Gullen and Pullar help team to Chorley Grand Prix podium
James Gullen and Jack Pullar helped Pedal Heaven make their mark in the Chorley Grand Prix on Saturday.
Lancaster-based Gullen finished ninth and Pullar, from Bolton-le-Sands, was 16th in the 116-mile battle, which was won by NFTO’s Ed Bradbury.
But while individual success may have eluded the local duo, their outfit were celebrating after Dexter Gardias won the mountains classification on his way to third place and Ian Wilkinson clinched the sprints competition.
The high finishes of Gullen and Pullar also ensured Pedal Heaven were second in the team rankings behind rivals NFTO.
It all added up to an encouraging start for the squad, who were facing their first real test following promotion to UCI Continental level.
Directeur sportif Tim Elverson said: “We came to Chorley aiming to show people we were stepping up and we were going to be competitive at this next level.
“We definitely did that. Everyone did a really, really good job. Obviously you want to win it but a podium was certainly the target.
“Then we won the sprints with Wilko and the KOM with Dexter. So there were five places on the podium at the end of the race and we got three of those.
“It could have been even better, too. At one stage we had four riders in a select second group and, with a little support from other teams, the likes of Gullen and Pullar might have had an opportunity to ride across the gap before the final.
“But we cannot be disappointed. It is the start we hoped to have and the start we were capable of.
“We need to build from here and make this a consistent thing but ultimately we had a really good day out.”
Carnforth’s Matt Cronshaw, riding for Madison Genesis, finished 29th.
Gullen also enjoyed double success in time trials over the Easter weekend, taking his tally to five wins against the clock the season.
His brace included joining the exclusive sub-18 minute club when he clocked a stunning 17min 51sec to win the City Road Club 10 in Hull on Good Friday.