MANX Mountain Time Trial
National road race champion Paul Curran (Manchester Wheelers-Trumanns Steel) joined the exclusive sub-1½ hour club at his first attempt with a superb 1-29-4 victory in the first event of Isle of Man week, the 37¾-mile mountain time trial.
Only record-holder Darryl Webster - an interested spectator this time - have gone quicker over the world famous TT circuit. Ahead at every check despite a loose spoke in his front wheel, Curran finished nearly five minutes clear of runner-up Pete Longbottom, 1-34-1, on a largely overcast but warm and dry morning.
Jason Ford (Coldra RC) to repeat his third place of 1985 in 1-34-20, nine seconds ahead of Alex Webster (Leicestershire RC) who was 14th on his only previous ride two years ago.
Back in form local Steve Porter (Manx RC) was next in 1-34-49 with 21-year-old Jean-Claude Annaert, whose father Jean Claude senior was a professional team mate of the great Jacques Anquetil, sixth in 1-34-53 to lead the overseas challenge.
Curran was already 29 seconds up on Boardman as he reached the seven-mile point at Ballacraine in 17-30, with Porter (18-22) tracked closely in third by Annaert (18-23), Webster (18-26), Longbottom (18-30) and Ford (18-32).
By Ramsey the gap had risen to over 2' minutes between first and second. Curran's 53-31 led from Annaert 56-7, and Porter 56-9 while Ford (56-16) and Longbottom (56-26) were beginning their challenge.
The light north-westerly crosswind did nothing to slow Curran on the mountain climb, for he was also clocking the fastest split to reach the Mountain Box in 1-12-14.
"I did it all off memory from the road race and recognised bits as I went along. It seemed harder by myself," said Curran, who missed a week's training after being forced out of the Milk Race by a stomach illness.
"The spoke came loose after 12 miles and it put me off a bit coming down the mountain - I was trying not to look at it!
"I'm quite pleased with my ride and it's a good warm-up for the International on Friday. It's a bit of a holiday for me as well, I've never been here for the whole week."
Longbottom was also riding the event for the first time and, hay fever sufferer, finished with streaming eyes to add to the problems with his new wheels.
Boardman's puncture left Glen Pickford, 1-42-22, to complete the winning Manchester team while 16-year-old Andrew Roche (Ellen Vannin CC) set a Manx junior record of 1-38-22 in 13th position, a minute quicker than the time his father Brian recorded in 1969 as overall winner.
1. Paul Curran (Manchester Wh-Trumanns) 1 29 4
2. P. Longbottom (Manchester Wh) 1 34 1
3. J. Ford (Coldra RC) 1 34 20
4. A. Webster (Leics RC) 1 34 29
5. S. Porter (Manx RC) 1 3449
6. J.-C. Annaert (France) 1 34 53
7. J.Evans (Coldra RC) 1 35 48
8. P. Peugnet (France) 1 36 39
9. M. Webster (Leics RC) 1 36 42
10. P. Magmiem (France) 1 37 41
Women - Helen Chadwick (Blackburn & District CTC) 1-54-51.
Trikes - M. Gelder (Houghton CC) 1-46-55.
H'cap - Brian Forrest (Manx Viking Wh.) (25-0) 1-24-1.
Team -Manchester Wh.-Trumanns Steel (Curran, Longbottom, G. Pickford 1-42-22) 4-45-27