Reports

2022 Aughton Road Race: report and results

Jack Rootkin-Gray and Sammie Stuart were the winners of the men's and women's Aughton Road Races, the second round of the Proper Northern Road Race Series

The B-side: a closer look at National B road racing

Report

Sunday 15 May saw the second round of Cold Dark North’s Proper Northern Road Race Series at Aughton in North Lancashire. Spectators were treated to two fantastic battles for the men’s and women’s podiums. 

Even with a congested race schedule for many top teams in May, particularly around the Tour Series, the fields in both races were strong but saw an opportunity to mix up the individual and team series competitions ahead of the final round at Oakenclough in July.

Men’s race

The men were first on an unexpectedly dry and sunny May day, where the wind would be the significant factor over nine laps of Aughton’s relatively steady but exposed gradients. A full field set off and a break quickly formed on the early laps which included Jack Rootkin-Gray (Great Britain Cycling Team), Thomas Stringer (Moonglu), Jack Brough and Ross Birrell (both Team Inspired), Damien Clayton and Josh Whitehead (both WiV Sungod), George Penden (Team PB Performance) and Adam Mitchell (Cycling Sheffield) but as this group was slowly whittled down in the middle stages of the race the peloton began to close the gap which had drifted to over a minute.

Despite the best efforts of Ben Granger (Zappi), Matti Dobbins (Wheelbase CabTech Castelli) and the Tactic Sport pair of Lucas Rowley and Joseph Bowers to chase down the leaders it was Rootkin-Gray, Clayton and Brough that took the bell and stayed clear for the last lap. The final sprint into a fierce headwind was won by Rootkin-Gray with Clayton in just behind and Brough making up the podium. The main bunch sprinted for minor places just 90 seconds later.

Jack Rootkin-Gray wins. Photo: Ellen Isherwood

The Combativity Award was given to Damien Clayton for his repeated attacks in the front group and Rootkin-Gray claimed the KOM. Team Inspired took the team honours and Bjoern Koerdt (Shibden CC) was the leading junior (as he had been at Capernwray’s first-round) in 20th place.

Women’s race

The women’s field was depleted in numbers but the quality remained high. Clear favourites Mary Wilkinson (Team Boompods) and recent Tour Series winner Sammie Stuart (Team LDN-Brother UK) broke clear of a well-organised peloton on the second lap. They were joined in the break by Wilkinson’s teammate Monica Greenwood and the three leaders worked well together in the rising winds to keep the peloton always at around a minute over the course of the five remaining laps. 

It was seemingly inevitable that Stuart and Wilkinson would race to the line together and this was how it came to pass. Turning into the final 600m of headwind torment, they were together but it was Sammie Stuart who managed to get clear and finish a handful of seconds ahead of former teammate Wilkinson.

Sammie Stuart wins. Photo: Ellen Isherwood

Greenwood put in a fantastic performance for third and the peloton was led home about a minute back by Megan Anderson (Clifton CC), Amy Graham (Team Boompods) and Lauren Robinson of Team Moonglu. It was Team Boompods that took the team prize, to extend their lead in the Series, with Stuart claiming the QOM and Christinia Wiejak (St Piran WRT) awarded the Combativity Award. The leading junior was Freya Whiteside of RFDA ahead of teammate Hebe Picking.

The final round of the Proper Northern Road Race Series is at Oakenclough on 10 July and entries are open.

Results

Men’s race

PosNameTeam
1Jack Rootkin-GrayGBCT
2Damien ClaytonWiV Sungod
3Jack BroughTeam Inspired
4Josh WhiteheadWiV Sungod
5George PedenTeam PB Performance
6Thomas StringerMoonglu Race Team
7Matti DobbinsWheelbase CabTech Ca
8Ross BirrellTeam Inspired
9Adam MitchellCycling Sheffield
10Ben GrangerZappi Racing Team
11Lucas RowleyTactic Sport UK Race
12Joseph BowersTactic Sport UK Race
13Michael  ChadwickEmbark – Bikestrong
14Dean WatsonEmbark – Bikestrong
15Ciaran Mc SherryThe Cycling Academy
16Josh GiddingsTeam Inspired
17Toby JarvisTeam PB Performance
18Matthew EllisSRCT MUC-OFF
19Aaron KingRT23
20Bjoern KoerdtShibden Cycling Club
21Gregor McArthurThe Cycling Academy
22Carl PotterLancashire Road Club
23Hamish GrahamPrivate member
24Martin WatsonTactic Sport UK Race
25Jacob GilkesBridgnorth Cycling C
26Jenson YoungSaint Piran
27Tom MerryWheelbase CabTech Ca
28Samuel JacksonTactic Sport UK Race
29Jonathan FowlesTactic Sport UK Race
30Joe KielyVCU Schwenheim
31Alexander MacRaePrivate member
32Josh CharltonGBCT
33Angus JoshiThe Cycling Academy
34Joseph WilsonCog Set Papyrus Raci
35Josh HousleySpirit BSS
36Martin  FordPrivate member
37Christopher HumphriesBioracer UK RT
38Harry PaveleyIdentity Racing
39Jacob SmithSpokes Racing Team

Women’s race

PosNameTeam
1Sammie StuartTeam LDN – Brother UK
2Mary WilkinsonTeam Boompods
3Monica GreenwoodTeam Boompods
4Megan AndersonClifton CC
5Amy GrahamTeam Boompods
6Lauren RobinsonMoonglu Race Team
7Kerry MiddletonTeam LDN – Brother UK
8Beth Harley-JepsonJadan – Vive le Velo
9Tamsin MillerBIANCHI HUNT MORVELO
10Arianne HollandAlba Development Road
11Maddie HeywoodTeam Watto-LDN
12Christina WiejakSaint Piran WRT
13Anna WeaverTeam Kirkley Cycles
14Lauren LanghamMoonglu CC
15Sarah CramoysanReifen Racing
16Erin MurphyAlba Development Road
17Freya WhitesideRFDA
18Hebe PickingRFDA
19Emma SmithAlba Development Road