PHIL Kelleher staged a timely break when the Tamworth Cycling Club’s criteriums continued at Goddard Lane on Sunday.
Small fields were the order of the day in the A grade as well as the combined B and C Grade criteriums.
Mal Ellicott rode well to snare the 25minute plus two lap B and C grade event from Dave Menzies and Mark Jarvis while Kelleher broke away late in the 30 minute plus two lap A grade race.
With the club championships at Goddard Lane this Sunday, it was a good win for Kelleher as he finished too strongly for fellow Baiocchi Griffin JT Fossey team riders Mick Sherwood, Darren Traill and Jeremy Bartlett.
“It was a good race,” Kelleher admitted as he recovered from a stiff test.
“I broke away from the boys about four or five laps out.”
He stayed away as Sherwood finished strongly to beat Traill by a half wheel.
This Sunday is the Tamworth club’s criterium club championships, said club publicity officer Mal Nash and, while the riders are readying for those, they are also preparing for one of the tough, early road races.
“Yarrowyck is coming up,” Kelleher said.
“May 4 I think. It’s tough uphill with a tough 4km climb and uphill finish.
“The last 20km is uphill.”
A 90km handicap race, it was won by Traill last year.
“It’s hard from the start,” Traill said.
He started with about a 15min handicap last year and, with fellow Tamworth rider (and team Baiocchi Griffin JT Fossey rider) Jeremy Bartlett, managed to stay away and run one, two.
“We won by about a minute,” Traill recalled.
Meanwhile, Fabian Cancellara won his third Tour of Flanders in a four-up sprint to the line following 259km of racing from Bruges to Oudenaarde
The Swiss powerhouse from the Trek team beat Belgians Greg Van Avermaet (BMC), Sep Vanmarcke (Belkin) and Stijn Vandenburgh (Omega Pharma) in a tense sprint following some nervous jockeying in the final kilometre.
Cancellara, known as Spartacus in cycling circles, joined five other riders in winning a record three Tours of Flanders.
After six and a half hours of thrilling racing, the 33-year-old proved not only the strongest, but the master tactician.