HARTLEPOOL's Andy Chatterton started the Cleveland Division road season off in a similar way to last year, by winning his own club's promotion at Hurworth Burn on Sunday.
He outsprinted Paul Curran (Crown-Chafes) after the pair had been away for the last 13 miles, with professional criterium champion Curran doing most of the work.
Despite the windy conditions, the pace was fierce from the outset and Norman Dunn (Paragon RT) was the first to try to escape with three of the 1.5-mile circuits completed. He was soon joined by three riders only to be brought back a lap later.
However he was one of the instigators of a more significant move on lap five when nine riders, joined a lap later by five chasers, made the vital break.
A number of attempts came from Curran and Chatterton to break away from this group, and with nine laps remaining, they finally managed to get the gap and their lead went up to 50 seconds during the next five miles.
With six miles to go the pressure was put on in the chasing group and it started to split. As the leaders came to the finish, Chatterton unleashed his powerful sprint to win by two lengths from an annoyed Curran. Dunn had done well, in his new club colours, to reduce the gap to 10 seconds with Billy Mitchenson (Ashington RC) leading in the five chasers for fourth place seven seconds later.
1. ANDY CHATTERTON (Hartlepool CC) 42m in 1-46-20
2. P. Curran (Crown-Chafes) st
3. N. Dunn (Paragon RT) at l0sec
4. W. Mitchenson (Ashington RC) at l7sec
5. S. Telford (Ridley CC)
6. N. Martin (Dinnington RC)
7. B. Johnson (Paragon RT) all st
8. B. Mordue (Ridley CC) at 1-9
9. D. Dollimore (Newcastle Cheviot) at 2-35
10. D. Buchan (GS Metro), st.