Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Ash Cuts Real Dash in Win!

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Ash Cuts Real Dash in Win!

Article excerpt

Colin Ash's victory bid was thwarted in the latest of the Sunderland Clarion Spring Circuit races.

But the Cestria CC rider atoned for that disappointment by scoring his second win in two weeks when he took a hard-fought sprint down to the line on the following day's Wansbeck Australian Pursuit at Longhirst.

Ash was one of the eight scratch riders who set off on Sunday with 2-45 to make up to the second group on the road.

By the end of the first of six laps they had pulled back 50 seconds.

With the persistent rain proving no disincentive, just over a minute and half separated the entire field at the end of the second and, with the scratchmen pulling back over a minute on the lap, the gap was down to 56 seconds.

As expected, the field came together as the race started the climb up to the line to start the fourth circuit and immediately four riders went clear.

They were professional Kevin Byers, Bryan Poole and James Anderson (Ferryhill Whs) and Ash.

The quartet drove the break along as best they could with the mass of riders chasing behind and the 25-second gap they finished the fourth with showed the strength of the chasers.

No sooner had the penultimate lap started than five pursuers split from the bunch - Chris Mark, Alan Nixon, 2002 winner Mike Millen, Matt Kipling and 2002 Divisional road race champion Steve Fullerton.

Kipling was shed from the chase after only a few miles as the leaders were held steady for almost half a lap.

As Nixon drove the chase along it seemed as thought the break had, for a few miles, lost its impetus and if there were seven laps, the junction would almost certainly have been made.

As it turned out, the four leaders charged up the long uphill drag to the finish and, as Anderson tailed off in the last few metres, the remaining three were at one point lined across the road, Byers narrowly losing by a few inches to Ash. …

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