At the head of affairs all day, Joe Perrett (Team IG-Sigma Sport) beat the odds to win the final round of the Premier Calendar series, the 93-mile Ryedale Grand Prix, in North Yorkshire.
National 25-mile time trial champion, the Ilford 22-year-old celebrated the best win of his road race career as he outsprinted Ian Bibby (Madison Genesis) and Richard Handley (Rapha Condor JLT) after the three had escaped from a nine-man leading group with seven kilometres to go.
The six – Rapha Condor JLT trio Handley, Mike Cuming and Hugh Carthy, Madison Genesis pair Bibby and Jack Pullar, and Rob Partridge (Team UK Youth) – made steady inroads and eventually joined up with the three leaders on the third of five laps of the shorter finishing circuit.Perrett, Simon Yates (100%ME) and Mark Christian (Team Raleigh) had started the action on the first of three large laps around the picturesque North Yorkshire countryside, extending their advantage to over four minutes on the second lap before a six-strong chasing group broke away from the peloton third time up the main climb and took up the chase.
With two laps to go the rest of the field was five and a half minutes adrift and losing interest, and with numbers in their favour, the Rapha Condor JLT trio put in repeated digs to split the leaders approaching the bell.
After a brief split the nine were all back together going into the final lap before Perrett, Bibby and Handley caught the rest on the hop and flew off the front.
With none of the riders in the break a threat to his position at the top of the standings, Evan Oliphant (Team Raleigh) was confirmed as overall Premier Calendar series champion as he crossed the line in 12th place ahead of the only two people who could have challenged him, his team-mate Tom Stewart and Mike Northey (Node4 Giordana Racing).Yates chased after them, but he had left it too late and, beginning the sprint with 400 metres to go, the three escapees were lined out across the road as they wound their way through the grounds of Ampleforth College with Perrett proving strongest on the drag to the line to claim his first Premier Calendar victory.
What they said
“It’s a massive win for me, I’m over the moon,” saidJoe Perrett. “To win a Premier Calendar in such company is fantastic.
“The biggest thing is to have got a win for the team – we’ve been chasing this all season, we’ve all worked really hard, and to have done it is the biggest thrill for me.”
Evan Oliphant dismissed suggestions that he had ridden a negative race to protect his series lead. “No, that’s not the case,” he said. “Objective number one was for one of the team to win today, and we got Mark Christian in the early break which was a good team effort.
“It was a mistake that we didn’t get anyone in the second break, but after that we controlled the peloton to make sure I would get the overall.”
1 Joe Perrett (Team IG-Sigma Sport)
2 Ian Bibby (Madison Genesis)
3 Richard Handley (Rapha Condor JLT) all same time
4 Simon Yates (100 Per Cent ME) at 24 sec
5 Mark Christian (Team Raleigh) at 1-17
6 Rob Partridge (Team UK Youth) same time
7 Mike Cuming (Rapha Condor JLT) at 1-20
8 Jack Pullar (Madison Genesis) at 3-45
9 Hugh Carthy (Rapha Condor JLT) at 3-50
10 Graham Briggs (Team Raleigh) at 4-43
11 Marcin Bialoblocki (Team UK Youth)
12 Evan Oliphant (Team Raleigh)
13 Tom Stewart (Team Raleigh)
14 Mike Northey (Node4 Giordana Racing)
15 Yanto Barker (Team UK Youth)
Photos: Andy Jones