International Archer Grand Prix
This story reported by British Cycling
New Zealand champion, Gordon McCauley has won for the second time, the International Archer Grand Prix, outsprinting Kevin Dawson who attacked with over a lap to go of the finishing circuit and was then joined by McCauley while behind, Dawson’s teammates, Tanner and Lovatt closed the race down for the rest.
The race started a stone’s throw from the M40 in the picturesque town of Hazelmere where the best field of any event in the UK so far in 2002, assembled to do battle over 118 miles in the international and UCI ranked Archer Grand Prix. The weather was sunny, very sunny, something which seemed to bring half the country out on to the roads playing havoc with the field at times as they raced around the county of Buckinghamshire. With the wind continuing to blow, it was ideal for the strong riders and they didn’t take long to make there presence felt.
Within miles of the Union Jack flag being dropped just outside the town of Hazelmere, a group of around 10 riders went away as they headed for the big circuit. Included in the group were a number of internationals and local Buckinghamshire rider Aaron McCaffrey (Sigma Sport). After they were brought break, there were a number of small attacks including one from Rob Hurd (Peloton) but one of the most dangerous was a small group of 6, including Bryan Steel (Great Britain), still recovering from his fall at Herne Hill a week before. Also in there in was arider from Australia, former Giro stage winner in 2000, David McKenzie (Iteam.Nova.com)
The lead however never got very high despite powerful riders like McCauley (RDM Flanders), Lovatt (Compensation Group), Malarczyk (Atom Elite) and Martin Forde and two Danish riders driving hard. Behind a chase group was making inroads into that lead. Included in that group was end to end record holder Gethin Butler (Preston Wheelers) who was just getting into his stride), IteamNova professional Russell Downing and evergreen former professional, Gary Baker (AngliaSport).
It was soon all together and many felt it would end up in a bunch finish but with three riders in the lead group, the Compensation Group RT riders thought otherwise and it was an attack by Dawson that was decisive. A few counters followed but Tanner (who had fallen just prior to the group making the finishing circuit) and Lovatt sat on everything that moved until McCauley got away and quickly joined Dawson who was the recent winner of the Tour of Munster in Ireland. As Gary Baker said afterwards, that was end game for the group because as soon as anyone else tried to get away, Tanner and Lovatt continued to control things while Dawson and McCauley continued to ride away. Baker had earlier in the race given Huw Pritchard a helping hand to regain the bunch after he punctured and was given a wheel by teammate, Geoff Beetham.
The two leaders were never caught and McCauley, who only days ago was not feeling well after the gruelling 3 Days of De Panne stage race, was never headed in the sprint although Dawson made him fight every inch of the way and the effort on their faces after 120 miles round Buckinghamshire in the wind and sun was clear to see.
In the Premier Calendar series, John Tanner continues to lead with all three of the Compensation Group RT riders leading the table. Click here for the provisional standings. Official standings to follow later.
More on the race throughout the week including interviews and pictures.
1. Gordon McCauley RDM Flanders
2. Kevin Dawson Compensation Group RT
3. John Tanner Compensation Group RT
4. Mark Lovatt Compensation Group RT
5. Russell Downing iTeamNova.com
6. Gary Baker AngliaSport/Condor
7. Tommy Evans (Ireland)
8. Tino Haakman (BRC Kennemerland/Holland)
9. Colin Roshier (Team Quest/The Bike Shop)
10. Martin Ford (British Cycling PM)
11. Anthony Malarczyk (Atom Elite RT/Cottrills
12. Gethin Butler (Preston Wh)
13. Rory Wyley (www.sdeals.com)
14. Ross Muir (Scotland)
15. Huw Pritchard (Angliasport/Condor) 4m 14s
16. Mathew Stephens (Sigma Sport) 4m 17s
17. Simon Gaywood (CC Luton/Bandon)
18. Chris Newton (Gt Britain)
19. Gary Dodd (Sigma Sport)
20. Mike Jones (Robert Grinsell Travel)
21. Morten Bugge Andersen (Ringsted TCR/Denmark)
22. Stephen Gallagher (Northern Ireland)
23. Chris Spence (Caesarian CC)
24. Martin O’Loughlin (Ireland) 5m 06s
25. Roger Morgan (Liphool Cycles RT)
26. Anders Michaelsen (Ringsted TCR/Denmark) 5m 21s
27. Jesper Larsen (Ringsted TCR/Denmark)
28. Arjan de Heer (BRC Kennemerland/Holland)
29. Co Maas (BRC Kennemerland/Holland)
30. Andy Lyons (Stilton/Parrot Print RT)
31. Rowan Horner (VC St Raphael/Waite Contracts)
32. Graeme Hatcher (Isle of Man
33. Gary Willis (Scotland) 5m 33s
34. Alastair Kay (York Cycleworks)
35. James Flanagan (Team Milton Keynes)