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Huddersfield 2-Day 1963

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Harrison Surprise in Huddersfield 2-Day

Cycling and Mopeds 1-May-1963

Huddersfield1963sA FINE second stage time winning effort by Manchester Wh. student D. Harrison gave him the leaders' jersey for the final 42 miles third stage of the Huddersfield R.C.- Hammond's Prize Medal Brewery sponsored road race; leadership which he guarded jealousy against the powerful last-lap assault of Bill Bradley, who, however, managed to slip away during the final 3 1/2 mile lap to steal an inadequate gain of 12 seconds at the line. Harrison held his lead at 54 seconds despite finishing with the tail-end of the bunch.

Third on general classification Richard Simpson, Leeds St. Christopher's C.C.C., gained his place by fine consistent riding, which was equally consistently backed up by team mates Arthur Metcalfe and Jack Macklam, this trio winning the team race on all three stages, the lowest placing any of them achieved being I Ith.
Although out of the general classification by a first stage puncture and a more than indifferent second stage time trial, Albert Hitchers, Viking, took the points classification by winning 11 of the 12 on st. 3, Nuttall, Quinn-Everyman, accompanying him most of the time in second place, to take second place.
With police motorcycle outriders seeing the field safely and expeditiously through all the road junctions, all-round-the-course, yard-by-yard race commentaries from jeeps of the Duke of Wellington's Signals Battalion, Territorial Army, and the intense local interest, this event is rapidly taking on the character of a Continental event. And the racing, too, provided thrills and interest galore.

A brilliantly taken late breakaway by Falcon independent Ged Coles earned him a first stage win by 10 seconds from a group of 11 caught napping on the last long, hard slog up-wind to the summit of Buckstones Moor. A dozen riders had re-grouped after the fifth and last climb of Penny Hill had strung them out and a break seemed out of the question into the stiff, moisture laden head-wind which blew down the long, long slope (six miles of it).

And that seemed to be Bill Bradley's conclusion after making a tentative jump just as the group came up to the last buildings before taking to the still wintry landscape of the moors. Coles had other ideas, and as they passed the door of the lonely Brown Cow Inn, scene of an armed hold-up during the big freeze last winter, Coles perpetrated an audacious bit of " highway robbery " himself, flashing away into a 15sec. lead before the others had had time even to react to Bradley's move. Some slick work through the gears and they were hot in pursuit; quickly, Coles had lost five of his precious seconds. But from there on he refused to "give”; 40-45 m.p.h. and Coles was being hindered by the Signals jeep, which could not get from under his flying feet on the swerving, gradual descent. Right down to the finish, he held on to his lead, Bradley managing to take second place from Norman Baty, Tyne Velo, last year's winner.

With the notorious Penny Hill coming within two miles of the start, it didn't take long for the sorting out of the " men from the boys." With 60 riders hurtling down a lane which slips and slides its way down to the bottom of a narrow cleft, cutting deep into the high Pennines, turning sharp right into a one-time mill yard (one-time cobbled but now very much deteriorated from its heyday of just plain rough) and between stone pillars to hit "THAT wall " - an eight-foot-wide snaking strip of 1-in-3 bone-jarring cobbles, deliberately ridged generations ago to permit over-worked carthorses a footing.

Five times they went up this murderous mile of 1-in-5 average grade, and each time the field strung out, until from the opposite hillside they looked like knots of coloured wool tied on to a line of stretching and shrinking elastic. And of those who lost contact on this section, only eventual winner, Harrison, and Pete Chisman, Houghton C.C., were in at the final sprint.
Few outside the dozen who fought out the last lap showed any interest in the time trial stage, but they made things interesting enough. A rising breeze and cold, wet, cloudy mist most of the way round the " U " shaped course, which climbs and descends two ridges, made Harrison's winning 1-7-41 over four minutes slower than last year's 1-3-8 by Jack Macklam, Leeds St. Christopher's, this time over six minutes slower in fifth place. With Simpson fastest at the turn and Macklam second, St. Christopher's team placing seemed well secured, even Metcalfe's 1-11-55 with puncture causing little concern. In fact, even at Buckstones, with six miles to go, Simpson looked like taking over leadship with a fine win.

But Harrison's was the sensational finishing effort. He took almost a minute out of Bradley in those six miles!
The third, and final, 42 miles stage, with no stage win bonuses to upset calculations, seemed unlikely to drastically alter general classification. And that was the way it went. No-one likely to affect the result got clear in an effort to join the fly-away Hitchen until the last lap. Then is was too late anyway.

STAGE 1 (5 laps - 65 miles)
G. Coles, Falcon Cycles, 3-5-10, 1; W. Bradley, ind., at 10sec., 2; W. Baty, Tyne Velo, s.t., 3 ; T. Gornall, Burnley Premier, s.t., 4: D. Harrison, Manchester Wh., s.t., 5: E. G. Bates, ind., 6. Team.—Leeds St. Christopher's C.C.C.

STAGE 2 (25 miles time trial)
D. Harrison, Manchester Wh., 1-7-41, 1 M. Brown, Nottingham R.C., 1-8-27, 2 W. Bradley, ind., 1-8-48, 3 ; R. Simpson, Leeds St. Christopher's C.C.C., 1-9-8, 4; J. Macklam, Leeds St. Christopher's C.C.C., 1-9-34. 5 ; G. Coles, ind., 1-9-43, 6. Team.—Leeds St. Christopher's C.C.C., 3-30-37.

STAGE 3 (12 laps - 42 miles)
A. R. Hitchen, Viking Cycles, 1-54-34, 1 P. Chisman, Houghton C.C., at 29sec., 2 K. Fitzpatrick, Burnley Premier R.C., at 29sec., 3 ; B. Haskell, ind., at 43sec., 4: K. Nuttall, ind., at 1-18, 5 W. Bradley, at 1-25, 6. Team. —Leeds St. Christopher's C.C.C.

GENERAL CLASSIFICATION
D. Harrison, Manchester Wh., 6-9-13, 1; W. Bradley, Quirm-Everyman, at 54sec., 2 ; R. Simpson, Leeds St. Christopher's C.C.C., at 1-26, 3 ; G. Coles, Falcon Cycles, at 1-57. 4: J. Macklam, Leeds St. Christopher's C.C.C., at 1-58, 5 ; T. Gornall, Burnley Premier R.C., at 2-26, 6. King of the Mountains : K. Hill, ind. Points Classification : A. Hitchen, ind.

Update 16-Mar-2010
A copy of the 1963 race programme has been found ..... 

Hammonds1963_01sHAMMONDS PRIZE MEDAL 2 DAY CYCLE RACE

Organised by the Huddersfield Road Club (Under B.C.F. Rules)

Saturday & Sunday 27/28 April 1963


The programme for the race provides details of the route - with the Hammonds pubs on the course - plus details of the 75 riders and reserves. Please get in touch if you would like to see more.

Note for modern visitors - the 1963 route was based on the A6025; but according to Google Earth that is now numbered the B6114. And Penny Hill is shown just as Steele Lane; but it is still cobbled and just as steep!

HARRISON TOP IN THE NORTH
Credit: Cycling 2-May-1964

DEREK HARRISON is virtually unbeatable, for in the three stages and 132 miles of the Hammonds Brewery 'Prize Medal' two-day he squashed all opposition from the top amateurs and independents to win from Mike Cowley by 50 seconds.
Such was the toughness of the hilly northern course that riders such as Jim Moore, Bill Bradley and Wes. Mason were reduced to running up one of the climbs - Penny Hill.
next page -

SECOND 'PRIZE MEDAL' FOR HARRISON
Northern amateurs shone but Falcon easily took the team prize

ALTHOUGH the full distance of the Hammonds Brewery Prize Medal two-day road race promoted by the Huddersfield Road Club was 132 miles, the riders who were to figure highly in the general classification had virtually sorted themselves out after only four miles, and Derek Harrison, Star Trophy champion, took his second successive win in the event.
The first climb of the savage slope of Penny Hill saw a 10-man break develop composed of Albert Hitchen and Bernard Burns, Falcon Cycles; Derek Harrison and Peter Gordon, Manchester Wheelers; Mike Cowley, Barrow Central Wheelers; Peter Buckley, Oldham Century; Chris Durnin, Kirkby C.C.; Peter Wells, Beeston Road Club ; Ken Hill, Liverpool Mercury and Richard Simpson, Leeds St. Christopher's C.C.C.

Early casualties among the fancied riders were John Bettinson, Barrow Central Wheelers, who punctured after only one mile, and John Geddes, Quinn-Everyman, who broke his gear cable and fell at the bottom of Penny Hill on the first lap and retired.
Others were reduced to running up the hill on the first lap including Jim Moore, Ovaltine, Bill Bradley, Quinn-Everyman, and Wes Mason, Sheffield Racing C.C., both the latter with severe colds, Mason retiring on the first stage.
Second climb of Penny Hill saw Cowley demonstrate his fine climbing ability, taking the prime from Buckley, and making things generally uncomfortable for everybody.
The ten leaders were then still together with leading local amateurs Stuart Sullivan and Keith Marmon, Condor Road Club, at 20sec., and then, just over the summit, Sullivan shed a crank of the borrowed machine he was riding (his own having been stolen on Friday night) and retired.
Cowley tried

IMP96871w

Penny Hill - too hard for racing today?
(Photo - April 2010)


The ten leaders continued to draw further away from the rest of the field, but halfway up Penny Hill on the fourth of five laps Wells suddenly weakened and went off the back, to be followed by Ken Hill and Simpson, as Cowley again took the prime.
By this time the rest of the field were over five minutes down.
On the last lap Cowley made a brave attempt to go it alone, and took a lead of 200 yards, while on the steady drag over the moors to Scammonden, Gordon tried unsuccessfully to bridge the gap.
But Cowley was caught at seven miles to go thanks to the efforts of Burns and Buckley, and at this stage it appeared that both Durnin and Gordon were little more than passengers.
With 250 yards to go Harrison led out the sprint from Hitchen and Burns, and won by two clear lengths from Hitchen, who sat up short of the line, with Burns third a further half-length away.
Ken Hill won the sprint from the next group of five riders at 6min. 39sec.
As expected, Harrison also won the second stage, a 25-mile time trial over hard moorland roads, in 1-4-9.1
Cowley was second in 1-4-36 and Burns third in 1-5-28, with Buckley fourth in 1-6-54.
Falcon stronghold
Thus, with two stages completed and only 42 miles of racing to go, Harrison was in command, 27 seconds ahead of Cowley and 1-19 up on Burns.
But the Falcon team had a stronghold on the team race with something like a 30-minute lead.
The final stage 12 laps of a 3 1/2-mile circuit - had sprints at the end of each lap with points counting towards the King of the Mountains prize, which Cowley led with 13 points.
An early break on this stage by Hitchen and Doug Dailey, Kirkby C.C., was soon brought back, and the lead changed continuously throughout this stage.
Gordon's sprints
By virtue of some good sprinting, to say nothing of some nasty-looking switching, Gordon amassed enough points to become King of the Mountains, with Peter Buckley second. During the last three laps of this stage a break
was developed by Gordon, Durnin, Bill Holmes, Falcon Cycles; Pete Edwards, Quinn-Everyman; Ken Hill and Arthur Durham, Leeds C.R.C. They stayed away to the finish, where Gordon beat Durnin by one second, with Holmes third. Burns and Harrison finished together just behind the break, with the bunch only a few seconds behind.
Result
D, Harrison, Machester Wh., 5-57-38, 1; M. Cowley, Barrow Central Wh., 5-58-28, 2; B. Burns, Falcon Cycles. 5-58-57, 3; P. Buckley, Oldham Century, 6-0-47. 4: A. R. Hitchen, Falcon Cycles, 6-1-5, 5; P. Gordon, Manchester Wt., 6-1-49. 6. King of the Mountains: P. Gordon, 21 points; P. Buckley, 20pts. Team: Falcon Cycles (Burns, Hitchen, J. J. Perks).

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