Betty Pharaoh Memorial Legstretchers RR 2011 by Ian Homer
Lucky for some, the 13th installment of the Betty Pharoah Memorial Legstretchers Elite, 1st & 2nd category 70 mile (4 lap) road race was won by Frederik Johansson of Team UK Youth who also took the 1-2 with James Stewart.
The Vale of Glamorgan course was bathed in beautiful spring sunshine and made for some hot racing in both events. In the E123 early breaks were soon brought back under control by the peleton but by the 3rd Lap, however, a group of 7 riders (James Stewart, Frederik Johansson, Junior Heffernan, Dale Appleby, Mark Perry & Grant Bayton) went off the front and got a gap of 2 minutes on the field. One rider (Matt Rowe (Cycle Premier Metaltek) dropped back) and at Pentre Meyrick on the final lap Johansson broke free with a well timed attack and immediately took a gap of 13 seconds on the chasing group.
This he consolidated on the run in and even with the negotiation of the tricky final climb was a clear winner by some 37 seconds.
Things were much tighter in the 3rd & 4th category (52 mile) race with no attacks sticking from the main bunch. It all pretty much came down to the final climb to the finish to produce a selection with Tony Kiss of Stratford CC taking the spoils on the line with 2nd place Rob Tuner of Climb on Bikes 2 seconds behind. Third, fourth fifth places were hotly contested and Joe Lally of CC Abergavenny pipping home rider Dave Medhurst (Cardiff Ajax CC) who in turn was less than a wheel length ahead of James Hansell of Cardiff Jif.