Harper, from St. Agnes and riding for the Duchy’s Saint Piran team, helped to instigate a key break on the fifth of seven laps between South Brent, Avonwick and Marley Head, and only Michael Ford of London’s Latchem Sunwise Race Team was still with him at the finish.

 Harper was too strong for Ford in the uphill sprint finish, but within minutes of crossing the line, the former ONE Pro Cycling rider was heading back down the course to help care for his teammate Jake Alderman, who had crashed just as the peloton was winding up for its own sprint.

Alderman sustained a shoulder injury in the fall, but was able to attend the post-race presentations.

Third on the day and second overall was Polish pre-race favourite Marcin Bialoblocki of Wiltshire’s Steele Davis-Via Roma squad.

Bialoblocki ended up regretting a 40-second penalty he picked up for arriving at his Haytor time-trial ‘slot’ a minute late in Saturday morning’s opening stage.

 Bialoblocki, who was faster on the Haytor hill than Harper, finished only 25 seconds down on the General Classification, so that penalty ultimately cost him victory.

“I wasn’t sure where the start-point for the time-trial was, but that was my fault,” said the popular ex-Grand Tour rider.

Double had made history by breaking the 39-year-old course record on Haytor.

He covered the iconic three-mile climb in 12mins 36secs, eight seconds faster than Jeff Williams (Manchester Wheelers) had done to win the national hill climb championships back in 1979.

Double even borrowed his father’s bike to ride the climb – his own best machine was back at his base in Italy.

He and all his closest rivals maintained their advantage during the second stage, a high-speed one-hour ‘Criterium’ at Paignton’s Torbay Velopark circuit on Saturday afternoon.

They included Exeter duo George Kimber (Team PB Performance) and university student Tom Nancarrow and two more local challengers, Torquay junior Harrison Wood from the host Mid-Devon CC and Buckfastleigh’s Ashley Towey of Somerset’s Team Tor 2000-Kalas team.

National Junior Hill Climb champion Kimber clocked 13.10 on Haytor, Nancarrow 13.11 and Wood and Towey both 13.31.

Bialoblocki also recorded 13.28, but his penalty left him on 14.08.

The tall Pole reduced that deficit by ten seconds, a bonus he picked up for finishing second in the ‘Crit’, won by Kieron Blay of Surrey’s TAAP Cervelo squad.

So it all rested on Sunday’s final stage, where Harper earned the win which Saint Piran had targeted from the start of the season.

Marked man Bialoblocki, a brilliant time-trialist, put in a trademark surge on the last lap to ride away from the peloton and finish third on his own, 18 seconds down on Harper and 25 seconds back overall.

Double, who was riding without any teammates to help him, battled bravely near the front of the race all day to finish third overall, commenting: “It would have been great to win, but I really came for the Haytor time-trial and I never expected to break the record, so I’m happy with that.”

Kimber, Nancarrow and Wood finished fifth, sixth and seventh, a great result for young local riders, with Wood as the First Junior and rider from the promoting Club Mid Devon CC.

Provisional GC

GC Time Position First Name Surname Club
4:10:51 1 William Harper Saint Piran
4:11:16 2 Marcin Bialoblocki Steele Davis Via Roma RT
4:11:17 3 Paul Double Zappi Racing Team
4:11:24 4 Michael Ford Latchem Sunwise Race Team
4:11:37 5 George Kimber Team PB Performance
4:11:38 6 Tom Nancarrow University of Exeter Cycling Club
4:11:58 7 Harrison Wood Mid Devon CC
4:11:59 8 Anthony Moye Spirit Tifosi Racing Team
4:12:10 9 Oscar Hutchings VCEquipe/FlixOralHygiene/Propulse
4:12:12 10 Lee Frost Tri UK
4:12:20 11 Neil Philips Kibosh
4:12:21 12 Ben Irvine TAAP Cervelo
4:12:22 13 Jacob Knight ZeroBC Development Team
4:12:27 14 Jake Hollins
4:12:34 15 Cameron Biddle Halesowen A & CC
4:12:37 16 Harrison Knight ZeroBC Development Team
4:12:37 16 Sean Frost Tri UK
4:12:37 18 Alex Fanshawe Saint Piran
4:12:39 19 Matt Langworthy Saint Piran
4:12:40 20 George Bazley Bristol RC
4:12:43 21 Ruari Grant Veloclub Edinburgh
4:12:43 21 Oliver Blagden BCR Racing
4:12:47 23 Kirk Vickers Rhino Velo Race Team
4:13:03 24 Sebastian Lewis VCEquipe/FlixOralHygiene/Propulse
4:13:10 25 Damien Clayton Kibosh
4:13:10 25 Oliver Hayward Rhino Velo Race Team
4:13:23 27 Oliver Winwood Bratchell Velo Club Venta
4:13:25 28 Alex Platt BCR Racing
4:13:31 29 William Bjergfelt Neon-Velo Cycling Team
4:13:41 30 Ashley Towey Team Tor 2000 KALAS
4:13:45 31 Jacob Aries Primera-TeamJobs
4:13:46 32 Will Tidball PH-MAS
4:13:52 33 Adam Toole BPF Cycling
4:14:09 34 Joe Donahue VCEquipe/FlixOralHygiene/Propulse
4:14:15 35 Ethan Lee VCEquipe/FlixOralHygiene/Propulse
4:14:25 36 George Smith Tri UK
4:15:16 37 Joshua Croxton Team Tor 2000 KALAS
4:15:33 38 Harvey McNaughton TAAP Cervelo
4:17:23 39 Matt Clarke Halesowen A & CC
4:17:31 40 George Skinner Norwood Paragon CC
4:18:37 41 Max Moyles Primera-TeamJobs
4:19:02 42 Ben Lockett Tri UK
4:19:12 43 Tom Fitzpatrick
4:20:07 44 Sol Warwick Penzance Wheelers
4:21:37 45 Andrew Critchlow HJL

Stage 1 Haytor ITT

1 Paul Double Zappi Racing Team 12:36 Course Record!
2 George Kimber Team PB Performance 13:10
3 Tom Nancarrow University of Exeter Cycling Club 13:11
4 Harrison Wood Mid Devon CC 13:31
4 Ashley Towey Team Tor 2000 KALAS 13:31
6 Anthony Moye Spirit Tifosi Racing Team 13:32
7 Oscar Hutchings VCEquipe/FlixOralHygiene/Propulse 13:43
8 Lee Frost Tri UK 13:45
9 William Harper Saint Piran 13:51
10 Neil Philips Kibosh 13:53
11 Ben Irvine TAAP Cervelo 13:54
12 Jacob Knight ZeroBC Development Team 13:55
13 Matt Clarke Halesowen A & CC 13:59
13 Alex Fanshawe Saint Piran 13:59
15 Jake Hollins 14:00
16 Cameron Biddle Halesowen A & CC 14:07
17 Marcin Bialoblocki Steele Davis Via Roma RT 14:08 Inc 40 sec penalty for late start
18 Sean Frost Tri UK 14:10
18 Harrison Knight ZeroBC Development Team 14:10
20 Matt Langworthy Saint Piran 14:12

Stage 2 Criterium – Torbay Velopark

1 Kieran Blay TAAP Cervelo 01:10
2 Marcin Bialoblocki Steele Davis Via Roma RT ST
3 Jake Alderman Saint Piran ST
4 Cameron Biddle Halesowen A & CC ST
5 Harvey McNaughton TAAP Cervelo ST
6 James Williams Team Tor 2000 KALAS ST
7 Sean Townsend VCEquipe/FlixOralHygiene/Propulse ST
8 Tom Nancarrow University of Exeter Cycling Club ST
9 William Tidball PH Maas ST
10 Max Moyles Primera- TeamJobs ST
11 William Bjergfelt Neon- Velo ST
12 Paul Double Zappi Racing Team ST
13 Neil Philips Kibosh ST
14 Lee Frost Tri UK ST
15 Harrison Knight ZeroBC Development Team ST
16 Kirk Vickers Rhino Velo ST
17 William Harper Saint Piran ST
18 Adam Toole BPF Cycling ST
19 George Bazley Bristol RC ST
19 Joshua Croxton Team Tor 2000 KALAS ST

Stage 3 Road Race South Brent

1 William Harper Saint Piran 02:46:09 00:00:00
2 Michael Ford Latchem Sunwise Race Team 02:46:15 00:00:06
3 Marcin Bialoblocki Steele Davis Via Roma RT 02:46:27 00:00:18
4 Harrison Knight ZeroBC Development Team 02:47:36 00:01:27
5 Harvey McNaughton TAAP Cervelo 02:47:36 00:01:27
6 Kirk Vickers Rhino Velo 02:47:36 00:01:27
7 Damien Clayton Kibosh 02:47:36 00:01:27
8 Cameron Biddle Halesowen A & CC 02:47:36 00:01:27
9 William Bjergfelt Neon- Velo 02:47:36 00:01:27
10 Andrew Critchlow HJL 02:47:36 00:01:27
11 Anthony Moye Spirit Tifosi Racing Team 02:47:36 00:01:27
12 Matt Langworthy Saint Piran 02:47:36 00:01:27
13 George Bazley Bristol RC 02:47:36 00:01:27
14 Ruari Grant Veloclub Edinburgh 02:47:36 00:01:27
15 Oliver Blagden BCR Racing 02:47:36 00:01:27
16 Neil Philips Kibosh 02:47:36 00:01:27
17 Harrison Wood Mid Devon CC 02:47:36 00:01:27
18 Tom Nancarrow University of Exeter Cycling Club 02:47:36 00:01:27
19 Oscar Hutchings VCEquipe/FlixOralHygiene/Propulse 02:47:36 00:01:27
20 George Skinner Norwood Paragon CC 02:47:36 00:01:27

Thanks go to all the teams for battling against the worst that the weather could throw against them to race. Thanks also go to all MDCC members, marshalls, sign on, drivers, finishing judges, NEG,  and the Police. Special thanks to Ken Robertson for his invaluable guidance.

Credit: Dave Thomas: Devon Live https://www.devonlive.com/sport/other-sport/harper-delivers-goods-haytor-record-1461097

Photo’s – Exeter Uni CC, Andy Style, D Carroll