|ECHO GRAND PRIX|
TURNING back the clock seven years Paul Curran (Dinnington RC-Ideal Travel), the former double Commonwealth champion, continued the return to his best form when he won the Echo Grand Prix at Sunderland on Sunday.
Curran coasted in alone, 20 seconds clear, after dropping breakaway companions Simon Telford (Ridley CC) and Russell Thompson (GS Metro) just before the Moorsley prime, 10 miles from the finish of the 70-mile Sunderland Clarion race.
A group of eight riders had been clear of the field for much of the race, and this split under the pressure of Curran's attack, with just under 20 miles remaining, when only Telford and Thompson could stay with him.
Ian Norris (Ridley) took fourth place ahead of GB junior squad rider Alex Arch (Stretford Wheelers), who had been given dispensation to ride the senior event.
Middridge CRT team-mates Mike Wright and Chris Newton, and last season's national hill-climb silver-medallist Jeff Wright (Tyne Velo), were the other riders in the breakaway group of eight.
Curran was repeating a win in this event in 1985, and has now made it two victories in three outings in the Echo race.
1. Paul Curran (Dinnington RC-Ideal Travel) 70m in
2. S. Telford (Ridley CC) at 20sec
3. R. Thompaon (GS Metro) st
4. I. Norris (Ridley CC) at 35sec
5. A. Arch (Strettord Wh)
6. M. Wright (Middridge CRT)
7. C. Newton (Middridge CRT)
8. J. Wright (Tyne Velo)
9. T. Greener (Tyne Electric)
10. I. Hellawell (Stockton Wh).