Ready To Go
With the rider presentation in progress tonight in the centre of York everything is in place for the first ever stage tomorrow. But a tour stage running between Bridlington and Scarborough is nothing new. So to set the scene here is a report of the 1965 Milk Race stage between the two coastal towns. Then the route was 22 km longer than tomorrow will be but it is still interesting to see that this year’s stage is expected to take around 4hr15 compared to a time of 5hr11 in 1965.
Milk Race Stage 11: Bridlington-Scarborough, 122m (196km)
Dateline: CYCLING, 19 June 1965
After their sensational leap upwards on the stage to Bridlington, the PoIes were again in the news on the next day's big loop to Scarborough - just 18 miles by direct route but 122 miles as the riders went.
With first and third placing, the day would appear to have belonged to Poland, but it was third placed Les West who really benefited from the winning break for the two Poles, Wladyslaw Kotlowski and Antoni Palka, were both relatively lowly placed on general classification. ‘Our men were wrong to work in the break while race leader Janiak was behind in the chasing group’ said the angry Polish manager. It was a strange reversal of the previous day's racing when West was imprisoned in the bunch while two of his team-mates helped the Pole to capture the yellow jersey.
It was Kotlowski who got the verdict at the line. Derek Hepple, Great Britain, protested vociferously that the Pole had switched him across the road
The protest was over-ruled and the North Easterner was a disgrutled second.
The break had developed early when John Bettinson, Great Britain, and Palka went away after 20 miles. By 40 miles the leading group had grown to seven riders and through only Palka and Hepple were to stay there to the finish, everything revolved around this group for, as one man dropped back, another moved up to replace him in a constantly changing pattern. right up until the final five established themselves just before the final prime.
But a lot had happened before then. Up the breath-taking ramp of Sutton Bank, top climber Jose Gomez, Spain, jumped clear of the others to take the prime, cheered on by a large crowd of enthusiasts, basking in the hot sun. The break straggled out on the climb, but the bunch came up in a compact mass, led by Arthur Metcalfe, with one or two running the last few yards just to relax their shattered limbs for a few moments.
Over the top, a strong cross-wind wrought havoc. The bunch were literally blown over onto the wrong side of the road and we had the amazing sight of cars passing the bunch on the inside with no trouble. Luckily the road soon swung the other way and the danger was over. Les West was moving up to the break by now and several small packets had also detached themselves.
Then suddenly, Kotlowski and Charlie Booth - the day’s revelation - were up to, and past, the break. Immeadiately, Derek Hepple, Les West and Antoni Palka reacted and went up to join them. This was it and, despite the fact that only the Poles seemed to be working hard - Hepple defending for his team and West waiting to see how it developed before he too began to flog at the front - they moved clear.
The bunch were now at three-and-a-quarter minutes and, in between, a chasing group was beginning to evolve. Janiak had now moved up into the picture as had previous leader Santamarina, but they were too late ...
1. Wladyslaw Kotlowski (P) 5-11-17
2. Derek Hepple (GB)
3. Antoni Palka (P)
4. Les West (Mid)
5. Charlie Booth (North)
6. L-P Santamarina (Sp) at 1-43