|Houghton CC Feast Road Race|
WITH a winning average speed of almost 28½mph produced by Paul Curran (Stockton Wheelers) the Houghton CC Feast road race lived lip to its reputation of being a fast one.
Curran won by five seconds from Mark Adamson (Richmond & Darlington CC) and 42 seconds from last year's winner Geoff Davison (Chesterfield Coureurs) who just beat Pete Longbottom (Manchester Wheelers) for third place to lead in the main bunch.
Curran had been in a short-lived third-lap break with Jon Clay (Leeds RRC) and Gary Payne (Dinnington RC), then Curran and Adamson had broken away on the fifth of the 13 laps of the 3.3-mile circuit and immediately established a lead of 25 seconds. Their lead varied slightly over the next six laps but was never far away from half a minute. During this time the leaders' lap times were never more than two seconds on each side of their average of 7-1.
On the penultimate lap when the chasing bunch saw that they were not going to catch the two leaders, they dawdled along allowing the gap to grow to 44 seconds and then up to 1-14 halfway round the final lap, but as the tactics to decide third place hotted up over the last two miles, the gap reduced to 42 seconds.
As the two leaders approached the finish Curran used his wide track experience to sprint away from Adamson and put the issue beyond any doubt. He really had shown the way things would be during the earlier laps. There were points on the lap primes on the first 12 laps with points for the first three riders over the line.
Before the fifth-lap break Curran was already leading this minor competition with seven points while Adamson had yet to open his account. During the eight laps when they were away together Curran collected three points on every lap and Adamson two, so that at the end of the race they had 31 and 16 points respectively to put them well ahead of the eight points won by Jon Clay back in the bunch.
1. PAUL CURRAN (Stockton Wh.) 43m in 1-30-56
2. M. Adamson (Richmond & Darlington RC) at 5sec
3. G. Davison (Chesterfield Coureurs) at 42sec
4. P. Longhottom (Manchester Wh.)
5. G. Marshall (Tyne Velo)
6. P. Carroll (Tyne Electric)
7. D. Morley (Askern CC)
8. R. Healy (Ryton Cheviot CC) all st.