Road race revival in South Yorkshire thrills top riders

Riders come up the steep hill for the last time
Riders come up the steep hill for the last time
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IT HAD elite cyclists, big climbs, motorbike outriders, support vehicles and cheering crowds.

The Stannington Road Race had all the thrills of the Tour de France - plus one big advantage for spectators.

Riders flashed past the finish point 16 times as they completed 4.6-mile laps of the 75-mile course.

And they were visible on almost the entire circuit as they battled up a half-mile hill to Dungworth and up to High Riggs before returning to Stannington.

Organiser James Thompson said he was delighted as finish line crowds swelled past the 150 mark.

The event resurrected the historic Stannington Road Race which started in the 1950s, but stopped about 20 years ago.

It was won yesterday by Sam Boast, from Barnoldswick, Lancashire, in a time of three hours and 15 minutes.

James, himself a top cyclist, said: “It was great there weren’t any accidents and so many people came out to watch.

“It was fantastic from a spectator’s point of view, completely different to the times I’ve waited four hours to watch the Tour de France and the riders shoot by at 40mph.

“We had great co-operation from residents who moved their cars off the road and great support from the three main sponsors, Bradfield Brewery, Our Cow Molly ice cream and Langsett Cycles.”

The winner received £100 and a keg of beer. A separate King of the Mountains competition - for the fastest over the first eight laps - was worth £60.

Some 50 top level amateur riders entered, but only 27 finished.

James said it was common for riders to quit if they were dropped by the pack, saying: “It’s pretty miserable riding on your own.”