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Cleveland Grand Prix

Curran's great Cleveland GP victory

NATIONAL Madison champion Paul Curran, Stockton Whee1ers, turned on a sizzling performance to take the Cleveland GP urged on by his home crowd at the Cleveland County Stadium and retained the Sillars Trophy for a second year.

Curran's confident win in the 20-kilometre was the best possible finish to a superb meeting organised by the Cleveland County Leisure Services which boasted one of the prize lists of the year, £120 being the Stockton Wheelers reward for crossing the line with 50 metres to spare as Kenny Gray. Manchester Wheelers, held off Gary Sadler, GS Strada, and Malcolm Elliott, Manchester Wheelers to take second place.

A high-class field of 50 riders who between them had collected the large proportion of the medals in the national track championships, lined up for 43 laps of the newly-laid track and three laps later Paul Swinnerton, Stoke AC, sprinted to the first £30 prime.

Short-lived attacks came consistently, mainly promoted by the primes until Malcolm Hill, VC Equipe, shot off the front to be pursued by Hugh Cameron, Manchester Wheelers, with a quarter of the race completed. And although Cameron faded, Hill was soon half a lap up on the rest staying clear for almost 10 laps being well rewarded for his efforts by claiming two primes.

As Hill was overtaken the moves began again and shortly after half-way Gray moved off and Curran having just made a move to the front latched on with professional Tony James (City & Urban Properties) which produced the decisive move.

Shaun Wallace, VC Nottingham, Sadler, Elliott and Ken Knight, VC Equipe, took up the chase before the rest were lapped.

With only seven riders chasing six prizes, Wallace dropped out and Gray and James began to struggle. Curran sensed that the chasing trio were closing rapidly and decided on a brave solo break just before the start of the penultimate lap.

Swinnerton put together a powerful double in winning the Post House Hotel eight-kilometre, putting professional sprint champion Terry Tinsley (CMA-Falcon) into second place with Dave LeGrys (Geoffrey Butler) third. And he took another scalp when he came over the top of the amateur champion Mark Barry to win the Cleveland sprint with Eddie Alexander, City of Edinburgh, third.

The opening win of the meeting went to Wallace in the Cleveland points race. Although he lost a wheel mid-way through he was back in action two laps later going on to win 20 points, five more than Curran.

John Manning, Askern CC, and Ian Berry, Concorde RCC, stole half a lap on the rest of the field with seven of the 17 laps left to take first and second places in the Farmer Advertising points race. Manning also had added the Cleveland Devil to his successes of the afternoon.

Stephen Barnes, Seacroft Wheelers, showed his prowess as a handicap rider in the Belsport Handicap snatching a win from Richard Grace, Antelope RT, and Jon Walshaw, VC Nottingham, a photo necessary to decide second and third place.

In the Great Britain team pursuit challenge, the A team of Paul Curran, Shaun Wallace, Tony Mayer and Adrian Timmis stayed ahead of the B team for the whole 4,000m to win bin 4min 54.98sec.


Cleveland Grand Prix - 20km Sillars Trophy

1. PAUL CURRAN (Stockton Wh)
2. K. Gray (Manchester Wh)
3. G. Sadler

Cleveland Points Race

2. Curran 15
3. Tony Mayer 8