NATIONAL Motor-Pace Championship
PAUL Curran (Optimum Performance RT) made motor-pacing look easy as he rode to his third consecutive national title behind the big bikes in an event incorporated in the Centre of Excellence track championships at Herne Hill.
But the grimace on the face of Spencer Wingrave (Roberts Cycles) told a different story as he battled for the silver medal against debut man Norman Dunroy (Optimum Performance RT).
Curran, paced by Howard Broughton, was content to let Wingrave - paced by his uncle, Paul Wingrave - lead for a dozen laps in the 25-kilometre first leg. Then he opened the throttle and lapped Wingrave and Dunroy twice before the finish.
Mystery man Dunroy turned out to be three-times Milk Race rider Norman Dunn, who changed his surname after marrying a Miss Gilroy! Paced by Noel Worby, he was contesting his first bunched race behind the motors. Dunroy has ridden few events in the past two seasons due to 'chronic fatigue', the cause of which is unknown.
Curran attacked from the start of round two and within 13 laps had lapped the other seven riders on the track. 'I had to shout to Howard to ease off just before halfway, it was a national after all,' said Curran, who twirled a 118-inch gear to victory by a three-lap margin.
Dunroy, meanwhile was comfortable in second place which he held to the finish, twice repulsing attacks by Wingrave who was blown off his roller both times. Wingrave, however, took the silver medal as he had finished second in the faster of the two legs.
Curran, who is the first world-class stayer to emerge in Britain for many years, has less incentive this year due to the withdrawal of pacing from the World's. 'I feel I'm going as well as at this time last year, and plan to ride the European Championship in Zurich next month,' he said.
Broughton celebrated his seventh national title as a pacer and his first hat-trick in a career that dates back to 1976 when he steered Rik Notley to the gold.
1. Paul Curran (Howard Broughton)
2. Spencer Wingrave (Paul Wingrave)
3. Norman Dunroy (Noel Worby)
4. K. Reed (D. Marlow)
5. R. Williams (C. Denman)
6. S. Barnsley (C. Murden)
7. K. Gill Gill (R. Cox)
8. S. McCain (D. Driscoll - me!)
Paul Curran (pacer Howard Broughton) (Optimum Pertormance RT) 25km in 21-56; at two laps: 2, S. Wingrave (P. Wingrave) (Roberts Cycles); at three laps: 3, N. Dunroy (N. Worby) (Middridge CRT); 4, K. Reed (D. Marlow) ('34 Nomads); at five laps: 5, R. Williams (C. Denman) (Geoffrey Butler Cycles); at six laps: 6, S. Barnsley (C. Murden) (Qfftex); at eight laps: 7, K. Gill (R. Cox) (Team Leigh); at nine laps: 8, S. McCain (D. Driscoll) (VC Londres).
Paul Curran 25km in 22-24; at three laps: 2, Dunroy; 3, Wingrave; at five laps: 4, Reed; 5, Williams; at eight laps: 6, Barnsley; at nine laps: 7, McCain; 8, Gill.