vision RT)
7 George Mills-Keeling (Pro Vision RT)
8 Jack Stanton-Warren (Wheelbase Castelli MGD)
9 Will Corden (Velo Runner)
10 Matthew Morris (Wolverhampton Whls)

Corden rides clear to maiden victory in SSSCCRRL R9

Will Corden (Velo Runner) timed his winning effort to perfection and charged to his maiden victory of the South Staffordshire and Shropshire Road Race League.
The first category rider from Stone led a one-two-three by local riders at the Swynnerton circuit, in Staffordshire, used by the series for the first time this season.
Corden launched his winning move in the final mile from a select leading group and charged up the finishing climb to claim the win.
With Pro Vision Racing riders organising the three lap race over 35 miles the scratch group had a different look to usual.
However, with several visiting riders bidding for the win they worked well together averaging 27.5 miles per hour over the undulating terrain.
They caught the slower groups set off ahead of them due to the handicapped format with just over 10 miles remaining.
As they approached the finishing climb with a lap remaining Grant Bigham (Velo Runner) launched an attack with overall leader Kirk Vickers (Rhino Velo RT) and team-mate Matthew Garthwaite chasing along with Jack Stanton-Warren (Wheelbase Castelli MGD) leading to the race coming back together.
Over the undulating back half of the circuit Stuart Glover (Rhino Velo RT) and Chris Bailey (KTM MTB UK) made a bid for victory and built up a sizable gap.
Noticing that the race was going away from them Velo Runner team-mates Corden and Bigham bridged the gap.
Coming into the last mile Corden made his bid for home and had time to celebrate the victory with Bigham winning the uphill sprint for second.
A fifth place for Vickers meant that he increased his overall series lead and has a substantial margin heading into the final three rounds.
Fastest veteran was Matthew Morris (Wolverhampton Whls) in eighth although Philip Glaze (Stourbridge CC) still has a healthy lead in the overall veteran’s competition.
George Mills-Keeling kept his healthy lead in the junior’s overall jersey

Will Corden celebrates victory. Picture: David Perry

despite helping at the latest round.

Results
1 Will Corden (Velo Runner)
2 Grant Bigham (Velo Runner)
3 Chris Bailey (KTM MTB UK)
4 Stuart Glover (Rhino Velo RT)
5 Kirk Vickers (Rhino Velo RT)
6 Matthew Garthwaite (Rhino Velo RT)
7 Will Manfield-Yorke (Cycle Team OnForm)
8 Matthew Morris (Wolverhampton Whls)
9 Nick Morris (Clee Cycles)
10 Philip Glaze (Stourbridge CC)