|THE MILK RACE|
AFTER weeks of donning yellow jerseys, Jon Clay (Banana- Falcon) won yet another in Sunday's prologue time trial which skirted the beach huts on Bridlington seafront.
Not many people would have thought of Clay as a prologue winner, but he had given a hint when he recently finished third on the Tour of Lancashire opener.
'I felt I could do all right, and I knew I could get into the first 10, but you don't think of anything beforehand, just of burying yourself. I have never won a prologue before.'
He seemed to have a little bother before the finish, but it was 'nothing too serious,' he explained. 'I was just trying to push it up to the 19, when it dropped down to the 18.'
Watched by a big crowd enjoying their Bank Holiday weekend, America's Chris Alexander started the 34th edition of the Milk Race off with a time of 3-12.79, and that time was swiftly reduced by the second man off, Russia's Pavel Tonkov with 3-12.36.
Banana-Falcon's Chris Walker was the first to get inside three minutes and 11 seconds, off 16th of the 100 starters to record 3-10.93, then it was his team-mate Keith Reynolds who replaced him as leader with 3-10.86.
It didn't last. The Russians had an ace up their sleeve in Andre Dolgnikh, fastest at the halfway stage to earn £250, then fastest at the finish in 3-10.02.
This looked to be the winning time as first Rob Holden (Banana -Falcon) went near in 3-10.84, then America's Jonas Carney was even nearer with 3-10.53.
The biggest cheers were reserved for England's Paul Curran, riding the Milk race again, but this time as a reinstated amateur. He didn't disappoint, clocking 3-10.08, not enough to dislodge the Russian however.
It was left to Clay to provide the shock. After being introduced as the leader of the Scottish Provident series, he bounded down the ramp and vanished among the shops and houses.
He was level with Curran at halfway, then a tremendous last half put him top with an incredible 3-7.09.
Russia's Vladimir Abramov recorded 3-9.84 two minutes later to go second, and that is how it was to stay.
1. JON CLAY (Banana-Falcon) 3-7.09
2. V. Abramov (USSR) 3- 9.84
3. Dolgnikh (USSR) 3-10.02
4. P. Curran (England) 3 40.08
5. J. Carney (USA) 3-10.53
6. R. Holden (Banana- Falcon) 3-10.84
7. K. Reynolds (Banana-Falcon) 3-10.86
8. D. Baker (USA) 3-10.91
9. C. Walker (Banana-Falcon) 3-10.93
10. P. Tonkov (USSR) 3-12.36
11. Lonergan (Ireland) 3-12.46
12. J. Walshaw (British Pros) 3-12.67
13. C. Alexander (USA) 3-12.79
14. J. Loehner (USA) 3-12.83
15. P. Verbeken (Collstrop-lsoglass) 3-12.91
16. S. Sutton (Banana-Falcon) 3-13.32
17. S. Hempsall (England) 3-13.85
18. J. Hughes (GB) 3-14.19
19. A. Timmis (GB Pros) 3-14.47
20. P. Popp (Varta-Elk) 3-14.49
NORMAL family birthday celebrations were carried a stage further when Simeon Hempsall won this long stage to the cathedral city as a birthday present for his mother.
Hempsall had been told by his father that, if he won, the flowers were to be presented to his mother Lor-raine. The British amateur champion duly obliged with a last-lap attack up the cobbled climb of Michaelgate for a tremendous victory.
After a hard first day when the race was blown apart, and an evening criterium which added to the agony, those in contention let loose a break which contained no one who could affect the overall classification.
The break was begun by Tim Pawson (New Zealand), taken up by Edo Elfrinck (Holland) and extended to 14 seconds by Brigg. Then Poland's Jerzy Sikora joined them, and Austra-lian champion Matthew Bazzano got across with Peter Naessens (Collstrop--Isoglass).
They worked steadily, gaining a maximum lead of 3-55 in the flat countryside, with the bunch ignoring the fact that ahead, at Gainsborough, a £1,000 prime was waiting to be col-lected.
Naessens needed no encourage-ment as he took the prime ahead of Bazzano with the Australian protest-ing that the Belgian had taken a hand sling off the Dutchman, Elfrink. After the sprint the lead came down to two minutes, then inexplicably began to rise again.
On the first ascent to Lincoln castle and cathedral Elfrink, Naessens and Bazzano led, with Sikora and Pawson slightly adrift.
Race leader Chris Walker was part of a strong chasing group with his Banana-Falcon team mates Rob Holden and Keith Reynolds, plus Harry Lodge (Collstrop-Isoglass), Adrian Timmis (GB Professionals), Paul Curran and Hempsall (England), and Patrick Jonker (Australia).
They caught and dropped all the break except Bazzano, who went next time round as the serious business began and their lead rose to 1-5.
With the climb of Michaelgate wait-ing, Holden went to the front. Lodge responded. Walker found his wheel, with Curran, Timmis and Hempsall joining on.
Walker tried to get by on the outside with Hempsall and Lodge offering resistance. On the cobbles it was Hempsall from Walker and Lodge. Lodge dropped off leaving Hempsall and Walker side by side. Then Hempsall opened a gap on Walker and the race leader had no answer.
Hempsall's father grinned from ear to ear as his son won a Milk Race stage, something he hadn't done when he rode in 1968, the year before Simeon was born. Mum got her flow-ers and now the birthday celebrations could begin.
Hempsall was happy with his move into second place overall, 18 seconds down on Walker. 'We kept the tempo high on the first climb,' he said. 'But the second time I changed gear for the Hot Spot sprint and put my gears into my spokes. I got off, ran up the hill, stopped and put my gear right and then jumped back on again.'
1. Simeon Hempsall (England) 110.7m in 4-2-34
2. C. Walker (Banana-Falcon) at 2sec
3. A. Timmis (GB Pros) at 9sec
4. H. Lodge (Collstrop-Isoglass) at 15sec
5. P. Jonker (Aust) at l6sec
6. K. Reynolds (Banana-Falcon) at l9sec
7. R. Holden (Banana-Falcon) at 22sec
8. P. Curran (England) at 28sec
9. J. Clay (Banana-Falcon) at 50sec
10. M. Bazzano (Australia)
11. B. Heylen (SEEB-Saxon) both st
12. P. Verbeken (CoIl-strop-Isoglass) at 1-59
13. A. Perks (GB)
14. D. Tcherkachine (USSR)
15. P. McQuaid (Ire)
16. C. Lillywhite (Banana-Falcon)
17. P. Longbottom (Eng)
18. V. Orvisky (Cz)
19. J. Bogaert (Collstrop-Isoglass)
20. R. Meijs (Ho ) all st.
1. CHRIS WALKER (Banana-Falcon) 45-33-21
2. S. Hempsall (England) at 22sec
3. K. Reynolds (Banana-Falcon) at 25sec
4. H. Lodge (Collstrop--Isoglass) at 51sec
5. R. Holden (Banana-Falcon) at 56sec
6. P. Curran (Eng) at 1-2
7. D. Baker (USA) at 1-58
8. Z. Platek (Pol) at 2-7
9. B. Resenberg (Belgium-TVM) at 2-11
10. S. Douce (GB Pros) at 2-13
11. V. Abramov (USSR) at 2-14
12. J. Bogaert (Collstrop-Isoglass) at 2-16
13. J. Clay (Banana-Falcon) at 2-17
14. J. Lienhart (Varta-Elk) at 2-19
15. B. Heylen (SEFB-Saxon) at 2-33
16. P. Tonkov (USSR) at 2-35
17. A. Perks (GB) at 2-37
18. T. Bamford (NZ) st
19. V. Orvisky (Cz) at 2-38
20. D. Tcherkachlne (USSR) at 2-39
21, M. SlanIk (Cz); 22, M. Kane (Ire) both st; 23, P. Verbeken (Collstrop-Isoglass) at 2-44; 24, Z. Spruch (Pol) at 2-45; 25, D. Cook (Eng) at 3-45; 26, P. Longbottom (Eng) at 4-9; 27, C. Van der Meer (Hol) at 8-53; 28, I, Chivers (Ire) at 13-15; 29, P. Leltch (NZ) at 13-36; 30, J. Hughes (GB) at 15-27; 31, P. Jonker (Aust) at 15-34; 32, M. Van Steen (Hol) at 16-23; 33, P. Slane (Ire) at 16-37; 34, K. Kimmage (Ire) st; 35, J. Carney (USA) at 16-54; 36, J. Vanden Dries (Belgium-TVM) at 16-56; 37, N. Dunn (GB) at 17-2; 38, R. Langley (GB) at 17-9; 39, L. Styks (Varta-Elk) at 17-18; 40, C. Craclum (Romania) st; 41, S. Sutton (Banana--Falcon) at 17-37; 42, O. Polovnikov (USSR) st; 43, R. Mells (Hol) at 17-40; 44, P. Naessens (Collstrop-Isoglass) at 17-57; 45, A. Pfleger (Varta-Elk) at 18-24; 46, D. Peterken (NZ) at 18-29; 47, M. Gornall (GB) at 19-7; 48, S. Farrell (Eng) at 19-11; 49, D. Baker (GB Pros) 19-48; 50, M. Stephens (Eng) at 20-36; 51, Z. Pavol (Cz) at 21-41; 52, C. Alexander (USA) at 21-57; 53, P. Privara (Varta-Elk) at 22-1; 54, R Reid (NZ) at 22-3; 55, E. Bafcop (Collstrop--Isoglass) at 22-25; 56, C. Daems (Collstrop-Isoglass) at 22-39; 57, P. Korab (Pol) at 22-52; 58, D. Lonergan (Ire) at 22-53; 59, M. Bazzano (Aust) at 26-43; 60, T. Hall (GB) at 26-46; 61, J. Ouwerkerk (Hol) at 28-52; 62, T. Pawson (NZ) at 30-14; 63, A. Szafron (Pol) at 31-5; 64, P. Popp (Varta-Elk) at 37-35; 65, C. Lillywhite (Banana-Falcon) at 38-20; 66, J. Loehner (USA) at 38-57; 67, A. Doignikh (USSR) at 39-12; 68, V. Chelkovski (USSR) at 41-0; 69, M. Walsham (GB Pros) at 48-29; 70, J. Sikora (Pol) at 49-58; 71, J. Walshaw (GB Pros) at 51-8; 72, D. Rush (NZ) at 53-3; 73, J. Cooman (SEFB-Saxon) at 1-4-25; 74, J. Devos (SEFB-Saxon) at 1-4-29; 75, J. Phillips (Aust) at 1-6-29; 76, 1. Reljrink (Hol) at 1-14-23; 77, M. Remlin (Belgium-TVM) at 1-14-51; 78, J. McKinley (USA) at 1-15-53; 79, E. Eifrink (Hol) at 1-19-19; 80, G. Gronkiewicz (Pol) at 1-27-53; 81, D. Lawson (Aust) at 1-32-27; 82, G. Wilson (Aust) 1-43-16; 83, M. Verbeek (SEFB-Saxon) 1-46-7.
LEYLAND DAF POINTS.- Chris Walker (Banana-Falcon) 188; 2, Bogaert 112: 3, Van Steen 85.
NATIONAL DAIRY COUNCIL COM-BINE.- Chris Walker (Banana-Falcon) 25pt; 2, Reynolds 30; 3, Douce 42.
NATIONAL DAIRY COUNCIL SPRINTS -.-Jon Walshaw (GB Professionals) 20pt; 2, Hughes 13; 3, Reynolds, 8.
NATIONAL DAIRY COUNCIL MOUN-TAINS.- Tom Bamford (NZ) 128pt; 2, Tchorkachine 88; 3, Lodge 74.
TEAM.- Banana-Falcon, 136-31-44; 2, England, 136-33-36; 3, Collstrop--Isoglass, 136-36-5.