The B-side: a closer look at National B road racing
Sunday 27 March saw the traditional early-season British road racing classic at Capernwray. This year there were races for men and women at National B level as the first round of three in the Cold Dark North’s new Proper Northern Road Race Series.
The riders were greeted by a stunning spring day in North Lancashire for this traditionally difficult race which includes multiple ascents of Sunny Bank as part of an undulating 12 kilometre course through the quiet back lanes around Borwick and Arkholme.
The next round of the Proper Northern Road Race Series will be at Aughton on 15 May and entries are open now.
The men’s race was dominated by Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling with Finn Crockett taking advantage of the work done in an early three-man break which he’d led together with Josh Whitehead of WiV SunGod and Callum Thornley of Wheelbase CabTech Castelli. The trio led the bunch by around a minute for multiple laps.
Thornley was dropped with two laps to go, leaving just Crockett and Whitehead out front as the gap began to narrow. Then, on the final ascent of Sunny Bank, Crockett was able to solo away from Whitehead who was reeled in by Crockett’s teammates Alex Peters and Zeb Kyffin to give Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling a podium sweep and an obvious victory in the team classification too. That is Crockett’s second National B win of the year, following his win at the ERC Gifford Road Race the previous weekend.
Whitehead was the leading under-23 rider as he held on for fourth, ahead of fellow 21-year-old Joe Wilson of Dolan Ellesse RT. The leading junior was Bjoern Koerdt in an impressive 15th and Whitehead claimed the KOM and Combativity prizes for his work in the break. WiV SunGod and Dolan Ellesse RT made up the team podium with Tactic Sport UK in fourth.
In the afternoon, a very strong women’s field took centre stage and put on a tightly-contented race in the now warm spring sunshine. The front of the race stayed together throughout, with a stacked group of around 15-20 riders working hard to distance the remainder of the field after a few laps. That group was led up the climb of Sunny Bank four times by eventual QOM winner Sammie Stuart of Team LDN – Brother UK and entered the last lap together.
On the final climb of Sunny Bank, it was CAMS-Basso’s Becky Storrie – winner of The Peaks 2 Day the previous weekend – who came around the final bend in the lead having shattered the group behind, but it was Mary Wilkinson of Team Boompods who emerged from her shadow to stretch every sinew in the final metres to win by a couple of bike lengths.
It was a much-deserved win for Wilkinson, with Storrie valiant in second and Stuart breaking out of the bunch for an impressive third place. Olivia Bentley of Torelli-Cayman-Islands-Scimitar was fourth and Stuart’s teammate Kerry Middleton took a well fought fifth. Corrine Side (Pro-Noctis-Rotor-Redchilli Bikes p/b Heidi Kjeldsen) was the best-placed under-23 in eighth.
The team winners were Team Boompods with Wilkinson joined by Amy Graham, Louise Hart and Lauren Watson on the podium. Team LDN-Brother UK and Pro-Noctis-Rotor-Redchilli Bikes p/b Heidi Kjeldsen were in second and third in the team standings.
The leading junior in the women’s race was Freya Whiteside of RFDA and the Combativity award went to Boompod’s Watson for her efforts tracking back into the leading group on a number of laps.
Men’s race results
Updated 29 March 2022.
|1||Finn||Crockett||Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling|
|2||Alex||Peters||Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling|
|3||Zeb||Kyffin||Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling|
|5||Joe||Wilson||Dolan Ellesse Race Team|
|6||Lucas||Rowley||Tactic Sport UK Race Team|
|8||Matthew||Fox||Wheelbase CabTech Castelli|
|11||James||Harrison||Manx Viking Wheelers CC|
|12||Ciaran||McSherry||The Cycling Academy|
|13||Corrin||Leeming||Manx Viking Wheelers CC|
|15||Bjoern||Koerdt||Shibden Cycling Club|
|16||Steven||Parsonage||Richardsons- Trek DAS|
|17||Jack||Crook||Dolan Ellesse Race Team|
|18||Joe||Wilson||Cog Set Papyrus Racing Clu|
|19||Jacob||Gilkes||Bridgnorth Cycling Club|
|21||Conor||McKinnon||Dolan Ellesse Race Team|
|22||Elijah||Kwon||The Cycling Academy|
|24||Christopher||Humphries||Bioracer UK RT|
|26||Declan||Hudson||Dolan Ellesse Race Team|
|27||William||Dykes||Spokes Racing Team|
|29||Sean||Taylor||Andrew Allan Architecture|
|31||Christopher||Booth||Giant Kendal-Sidas UK|
|32||Joseph||Bowers||Tactic Sport UK Race Team|
|33||Isaac||Lawrence||Brother UK – Orientation Marketing|
|DNF||Jamie||Fletcher||Ellan Vannin Cycling Club|
|DNF||Cameron||Jeffers||Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling|
|DNF||Tom||Timothy||Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling|
|DNF||Callum||Thornley||Wheelbase CabTech Castelli|
|DNF||Jonathan||Fowles||Tactic Sport UK Race Team|
|DNF||Ben||Flanagan||The Cycling Academy|
|DNF||Angus||Joshi||The Cycling Academy|
|DNS||Matthew||Taylor||Dolan Ellesse Race Team|
|DNS||Richard||Bickley||Giant Kendal-Sidas UK|
|DNS||Joe||Boothroyd||Giant Kendal-Sidas UK|
|DNS||Nathan||Smith||Hope Factory Racing|
|DNS||Jude||Taylor||Team PB Performance|
Women’s race results
|3||Sammie||Stuart||Team LDN – Brother UK|
|5||Kerry||Middleton||Team LDN – Brother UK|
|6||Jessie||Carridge||Brother UK – Orientation Marketing|
|8||Corinne||Side||Pro-Noctis – Rotor – Redchilli Bikes p/b Heidi Kjeldsen|
|9||Lucy||Ellmore||Pro-Noctis – Rotor – Redchilli Bikes p/b Heidi Kjeldsen|
|11||Christina||Wiejak||Saint Piran WRT|
|13||Beth||Harley-Jepson||Jadan – Vive le Velo|
|14||Hannah||Bayes||Saint Piran WRT|
|15||Heather||Mayer||Team LDN – Brother UK|
|16||Beth||Maciver||Alba Development Road Team|
|17||Gemma||Sargent||Saint Piran WRT|
|18||Amy||Gornall||Pro-Noctis – Rotor – Redchilli Bikes p/b Heidi Kjeldsen|
|19||Sophie||Enever||Alba Development Road Team|
|22||Jo||Tindley||Pro-Noctis – Rotor – Redchilli Bikes p/b Heidi Kjeldsen|
|24||Harriet||Gilson||Wigan Wheelers CC|
|27||Kim||Baptista||LVIV Cycling Team|
|28||Helen||Jackson||Kendal Cycle Club|
|29||Anna||Weaver||Team Kirkley Cycles|
|30||Charlotte||Broughton||AWOL – O’Shea|
|31||Louise||Scupham||Jadan – Vive le Velo|
|33||Laura||Cheesman||Evans Cycles RT|
|34||Erin||Murphy||Alba Development Road Team|
|38||Lola||Ellis||Backstedt Bike Performance JRT|
|41||Karolina||Chudzikiewicz||Jadan – Vive le Velo|
|DNF||Victoria||Smith||Alba Development Road Team|
|DNS||Connie||Hayes||AWOL – O’Shea|
|DNS||Charlotte||Gibson||AWOL – Worx Galliard|
|DNS||Daisy||Barnes||Brother UK – Orientation Marketing|
Featured photo: Ellen Isherwood