The last of the ten rounds of the National Road Series, the Ryedale Grasscrete Grand Prix, took place on Sunday 18th August based on a course centred on the Ampleforth Abbey & College grounds in North Yorkshire.
The challenging 151km (93.5 miles) course consisted of three longer circuits of 25km followed by five shorter circuits of 15km, though all eight laps contained the two main climbs of Yearsley Moor Bank and the Abbey grounds.
The Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes team selected for this closing round of the series were Ryan Christensen, Callum Macleod, Alex Paton, Dan Pearson, Louis Rose-Davies, Max Stedman and Tom Stewart.
The race started in blustery but dry conditions with Stedman making an immediate attack on Yearsley Moor Bank and quickly opening up a 35 second lead. Unfortunately nobody else seemed to be interested in joining a break so Stedman returned to the fold. Rose-Davies took the lead on the second lap with Christensen and Paton following in small groups with the rest of the field widely strung out behind.
At the beginning of the first smaller circuits, three groups had coalesced to form a leading peloton of 30 riders. As they returned to the climb through the Abbey grounds for the fourth time, James Shaw and Jacob Scott (both SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling) struck out as a pair and gradually built up a commanding lead over the following two laps. Pearson gamely hung on a minute behind with the steadily diminishing peloton at three minutes.
Over the last two laps Steve Lampier (St Piran) bravely took off alone from the peloton and slowly began to reel in the leading pair of Shaw and Scott. Scott gifted the win to Shaw with a battling Lampier having closed the gap from three minutes to just 23 seconds to take third place.
With the podium settled, Stedman set the pace through the Abbey grounds for the reduced peloton of 11 riders with Christensen duly sprinting up the short finishing ramp to take 4th place.
Stedman rolled in at the back of this group in 14th place with Stewart and Pearson following adrift in 16th and 17th places respectively. Rose-Davies finished in 24th place out of a total of 41 finishers.
The Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes team were comfortable overall winners of the National Road Series team classification from SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling in second and Team Wiggins Le Col in third.
There were individual round wins from Rory Townsend at the Klondike GP, the Tour of the Mendips and the Beaumont Trophy, and for Tom Stewart at the Lincoln GP. Other podium places went to Matt Bostock who was runner-up at the Stockton GP, Andy Tennant who was third at Lincoln and Ryan Christensen who was third at the South Coast Classic.
The overall individual classification was won by Matt Holmes (Madison Genesis) with Max Stedman in 5th, Dan Pearson in 7th and Rory Townsend in 9th.
The Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes team classification win in the National Road Series illustrated their dominance throughout the season having already won the team classifications at the Tour Series and the National Circuit Series.
With Bostock taking the individual classification in the National Circuit Series, that only leaves the National Road Series individual classification and the British National Championships as unconquered competitions to be fought for in 2020!
Detailed results of the Ryedale Grasscrete GP can be found here.
Written by Paul and Marina Stedman
Photo credits – Paul Stedman