One-two for Pedal Heaven pair in ‘savage’ road race

Jack Pullar in action during the Jim Rogers Memorial Road Race. Picture: Ellen Isherwood
Jack Pullar in action during the Jim Rogers Memorial Road Race. Picture: Ellen Isherwood
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Jack Pullar has toasted James Gullen’s victory in the ‘savage’ Jim Rogers Memorial Road Race on Sunday.

The Bolton-le-Sands rider crossed the line in second place to complete an impressive one-two for Pedal Heaven on the Dolphinholme course he regards as one of the toughest in the UK.

James Gullen wins the Jim Rogers Memorial Road Race. Picture: Ellen Isherwood

James Gullen wins the Jim Rogers Memorial Road Race. Picture: Ellen Isherwood

Pullar reckons the result, which saw him and Lancaster-based Gullen nullify the threat of Madison Genesis talent Tom Stewart, underlines their good early-season form.

The 26-year-old said: “The course is probably the hardest in the UK. It is savage. There is no flat in it, you are up and down all day.

“James and I had talked quite a bit about it before the race. We discussed what we could do to guarantee a Pedal Heaven win.

“The only way we thought we could make sure of it was for James to get away on his own. He can solo a race, while I would normally have to wait for a sprint.

“So we attacked on the main climb with two laps to go, Tom followed us and then it was just a question of one of us making him work.

“We both attacked a bit and then James got away. That meant I could just sit there with Tom. So it worked out perfectly really.

“James is in great form. He is going really well and we are both way, way above where we have been in the past couple of years. It was really good.”

Gullen’s triumph, which backs up two record-breaking time trial wins and a crit success in little more than a fortnight, went some way to alleviating the frustration of a gut-wrenching defeat for the UCI Continental team in the Eddie Soens Memorial Road Race at Aintree Racecourse the previous day.

Pullar attacked with around a kilometre to go but was caught on the line as his Pedal Heaven team-mate Ian Wilkinson was beaten into second in the sprint by Catford’s Bertie Newey.

The 2012 national hill climb champion said: “I turned the last corner, which came with about 200m to go, into a block headwind and I just parked up!

“When it came to the actual finish line there was around a foot between the three of us. It was so, so close.”