PERFECT conditions helped world class fell runner and occasional bike rider Rob Jebb beat his own course record by 40 seconds and also set a record of seven consecutive victories in the 46th Three Peaks Cyclo-cross race.
Jebb (Wheelbase) clocked two hours 52 mins 22 secs for the epic 38-mile event taking in the climbs of Ingleborough, Whernside and Pen y Ghent.
After a dismal summer and the cancellation of last season’s event due to a foot and mouth scare the huge field of 500 starters enjoyed blue skies and virtually no wind as they set out from Helwith Bridge.
Astonishingly it stayed dry for the entire race!
Ex-pat and former Ravensthorpe CC rider Dave Taylor, who now lives in Alicante, must have felt almost at home as he clocked 4-37-43 to finish 17th in the category for veterans over 50.
Owen Mitton (Huddersfield Road Club) was the fastest of the local riders in 3-51-07 to finish 45th in the men’s category in only his second attempt at the Peaks.
Among those making their Peaks’ debuts were Huddersfield Road Club’s Dawn Hartley, who battled round in 6-53-13 to finish 12th in the women’s category and Graham Piccavey (Huddersfield Star Wheelers), timed at 4-50-25 to finish 102nd in the veterans over 40 category.
Former Huddersfield Road Club rider Matthew Buckingham, of Penistone, was 20th in the senior men’s category in 3-33-24.
Holme Valley Julian Rank was 25th in the veterans over 40 category in 4-01-26 and Giles Bailey (HSW) beat his previous time by 10 minutes to clock 4-35-25 in his second Three Peaks, finishing 80th in the veterans over 40 category.
Andy Whitworth (HRC) clocked 4-38-51 to finish 86th in the veterans over 40 category, as he put it “just enjoying a day out,” and Richard Evans, of Golcar (West Yorkshire Police CC) finished 139th in this category in 5-20-17.
Star Wheeler Andy Blanshard (veterans over 50) took to the line still recovering from a chesty cough and pulled out after two peaks.
Afterwards, event organiser John Rawnsley admitted to the crowd at the presentation that he is finding it increasingly difficult to promote the race and appealed for help in setting up a race committee to promote next year’s event.
Yorkshire’s hill-climb season took off at the weekend with a double for Lancashire Road Club visitor Adrian Lawrence. His first win came in the Obri Coaching RT Hill Climb on Cliff Hollins Lane, Oakenshaw with Lawrence flying up the 1.2 mile course in 4-07-1.
The Holme Valley Wheelers were out in strength with a team of young riders – Ben Kellett clocking 4-54-4, Jack Beardsell 5-42-4, Jacob Scott 5-42-8, James Kellett 5-51-5 and Max Gartery 6-39-4, while Huddersfield Road Club’s Paul Brierley was timed at 4-52-8.
Victory No2 for Lawrence came in the Yorkshire Road Club event on the 1,200-yard Weardley Bank course near Eccup in 2-46-9.
Ben Kellet (HVW) clocked 3-33-0, and club mates Jack Beardsell and James Kellett were timed at 4-14-8 and 4-19-9 respectively. Huddersfield Star Wheeler Matthew Green was timed at 3-04-0 and Paul Brierley (HRC) 3-27-7.
Entries close tomorrow for the HSW hill climb at Jackson Bridge, on Saturday October 11. Contact Kevin Ward on 01484 865559.