Waite salutes ‘magnificent’ Perfs team

Eventual winner Alex Paton on the front of the peloton. Picture: Keith Woodland (180117-059)
Eventual winner Alex Paton on the front of the peloton. Picture: Keith Woodland (180117-059)
Alex Paton wins the Perfs Pedal. Picture: Hugh McManus

Perfs relief for Paton after double trouble

Rupert Graham, left, with winner Alex Paton and third-placed Ben Marks. Picture: Hugh McManus

Graham keeping feet on ground after Perfs heroics

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Mick Waite toasted a successful 53rd Perfs Pedal and said: See you next year.

Canyon Eisberg’s Alex Paton clinched victory from Spirit Tifosi’s Rupert Graham, with Ben Marks, of Morvelo Basso, winning the bunch kick for third.

Action from the Perfs Pedal. Picture: Keith Woodland (180117-030)

Action from the Perfs Pedal. Picture: Keith Woodland (180117-030)

In a thrilling renewal of the traditional curtain-raiser to the British road racing season, the destination of the trophy was in the balance to the very end.

Waite, who organises the event on behalf of host club VC St Raphael, was left delighted by Sunday’s action.

And he sees no reason why his ‘magnificent’ team would not do it all again next year.

Waite said: ‘I’ve just got to accept when Christmas comes it is six weeks to Perfs and that’s that!

I’ve just got to accept when Christmas comes it is six weeks to Perfs and that’s that!

Mick Waite

‘But I will speak to Mick (Metcalf) because he has obviously taken on a lot of responsibility. You can’t do these races on your own.

‘I’ve got huge admiration for organisers who do this and work full-time as well. We’re retired, so we can choose when we do it.

‘The team we have are absolutely magnificent. Then you have the accredited marshalls, the NEG, you can’t have a safe race without them.

‘Of course it pushes the cost up but there is no price on safety. And I think the riders appreciate that.’

Waite and his volunteers put the signs out on the course in the rain on Saturday.

He was relieved to see the sun come out for the race but admitted conditions were not as easy as they appeared.

Strong winds and low temperatures made it a true test for the 85-strong peloton.

Waite added: ‘I was happy to get wet on Saturday! In fact, Rowan Horner and Mick got the wettest. I was driving the Transit. I just closed the window up!

‘A few of the riders might have been under a false illusion with the weather, where it was so sunny.

‘I’m not saying it was one of the most difficult Perfs but it was tougher than it looked.

‘I certainly wouldn’t take anything away from the riders there at the end. I think we have to say it went very, very well.’

While the results are provisional, Team Guernsey’s James Roe looks to have won the James Atherton & Richard Phillips-Schofield award as the best-placed category two rider from the British Cycling south region.

Fareham Wheelers talent James Brickell rode superbly to finish 38th in a group 4min 17sec behind the winner.