Amateurs battle professionals at inaugural Harrogate Big Bike Bash

Corinne Mitchell riding for Harrogate Nova
Corinne Mitchell riding for Harrogate Nova

Former England cricketer Matt Prior’s new cycling team dominated the honours at the inaugural Big Bike Bash event in Harrogate last weekend.

One Pro Cycling, set up by Prior earlier this year, had three riders inside the top four as Chris Opie surged to victory.

Several professional riders headed to the area for the race that was set up as part of the 2014 Tour de France legacy.

World tour superstars Adam Blythe and Sam Bewley were in the field for the elite competition, but neither troubled Prior’s One Pro Cycling team.

Opie raced into an early lead with an electric break, and it took all of Bewley’s strength to close him down.

The race settled in the mid stages only for Opie to go clear in the final laps.

One Pro Cycling teammate Joshua Hunt came second, with Richard Hepworth of SportGrub Kuota in third.

Harrogate Nova’s Dave Morris mixed it with the professionals and was rewarded with a 14th place finish.

Meanwhile, Harrogate cyclist Rob Senior almost pulled off the scalp of his career.

Nova’s Senior was second in the invitation Time Trial event with a time of two hours 14 minutes, losing out to double Olympic bronze medallist and professional bike rider Bewley (Orica Greenedge) who stopped the clock at two hours dead. Andy Gardner was third with 2:16.

In the evening criterium support race on the closed one mile circuit of Harrogate, Glen Turnbull, Patron, was the best placed Nova member in fourth behind runaway winner Tom Pidcock (Speedflex RT). Second-claim Nova member Dylan Flesher, Prologue Racing Team was 12th, just ahead of Nova’s own Matt Dalby in 14th.

Meanwhile, in the eighth race of the Evening Time Trial League, Matt Dalby’s time of 54:07 was the fastest finisher on handicap, winning the Thew Cup.

Dalby produced a winning time of 54:08 pipping Roger Bromily to the title by one second. Corinne Mitchell, third, followed closely behind with a time of 54:10.

Duncan Miller enjoyed an easy win in the men’s event, completing the course in a time of 54:57. Simon Cave rode in third with 57:45 behind Richard Hamilton with a time of 57:37. Dalby secured fourth place with a ride of 58:37, followed by Rob Senior with a performance of 58:39.

Corrine Mitchell, winner and record holder in the Ladies League course, produced 1:04:10. Julie Patmore took silver with 1:07:16 and Sarah Cave in third.

Tim Jarvis, the fastest Vet-50, gained a time of 59:47. The quickest Vet-60 was Yorkshire Road Club’s Mike Shacklock recording 1:06:57. A time of 1:09:02 saw Tim Broomfield as the best placed rider on a non-specialist bike.

The duo of Niall Frost and Andy Holgate produced 59:09; the quickest seen on the Club ‘25’ course in recent years.

During the Racing Round up Duncan Mullier set a new Club record of 50:49, finishing top 20 overall.