Australian Von Hoff sprints to Rutland-Melton International CICLE Classic victory

Melton CiCLE Classic heads for Melton Mowbray. Photo: Derek Bury EMN-150427-092833001
Melton CiCLE Classic heads for Melton Mowbray. Photo: Derek Bury EMN-150427-092833001

Steele Von Hoff became the second Australian to win the Rutland-Melton International CiCLE Classic cycle race in its 11th year yesterday (Sunday) as he snatched victory in a thrilling sprint finish.

The NFTO Pro Cycling rider’s victory was all the more remarkable because he battled back to get into contention after an early mechanical failure on the testing 180km course saw his chainring explode early in the ride.

However the 27-year-old rode aggressively and with the help of his team got back in the mix as the initial breakaway group, which included his team mate Ian Bibby, was swallowed up by the main peloton.

That left Von Hoff and One Pro Cycling’s Chris Opie at the front of the race but the latter dramatically punctured in the last few miles of the race. However remarkably his team kicked into action to pull him back to the front of the field as the leading group of about 50 riders entered the finish at Melton 10 minutes ahead of schedule because of the dry conditions.

Opie was able to contest the sprint with Von Hoff but didn’t quite have enough in his legs after concerting so much effort to get back in the mix.

Opie finished second and JLT Condor’s Harry Tanfield was third.

Melton CiCLE Classic sets off from Oakham: Photo: Derek Bury EMN-150427-092846001

Melton CiCLE Classic sets off from Oakham: Photo: Derek Bury EMN-150427-092846001

Closely behind them were AnPost-Chain Reaction’s Kiwi rider Aaron Gate in fourth and Raleigh GAC’s Ian Wilkinson in fifth.

However Von Hoff was shocked to discover he had won the race when he won a bunch sprint at the finish line in Melton as he had thought there were another four riders ahead of him.

In an interview with Cycling Weekly, Von Hoff said: “It was a real surprise because I thought there were four other riders away up the road.

“I thought there was a group that went earlier. I thought they were a long way off and we had no chance of catching up so I honestly thought we were sprinting for fifth.”

It is Von Hoff’s second victory of the season after winning the Jock Wadley Memorial.

Locally, Bourne rider and Peterborough Cycle Club resident professional Steve Lampier finished in 40th place but was only 20 seconds off the winner.

Lampier, riding for Team Raleigh GAC, was going very well but punctured at a vital time and the Raleigh team car struggled to get up to him in the chaotic conditions.

Results:

1 VON HOFF Steele NFTO Pro Cycling 04:16:15

2 OPIE Chris One Pro st

3 TANFIELD Harry JLT-Condor st

4 GATE Aaron An Post-Chain Reaction st

5 WILKINSON Ian Team Raleigh GAC st

6 VAN DIEMEN Jurgen Park Hotel Valkenburg Continental Team st

7 BEUKEBOOM Dion Park Hotel Valkenburg Continental Team st

8 BJERGFELT William SportGrub-Kuota st

9 OCKELOEN Jasper Park Hotel Valkenburg Continental Team st

10 PEYSKENS Dimitri Team 3M st

11 MOSES Thomas JLT-Condor st

12 PATON Alex Pedal Heaven RT st

13 DE JONGE Maarten Bike Aid st

14 TENNANT Andy Team Wiggins st

15 SYBRANDY Wouter Nunn-Sigma Sport-London RT st

16 APPLEBY Dale NFTO Pro Cycling st

17 MAXWELL Oliver SportGrub-Kuota st

18 NOLTEN Bram Park Hotel Valkenburg Continental Team st

19 ROWSELL Eric Madison-Genesis st

20 McCONVEY Connor Team 3M st

21 BARKER Yanto One Pro st

22 TANNER Jake Team 3M st

23 HANDLEY Richard JLT-Condor st

24 BIALOBLCKI Marcin One Pro st

25 AITKEN Roger Team Asea st

26 LAWLEY Steven Neon Velo Cycling Team st

27 SCULLY Thomas Madison-Genesis st

28 KNEISKY Morgan Team Raleigh GAC @10s

29 OLIPHANT Evan Team Raleigh GAC @13s

30 BIBBY Ian NFTO Pro Cycling st

31 WILLIAMS Peter One Pro @15s

32 MCNALLY Mark Madison-Genesis st

33 DOMAGALSKI Karol Team Raleigh GAC st

34 CERVENKA Martin AC Sparta Praha @18s

35 FLEEMAN Dan SportGrub-Kuota @22s

36 BECK Joschka Bike Aid @24s

37 HARRISON Sam NFTO Pro Cycling st

38 GOOVAERTS Tom CCT-Champion System st

39 NEWEY James Zappis Racing @26s

40 LAMPIER Steve Team Raleigh GAC st

41 FERGUSON Callum Zappis Racing st

42 LEWIS Gruffudd Pedal Heaven RT st

43 HAMPTON Russell Team Polypipe st

44 McEVOY Jonathan NFTO Pro Cycling @29s

45 MULLEN Ryan An Post-Chain Reaction @44s

46 BECIS Armands Reitumu-Delfin @52s

47 MORENO SALA Adria Velosure Starley Primal Pro Cycling @56s

48 NEALE Tom Catford CC-Equipe Banks @1:28

49 LORENTE Carlos Keith-Mobel-Partizan @2:06

50 DUNNE Connor An Post-Chain Reaction @2:54

51 STOHR Pavel AC Sparta Praha @3:07

52 STEWART Thomas Madison-Genesis @3:25

53 PATON Iain Team Wiggins @3:44

54 LOWE Samual Team Raleigh GAC @4:23

55 KENWAY Adam SportGrub-Kuota st

56 MOYE Anthony Easton-Ritte st

57 JUDD James Park Hotel Valkenburg Continental Team @4:49

58 BARRAS Tom NFTO Pro Cycling @5:36

59 HOUSE Kristian JLT-Condor @6:49

60 NORTHEY Michael Madison-Genesis @7:53

61 HORTON Tobyn Madison-Genesis st

62 SLATER Alistair An Post-Chain Reaction st

63 AULD Scott Zappis Racing st

64 DZERVUS Darijus CCT-Champion System st

65 WILLIAMS Stephen Pedal Heaven RT @9:18

66 McAULEY Ali Team Asea @10:56

67 MAYER Yannick Bike Aid @13:27

68 THOMPSON Mike Team Wiggins st

69 CARPENTER Lawrence Catford CC-Equipe Banks st

70 BICHLMANN Daniel Bike Aid st

71 ROBINSON Hugo Neon Velo Cycling Team st

72 REID Stuart Wheelbase-Altura-MGD st

73 HALES Jake Spirit Bikes Race Team @13:40

74 STOKES Bradley Achieve Skinnergate Racing st

75 LINES David Velosure Starley Primal Pro Cycling st

76 FIALA Petr AC Sparta Praha st

77 GULLEN James Velosure Starley Primal Pro Cycling st

78 STOHR Jan AC Sparta Praha st

79 MONTGOMERY David Team 3M st

80 STANNUS Jordan An Post-Chain Reaction st

81 STEDMAN Max Pedal Heaven RT st

82 TANFIELD Charlie Easton-Ritte st

83 TIPPER Jacob Neon Velo Cycling Team st