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Cleveland Grand Prix

Curran powers to track double

STOCKTON Wheeler Paul Curran, riding for the Great Britain team, was the star of the County Leisure Services thrill-a-minute Cleveland Grand Prix track meeting taking superb victories in both the major scratch races.

The Thornaby rider, who represents Great Britain in the world championships, which start at Leicester next week, had his greatest triumph when he added his name to the long list of top names on the Sillars Trophy.

He broke the event record as he outrode one of the country's leading professionals Phil Thomas (Galli-Concor) and a field of international riders in the 20-kilometre finale to the meeting at the County Stadium, Clairville on Saturday.

It was the ten £40 sprint primes that prompted most of the action during the 43-lap race and although the pace was fierce few of the attacks developed, with the Great Britain team controlling much of the action.

The move which proved vital came as Curran pipped Thomas to add his second prime win to the £120 he was to carry off as the winner, jumping clear of the rest of the 47 rider field with the professional.

Only once during the closing laps did the fast moving pair appear to be in any danger when Australian Commonwealth champion Kendrick Tucker made a late effort to get across, shadowed by Great Britain's Hugh Cameron.

With the bunch closing very quickly Curran sprinted past Thomas as they swept into the finishing straight.

Manchester Wheeler Dennis Lightfoot made sure of third place when the rest charged for the line.

Earlier, aided by Hugh Cameron, Curran had carried off a decisive win in the Middlesbrough Crest Hotels 8-kilometre event.

Manchester Wheeler international Des Fretwell rode an intelligent race to win the Poco Homes 30-lap points event with Thomas and Curran placed second and third.

There were placings for other local riders during the afternoon, Ferryhill Wheeler Steve Davies taking third place in both the Belsport 500-metre handicap and the Cleveland County sprint, while in the Escort Travel "Devil," Hartlepool's Roy Metcalfe and Dave Lund of the Middridge CRT finished in second and third places.


Cleveland Grand Prix. 20-kilometres - Sillars Trophy

1. Paul Curran (Stockton Wheelers) track record - 26mins. 25.8 secs
2. Phil Thomas (Galli-Concor)
3. D Lightfoot (Manchester Wheelers)

8-Km Scratch - Middlesborough Crest Hotel

1. Curran
2. M Mattison (VC York)
3. A Adams (Musselburgh RC)

Poco Homes Points

1. Des Fretwell (Manchester Wheelers)
2. Thomas
3. Curran