Harrogate riders take on sport’s finest at Columba Chemo Classic

Harrogate cyclists at the Columba Chemo Classic
Harrogate cyclists at the Columba Chemo Classic

For many riders the final event of the season is the Columba Chemo Classic sportive a gruelling 100 kilometer ride from Richmond over some of the Yorkshire Dales’ most undulating roads.

There are three big climbs from Coverdale to Wharfedale, from Wharfedale to Bishopdale and then up the fearsome climb onto Grinton Moor.

Cyclist Will Staveley. (S)

Cyclist Will Staveley. (S)

Over 400 riders took the start, including Tour De France and Olympic hopefuls from Team Sky, Alex Dowsett and Ben Swift.

The days leading up to the event had seen typical dank November weather but on the day the veils were lifted and the riders were treated to some rare November sunshine and light winds, ideal conditions for a jaunt round the Dales.

Amazingly Harrogate Nova provided eight of the top ten times, with all the top five places and the same top three as last year’s event.

Followers of the cycling scene will not have been surprised that Greg Ketteringham yet again proved that he is the rider to beat, coming home in the fastest time of 3:26:09, closely followed by younger brother Simon, 11 seconds down, a difference so close that many would consider it a draw.

Paul Lehan, returning after fracturing a collar bone earlier in the season took third spot in 3:27:35. Nova’s Simon Thomas produced the ride of his life to finish fourth 3:28:14 ahead of Nova powerhouse Mike Worden in 3:28:30.

A Nova whitewash was prevented by a brace of Sunderland Clarion riders, the first, Ian Beveridge, came home in 3:32:45.

There followed three more Nova riders Pete Shepard (3:33:33), Mike Hudson (3:35:39) and Rob Senior (3:36:38), with Sunderland Clarion’s Michael Sloanes (3:41:49) completing the top ten.

Team Sky riders, Dowsett and Swift, enjoyed their day, breezing round in 3:52:42 and 3:54:00.

Ride of the day was surely John Tiffany who smashed his time from last year to be the first over-60s finisher in 4:15:22.

Nova’s Corrinne Mitchell was the fastest lady with 4:28:14, 14 seconds ahead ahead of Ann Kristin-Koehler.

Nova’s Alison Sarmiento and Joanne Ketteringham both clocked 4:48:23.

Twenty-three Nova riders took part, bagging first overall (Greg Ketteringham), first senior (Paul Lehan), first over 40 (Simon Ketteringham), first over 50 (Greg Ketteringham), first over 60 (John Tiffany) and first Lady (Corinne Mitchell).

Meantime, Nova junior William Staveley is the new Junior Yorkshire Hill Climb Champion.

A series of 12 lung-busting hill climbs with the five best results counting towards the final standing.

William produced some spectacular results which earned him the Junior Championship and fifth place overall.

Also in November Harrogate Nova celebrated their 40th birthday, being formed in 1971 from the amalgamation of Harrogate Cycle Club and Harrogate St Christophers, at their annual prize presentation.

Many of the trophies date back to just after the Second World War.

The Best All Rounder trophy for ultra distance time trials of 50 miles(1:57:01), 100 miles (4:25:13) and 12 hours (216.92 miles) went to Ian Peacock.

Ian also won the 100 mile TT Shield. Duncan Mullier had the season of his dreams with five trophies.

Fulford Cycles TT league Veteran Champion Trophy, 25 mile TT Trophy (54:44) and The Hilly 19 Trophy were all retained with the addition of The Triangle Trophy and the Short Course Best All Rounder Trophy for 10 mile (21:26), 25 mile (54:44) and 50 mile (1:51:53) Time Trials.

Paul Caswell took The Almscliffe Trophy for winning the Almscliffe Event along with the Stephan Forge Memorial Trophy for most improved time at the Almscliffe Event.

Paul Lehan was awarded the Road Race Trophy for best performance in a road race.

Greg Ketteringham was awarded the Over 50s Three-Peaks Cyclo Cross Trophy and finally Mike Hudson was awarded the Twit Of The Year Trophy, for leaving his bike behind after a race.