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NATIONAL Points Race Championship

Curran beats off Manchester men

PAUL CURRAN spoiled a Manchester Wheelers benefit by winning the 50-kilometre points race with a commanding display on Sunday.

Lone Stockton Wheeler Curran was up against five classy Manchester Wheelers, but they all rode their own races and had to be content with Darryl Webster and Des Fretwell in silver and bronze positions.

With points on offer every five laps Curran started scoring from lap 15, reeled off four lap wins in mid-race and was still scrambling for points at the end.

It gave him a 50-point total with Webster on 39 and Fretwell, clinching his medal on the last lap, with a total of 32.

A searing start saw break after break form only to be pulled back by an alert bunch. Fretwell, Curran and Hugh Cameron, Manchester Wheelers, were in the thick of the action but it was so close that the lead changed with almost every sprint.

Then the pattern altered. Chris Wreghitt, out of the points so far, went off in pursuit of double points at the 75-lap stage.

He duly collected them, staying away for 15 laps until Steve Bent, Highgate CC, took over on a lone lead.

This sparked the decisive break and he was joined by Curran, Webster, Colin Parkinson, South Western RC, Mick Davies, Stoke AC, Alistair Adams, Musselburgh RCC, and Mark Noble, Coventry Olympic.

There was nobody to match Curran's speed as he scored four sprint wins in succession to go into an unassailable lead before the field regrouped.

The only way he could be beaten was for someone to steal a lap. David Whitehall, Regent CC, knew this and shot into a half-lap lead.

Another regrouping and Curran still had the speed to close gaps and win sprints.

Reigning champion Glen Mitchell, West Croydon Wheelers, now started to show some urgency. But it was too late and he eventually retired.

Another to drop out was Wreghitt, collapsing with cramp after a fine ride.

Whitehall attacked again to ensure double points at the finish while Fretwell timed his effort perfectly to take the "Bunch sprint".

"I expected to get worked over by the Manchester Wheelers," a delighted Curran said, "but they were all right.

"I was a bit niggled at having to ride in the last heat (on Sunday morning) which meant I had two hours less rest than some but it was OK in the end."

A nose bleed, due to hay fever, troubled Curran at 50 laps but apart from a blooded face he finished none the worse.


1. PAUL CURRAN, Stockton Wh, 50
2. D. Webster, Manchester Wh, 39
3. D. Fretwell, Manchester Wh, 32
4. D. Whitehall, Regent CC, 28
5. H. Cameron, Manchester Wh, 27
6. C. Parkinson, South Western RC, 26
7. A. Adams, Musselburgh RCC, 21
8. P. Bonfield, Welwyn Wh, 19
9. P. Shuttleworth, Paddington CC, 10
10. M. Davies, Stoke AC, 8.