Stan Robson Memorial Road Race
FORMER Commonwealth champion Paul Curran (Optimum Performance RT) once again showed his rivals a clean pair of wheels to win the Stan Robson Memorial road race for the fourth time in his career on Sunday.
Curran, 35, who won the Cleveland Coureurs event for the first time in 1984 and took the honours again in 1992 and 1994, left a class field sprawled over an 84-mile course around Stokesley and Newby, to the south of Middlesbrough.
He crossed the line with team-mate Kevin Dawson as the top 10 finishers were spread over more than 22 minutes.
The Optimum duo left West Yorkshire Division champion Duncan Moralee (Featherstone RC) to salvage third place from another member of the Optimum team, Wayne Randle, with former national champion David Cook (Middridge CRT) completing a trio who came in 2-35 behind Curran and Dawson.
These five, together with Brough Wheelers pair Martin Pitchford and Pete Coggins and GS Metro rider David Buchan, had escaped from the field after 19 miles.
They were already well clear when Buchan crashed near half distance and was taken to hospital with a broken collarbone.
At this stage the remaining seven leaders were still together, but Curran launched his winning attack on a climb with 18 miles remaining.
David Cook tried to match him but slipped back to the others, and within a mile Dawson had bridged the gap to set up an Optimum one-two.
Former professional champion Sid Barras, who was manning one of the race service vehicles, donated his petrol money to the unlucky Buchan.
1. Paul Curran (Optimum Performance RT) 84m in 3-24-57
2. K. Dawson (Optimum Performance RT) st
3. D. Moralee (Featherstone RC) at 2-35
4. W. Randle (Optimum Performance, RT)
5. D. Cook (Middridge CRT) all st
6. M. Pitchtord (Brough Wh) at 6-45
7. P. Coggins (Brough Wh) st
8. R. Binks (Hudderstield RC) at 19-50
9. K. Sabiston (Ashington RC) st
10. M. Wallbank (North East RT) at 22-22.