The annual Fred Kelly Memorial Road Race was taken over by Manx Viking Wheelers a few days before Sunday’s event.
The race was first held in 1974 when riders completed a southern loop of the island before climbing Ballamodha and Creg Willy’s.
They were then tasked with a northern loop, Tholt-y-Will and the mountain descent to finish at the Grandstand. Ramsey’s Gordon Gale won the inaugural one, but sadly died three days later of natural causes.
More recently the Fred Kelly was shortened to a loop of the Northern Plains, Tholt-y-Will, TT Course descent to Hillberry and finishing on Little Mill Road.
It changed to a shortened finish (lower side of the Bungalow on the Tholt-y-Will Road), 12 or 15 years ago.
This year’s edition consisted of five laps of the elongated Jurby course taking in Summerhill, Jurby East and West, Ballaugh Cronk and Sandygate. On completion of the fifth circuit, riders turned right at Sandygate crossroads and then headed to Sulby crossroads, followed by Sulby Glen and the Tholt-y-Will climb, finishing close to the entrance to Sulby Reservoir.
There was non-stop attacking from the go, with a group containing Zac Walker, Niall Colquitt, Tyler Annis, Rob Moneta, Oscar Gaylor and Will Curphey eventually establishing splitting to form a small lead on lap two of the Jurby course.
The gap narrowed and then Team TotalEnergies pro-rider Chris Lawless jumped across. Amongst those who did not make the connection were Tyler Hannay, Ralf Holden, Callum Salisbury and Niall Quiggin, who got to within a few seconds on lap four, when Lawless jumped, but then the gap opened back up again.
Once he got across the gap widened and the group all worked until the start of the Tholt-y-Will climb.
Walker went hard from the bottom, eventually dropping Lawless and finally Gaylor to finish 21 seconds clear.
The race strung out on the climb, with around one minute between the last of the front split and Holden at the front of the chasers, with the two lead groups dissolving.
There was then another gap before the younger youths - Cian Howard, Owen Collins and Orry Lund. The final group contained the three youth girls who had a great battle on the last climb with Ruby Oakes winning from Jess Pickavance and Sophie Smith. Also in that group were Harry Snape and Dom Dunwell.
The top three were awarded separately and didn’t count for category. First junior was Annis, first veteran Moneta, first youth Will Curphey and first Spaniard Alejandro Gonzalez. ߘ?
l Jim Cottier of Manx Road Club thanks Manx Viking Wheelers for organising the race in his absence.
Fred Kelly road race, Sunday (Jurby/Tholt-y-Will), Manx Viking Wheelers: 1, Zac Walker 1hr 40min; 2, Oscar Gaylor @21sec; 3, Chris Lawless @43; 4, Tyler Annis @1m 40s; 5, Niall Colquitt @1m 41s; 6, Will Curphey @1m 48s; 7, Rob Moneta @2m 06s; 8, Ralf Holden @3m 03s; 9, Callum Salisbury @3m 28s; 10, James Kinrade @4m 00s; 11, Tyler Hannay @4m 05s; 12, Niall Quiggin @4m 39s; 13, Mark Harrison @4m 40s; 14, James Meakin @5m 20s; 15, Cian Howard @11m 43s; 16, Owen Collins @12m 02s; 17, Orry Lund @ 12m 23s; 18, Nick Colburn @ 12m 54s; 19, Simon Harding @13m 01s; 20, Richard Fletcher @13m 25s; 21, Phil Knox; 22, Richard Gault; 23, Ruby Oakes; 24, Dominic Dunwell; 25, Harry Snape; 26, Jess Pickavance; 27, Sophie Smith. DNF (+1 lap): Steve Franklin, Tom Broad, Alejandro Gonzalez, Florence Griffin, Jose Rodriguez, Martino Maccia.
The Isle of Man Criterium Championships are taking place this evening (Thursday) at Jurby. It will be a 12-lap scratch race with all riders starting at the same time.