THE MILK RACE
THORNABY'S Paul Curran and 24-year-old professional rider Paul Watson (Raleigh) had to start all over again today after high winds blew away their chances of Milk Race glory yesterday.
The two had broken away from the field in yesterday's scheduled 109 miles run from Lancaster to Sedge-field.
But, after they had fought their way 25 seconds ahead in the gale-force winds, the stage was abandoned at the 46-mile mark because the road ahead was blocked.
A car towing a caravan had blown across the road and been struck by an oncoming vehicle at North Stainmore on the Cumbrian-Durham border, and three heavy lorries and another caravan had been blown on their sides.
The second stage was then altered to a 20-mile circuit round Newton Aycliffe in which Curran and Watson finished with the bulk of the field behind winner Sean Yates of Sussex.
As Watson said: "Paul and I had just begun to pull away in the original race. Normally, with another 60 miles to go, it gives the field plenty of time to catch up, but the wind was so strong there was no chance of a huge bunch chasing us, and we might have been able to stay in front.
"So it was really a complete waste of effort. But today's stage is probably the hardest in the race. I am only 29 seconds behind Steve Joughin, the race leader, and I am hoping make that up and more."
Watson's climbing ability could tell as the riders h the North Yorkshire Moors this afternoon.
One first category, and three second category climbs face the 75 survivors in the stage over 81miles from Barnard Castle to Harrogate.
1. Joey McLoughlin (GB), ANC-Halfords, 1065.4 miles in 40:38:20 (26.226
2. Malcolm Elliott (GB), ANG at 2:45
3. Shane Sutton (Aus), Falcon 2:46
4. Petr Ugrumov, USSR 3:17
5. Jesper Skibby, Denmark 3:53
6. Paul Curran, Great Britain 3:55
7. Chris Lillywhite, Great Britain 3:56
8. Johnny Weltz, Denmark 3:59
9. Peter Sanders (GB), Bilton-Condor s.t.
10. Graham Jones (GB), ANC 4:00
11. Ian Smith, Great Britain 4:01
12. Jeff Williams (GB), Raleigh 4:02
13. Jan Koba (Cz), Peugeot-Shell 4:03
14. Kurt Konrad, Czechoslovakia 4:04
15. Adrian Timmis (GB), ANC 4:25