Credit Agricole ace Jeremy Hunt had to settle for ninth spot in the Chapters Hotel Road Race in North Yorkshire on Sunday, as the domestic riders took centre stage in the 110-kilometre elite category event.
The Devonian had hoped to be riding the Tour de France as Thor Hushovd’s lead-out man, but instead he swapped the Champs Elysees for Stokesley as he aims to keep his race fitness ticking over for his next continental challenge.
While Hunt proved a big draw to the annual Chapters event, it was the Barras family who stole the limelight, with Plowman Craven professional Tom Barras winning the event in a six-up sprint finish, while the bunch sprint was won by his 60-year-old dad Tom Barras, the former national road race champion and a prolific winner of events throughout the 1970s and '80s.
Several early breaks were pulled back in the opening miles, but one did manage to get away with eight riders helping to establish a gap of more than a minute.
With one rider crashing out and another dropping back, the leading bunch was left to the six strongest riders. Hunt tried to close the gap down and alongside Steve Guymer (Star Bikes) battled to within 15 seconds of the leaders, but they just failed to bridge the gap.
As they headed for the line it was a two-rider affair with Barras just edging out Sigma Sport RT’s Rob Sharman, while Alistair Kaye (York Cycleworks) took third, and his team-mate James Sharp fourth.
* In other top action, Stephen Adams (Pearl Izumi-Planet X) took victory in the Severn Valley Road Race and won the Andy Poole Memorial Trophy after a seven-rider sprint for the line in Bridgnorth, Shropshire.
Adams, a 19-year-old Nottingham-based student, had missed the crucial break but, along with former Premier Calendar winner Mark Lovatt (Planet X), battled through the field to reach the break and pipped Matt Clinton (KFS Special Vehicles) for the win, while Lovatt took third and was named as most aggressive rider.
With several great performances already under his belt this season, in-form Adams is relishing top level racing across the UK.
“I’m trying to be more aggressive in races and get stuck in,” he said. “Even if you don’t get a placing at least you learn more and enjoy it. It’s a fast-track way to learn.
“Pearl Izumi is a great team to be in, and we’ve made quite a big leap this year. We’ve got a good bunch of lads riding for us, all from different backgrounds and with different skills. We’ve got good team support and we keep getting in the results, so it’s all good. We’ve surprised a few people this year.”
* Perhaps better known for his cyclo-cross skills, Shaun Aldous (Lotto Olympia) won the VC Baracchi Simmer Road Race at St Olaves, Norfolk, on Sunday.
Aldous, 35, is from Bungay just a few miles from the course which is mainly over the border in Suffolk, and he used his local knowledge to good effect, holding off veteran VC Norwich rival Phil Hargreaves for the win, while Finsbury Park CC’s Philip Murrell was third.
The decisive move came on the last lap with six riders getting clear, but despite two failing to stay with the pace four remained clear, with Andy Hudson (Cambridge CC) the last of the quartet.
* And elsewhere, Gareth McCulloch (Kent Cycles RT) won the latest round of the South East League at Betteshanger in Kent.
He was part of a move which went clear at around half distance, and held off team-mate Malcolm Davies for the win, while Malcolm Whitehead (Kingsnorth International Wheelers) was third.
Chapters Hotel RR (Stokesley, North Yorkshire, 110km):
1 Tom Barras (Plowman Craven RT) 2-14-00
2 Rob Sharman (Sigma Sport RT)
3 Alistair Kaye (York Cycleworks)
4 James Sharp (York Cycleworks)
5 Dave Robinson (Altura)
6 Richard Meadows (Pezula Racing) all same time
7 Colin Humphreys (Activ Cycles) at 10sec
8 Steve Guymer (Star Bikes) at 40sec
9 Jeremy Hunt (Credit Agricole)
10 Gary Wearmouth (Picarsso Pulman) all same time
Severn Valley RR (Bridgnorth, Shropshire, 110km):
1 Stephen Adams (Pearl Izumi) 2-53-00
2 Matt Clinton (KFS Special Vehicles)
3 Mark Lovatt (Planet X)
4 Andrew Stuart (Ashfield RC)
5 Tom Kirk (Team Corley Cycles)
6 Matt Jennings (Webster Cycles)
7 Andrew Magnier (Brooks Cycles) all same time
8 Neil Beasley (Ashfield RC) at 10sec
9 Daniel Drake (Lancashire RC)
10 Steve Allan (Kenilworth Wheelers) all same time
VC Baracchi Summer RR (St Olaves, Norfolk, 101km):
1 Shaun Aldous (Lotto Olympia) 2-31-00
2 Phil Hargreaves (VC Norwich)
3 Philip Murrell (Finsbury Park CC)
4 Andy Hudson (Cambridge CC) all same time
5 Nathan Miller (53-12 Multisports) at 5sec
6 Mike Smith (unattached)
7 Richard Wood (VC Revolution)
8 Lee Rowe (VC Norwich)
9 Chris Guy (Lotto Olympia)
10 Gordon Cobb (Stowmarket & District CC)
South East RR League (Betteshanger, Kent, 70km):
1 Gareth McCulloch (Kent Cycles RC) 1-30-00
2 Malcolm Davies (Kent Cycles RC)
3 Malcolm Whitehead (Kingsnorth International Wheelers)
4 Ian O’Hara (Citihub)
5 Matt Smith (Gemini BC)
6 Phil Anthony (Downlands Cycles) all same time
7 Alistair Tullett (Arctic Premier RT) at 1-00
8 Phil Jones (Citihub)
9 Ian Franklin (PCA Ciclos Uno)
10 Kevin Knox (Dulwich Paragon CC) all same time
1 Ray Palin (Kingsnorth International Wheelers)
2 Jason Wheel (Medway Velo)
3 Robert Jackson (Downlands Cycles)
4 Luke Anderson (Wigmore CC)
5 Phil Dempsey (ODLS.com)
6 Steve Bunn (Thornton RC)