THE series winner in 2007, Richard Prebble (Candi TV-Pinarello) opened the 2009 series with a stylish victory at Tenterden, Kent, on Sunday.
Despite testing road conditions and a hilly course, Prebble managed an average speed of 26.2mph, and was fastest of the 62-strong field by 1-15 with his time of 55-22 for the two-lap version of the course which covered 24.2 miles.
Impressive though his time was, with just 14 senior riders there was precious little serious opposition for Prebble, with East Street Cycles? rider Chris Birch a non-starter through illness.
John Warnock (Twickenham CC) took second with 56:37, while only two others went under the hour mark.
Elsewhere, Preston Wheelers? Jimmy Wright scored another win over Lancashire rival Adrian Lawrence in the West Pennine RC hilly 14-mile event at Knowle Green on Saturday.
Wright clocked 34-31 to beat Lawrence by 15 seconds, while another Red Rose rider, Duncan Park (North Lancs RC) completed the podium with 35-52.
In-form Julie Cook (Altura RT) was best of the women, and turned in a superb time of 37-45 which was good enough to win the ladies prize by seven minutes, but also good enough to take tenth spot overall, beating many of the male riders.
Cambridge CC?s Doug Bradshaw won the Jim Perrin Memorial 25.5-mile Hardriders event in Essex on Sunday, staged in memory of the rider who was killed while competing on the A12 in 2003.
Scratch rider Paul Smith (PCA Ciclos Uno) was third, 35 seconds off Bradshaw?s pace, while API Metrow?s Mark Arnold was second, three seconds better than Smith.