Friday 18 February 2011

Stockdale Wins Perfs

• The 46th edition of the Perfs Pedal Race signaled the start of the Road Racing season and as is often the case; the weather played a part in this early season classic. Heavy rain and standing water on the course made it a day for the hard men and they don’t come much harder than former Paris-Roubaix winner, Magnus Backstedt. The Tour de France stage winner forced the pace in the early part of the race and soon had the bunch strung out. Despite his aggressive riding the big Swede could not manage to break away and the bunch was altogether going into the last two laps. It was on the penultimate climb of Hundred Acres Hill; above Portsmouth harbour that eventual race winner Ben Stockdale (Team Qoroz) escaped with a small group. The driving rain and cold conditions deterred any chasers and Stockdale took the sprint from, Isle of Wight based Nick Hutchings (GS Grupetto) with last years winner Will Bjergfelt (Motorpoint) settling for third. Backstedt finished in 10th, now domiciled in Wales this season he will lead Team UK Youth, the team is backed by Nigel Mansell OBE, The former Formula 1 champion will take a keen interest as his son Greg will be in the team. The Perfs race is one of only a handful of road races in the South Division this year following the demise of the Wessex League events.
• This Sunday sees the first time trial of the new season as the Bournemouth Arrow hold a club 10 mile event on the Ringwood-Sopley course. A new safety ruling this season will require all riders racing on local roads to have a working rear light. South District secretary, Alan Sharpen says “We are keen to be pro- active in our approach to rider safety, ensuring visibility for other road users is paramount”. The Arrow event starts a 09.00 and the new lighting ruling will apply.

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