Teesside Clarion Christmas Day '10'
Paul Curran, Britain's top road man for the last four years and double Commonwealth Games champion, took his leave of amateur racing in classic style yesterday when he set a new course record in the Teesside Clarion 10 miles time trial at Saltburn.
The Stockton rider, aged 27, rides few time trials during the season but this particular event has been a Christmas Day "must" for him since he was 15.
He won yesterday's trial in 22min 57sec to break his own record by 17 seconds, a midwinter time with which he was well pleased in view of the breezy conditions. His closest challenger was a local rider, Neville Jackson, who finished 1min l3sec in arrears.
After his win Curran, who turns professional for the Percy Bilton team on January 1, said: "I shall miss amateur events like this. There's such a good spirit among the riders
Curran, who for the last four years has declined a professional career, is the master of the lone breakaway in the final miles of a road race and will certainly use that tactic next year, initially."Pro racing will be different I know," he said, "but I want to settle down as quickly as I can and make a mark among a lot of riders for whom I have respect."
1. Paul Curran (Manchester Wh) 22 57
2. Neville Jackson 24 10
By Peter Bryan