Friday 20 July 2012
Higgins Takes Elite Race Win in Style
On the eve of Bradley Wiggins making British sporting history, elite cyclists from around the UK headed to Cheltenham racecourse to compete in a Velo Club Montpellier’s Elite Criterium. The stage was set for a great evening of live sporting action, with many top elite cyclists, including former Premier Calendar race winner Mathew Higgins (Node4-Giodana) and local elite Ben Stockdale (Metaltek-Scott), heading to the famous home of national hunt racing.
As in previous rounds, the 1 hour race started fast, with Higgins and Stockdale attacking the fast moving peloton of 30 or so riders early on. The pair worked hard in the first half of the race. However, it soon became apparent that semi-pro Higgins was the strongest as he seemed effortless on the bike. The peloton behind were working hard, with Swindon's Team GWR pushing hard to bring the pair back. Slaughters based Stockdale, who will soon be heading to Poland for a stage race with his team, dropped back, unable to sustain the efforts of the criterium specialist Higgins.
On the final laps, Higgins knew he had the race won and crossed the finish line on his own to take the first prize of £300, much to the delight of the large crowd. Tom Stockdale (Primal Europe), younger brother of Ben, took the bunch gallop to the line for second, beating his brother who took third.
Cheltenham and County CC’s youth races were well supported with nearly 40 children racing. The highlight of the evening was Gloucester City’s Adam Beddall winning the under 16s race in front of a large local crowd. Stratford CC once again put in strong performances across the board, with Luke Simmonds winning the under 10s and Keir Lewis winning the under 14s.
Velo Club Montpellier would like to thank Cheltenham and County Cycling Club, Leisure Lakes Bikes, Cheltenham Racecourse, C & G Scaffolding and photographer Glenn Watts for supporting this series throughout the three rounds.
Senior: 1. Matthew Higgins, Node 4 Giordana 2. Tom Stockdale, Primal Europe 3. Ben Stockdale, Metaltek-Scott 4. Richard Cartland, Team Corley Cycles 5. Russell Falder, Cycle Premier - Kovert 6. Adrian Bird, Rapid Performance Coaching RT 7. Martin Smith, Primal Europe 8. Rob Westwood, M&D Kinetica Racing Team 9. Rupert Denny, GWR Team 10. Ewan McDonald, Mirmic CT Youth: U8s 1st - James Bullar - Brook Cycles 2nd - Jacob Barrett - Stratford CC 3rd (1st girl) - Cerys Simmonds (Girl) - Stratford CC 4th - Leo Tarrrant - Cheltenham & Co CC 5th - Daniel Ascroft - Cheltenham & Co CC 6th - Jacob Smith - Cheltenham & Co CC 7th (2nd Girl) - Cerys Roderick - private U10s 1st - Luke Simmonds - Stratford CC 2nd - David Meyer - Cheltenham & Co CC 3rd - Jonno Todd - Stratford CC 4th -Sam Roderick - Private 5th - Caitlin Coleman - Private U12s 1st - Andrew Wheatley - Halesowen CC 2nd - Ben Sluman - VC Montpellier 3rd - Harrison Smith - Cheltenham & Co CC 4th - Tsvetelsk Kostadsvov - Private U14s 1st - Keir Lewis - Stratford CC 2nd (1st Girl) - Megan Chard - Bush Healthcare 3rd - Joe Wood - Cheltenham & Co CC 4th - Owen Zodd - Stratford CC U16s 1st - Adam Beddall - Gloucester City CC 2nd - Preslav Dimitrav - Stratford CC 3rd - Andrew Butler - Stratford CC 4th - Jack Mattock - Cheltenham & Co CC 5th - Tom Marshall - VC Montpellier 6th - Harry Lock - Cardiff Ajax 7th - Ben Williams - Epic 8th - Thomas Lane - Stratford CC