Home victory caps big night of bike racing in Lancaster

Lancaster City Centre Criterium race winner Jack Pullar. Photo: Ian Robinson
Lancaster City Centre Criterium race winner Jack Pullar. Photo: Ian Robinson

A thrilling night of bike racing was capped off by a home victory in the Lancaster City Centre Criterium on Wednesday night.

Bolton-le-Sands’ Jack Pullar put in a fine solo effort to win the signature elite race in front of the big crowd that lined the closed cobbled streets around Dalton Square.

Fresh from riding for Scotland in Sunday’s Commonwealth Games Road Race, the Starley Primal rider shot off the front of the 50-minute plus five laps race right from the start and was briefly joined by Velosure Giordana riders Richard Hepworth and Brad Morgan, who finished second and third respectively, in a leading three.

But the 24-year-old proved too strong and dominated the race on the way to a popular victory having finished second the previous two years.

And Pullar revealed that the home race was the perfect tonic after his amazing Commonwealth Games experience had come to an end.

The 2012 British National Hill Climb Champion said: “The crowds were really good.

“I was expecting a bit of a come down from the games and there really wasn’t.

“I thought I was going to pretty tired coming into it but once I got round the first few laps I felt quite good and just kept going.

“It was really nice in front of a home crowd with lots of friends. It was pretty sweet.”

Pullar, who completed half the 168km distance of Sunday’s Commonwealth Games epic won by Wales and Team Sky’s Geraint Thomas, was pleased to see his tactics come off on home turf on Wednesday night.

He said: “The last two years it has been won with the winner going off the front, so I thought it was my turn to do the same.

“I’m a better cyclist than I have been in previous years so I just tried what I’d seen in the past and it worked.

“You can take your own line on the corners and there’s not many long straights so you don’t really need to be sitting behind someone as much.

“The course was probably the easiest it has been for the last three years so it made for better racing, certainly for me!”

Ahead of the main race, Robert Scott of PH-MAS Cycling was a convincing winner of the Dalton Square Cobbled Classic for amateur riders ahead of Velocity WD-40’s Adam Hartley and Joshua Cutler of 3RT.

The evening had begun with the Lancaster Youth Grand Prix and there was a clean sweep for the local Salt Ayre Cog Set club with Adam Hall winning from Ryan Coulton and Samuel Monkhouse.