Paragon associate member Gullen on top form

James Gullen

James Gullen

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Professional rider and Paragon Cycling Club associate member James Gullen, riding for the Velosure-Giordana Racing Team, has been enjoying impressive form of late.

Gullen recently claimed his first North Regional Road Race Championship title over seven testing laps totalling 76 miles at Oakenclough, Lancashire.

Gullen went off alone, after attacking on a fast descent, riding away from his last remaining rival.

The Lancaster-based rider had 54 seconds to spare over Jack Pullar (Starley Primal Pro Cycling) at the line with a further gap of 1:25 to the winner’s team-mate Matt Cronshaw in third place.

Gullen took a well-deserved victory in the John May Memorial Road Race in West Yorkshire over a 12-lap, 69-mile route.

“Brutal” was the only word to describe the weather conditions for the 38th annual promotion, with extremely strong cross winds and intermittent heavy rainfall, which made the already challenging circuit even more difficult.

The route took in New Sharlston, Old Snydale, along Normanton bypass, through Warmfield then a sharp left on to the aptly-named Hell Lane for a summit finish.

The combination of the terrain and terrible weather made it inevitable that only the strongest riders would prevail, and so it proved. After two laps together James exploded off the front and quickly built up a 45 second lead on the bunch.

The main field fractured under the pressure, leaving a select group of around a dozen riders trying to hold him.

These included Gullen’s two teammates Matt Cronshaw and Tom Bustard, together with Elite riders Michael Ashurst, Alistair Rutherford and double Olympian and twice National Road Race Champion John Tanner.

Gullen did incredibly well to hold such a high quality chase group on his own for four laps but eventually they brought him back.

However Gullen wasn’t finished, and this time he escaped again almost immediately with his two teammates.

They worked well as a team and always looked comfortable. Gullen’s efforts were rewarded when his compatriots sat up at the finish to let him take the much deserved victory.

David Thompson and Barrie Cappleman were the only two Paragon riders to take part in the Malton Wheelers club 10-miler near Pickering on a pleasant evening in light cross wind.

David won overall with a speedy time of 22:05 and Barrie did 25:16.

If anyone wants to come along to have a go at a local short distance club time trial, there is event two at Scalby on Thursday, meeting 6.30pm at the Rugby Club car park or enquire via www.spcc.org.uk.