Paul Oldham beats former Three Peaks multiple winners Rob Jebb and Nick Craig in the classic gruelling off-road event in Yorkshire
Paul Oldham beat Three Peaks legends Rob Jebb and Nick Craig in the 2015 edition of the classic cyclo-cross event in Yorkshire, while TORQ Performance’s Jules Toone won the women’s race.
Oldham, 38, is the first rider other than Craig or Jebb to win the race in 16 years, and the achievement is all the more remarkable considering Oldham has only recently returned from injury.
The Hope Factory Racing rider has had a great start to his season, winning the first three rounds of the Yorkshire Points Series.
However, the Three Peaks, an energy-sapping contest that takes in Whernside, Ingleborough and Pen-y-Ghent, presented Oldham with a tough test with last year’s winner, Jebb, coming off the back of three consecutive first place finishes.
Jebb and Craig were back again this year but couldn’t keep pace as Oldham stormed round in a time of 2:59.33. Jebb finished second in 3:00.49 and Craig was third in 3:03.59.
Watch: How does weight affect your climbing speed?
“I’ve been trying to win this since 1996,” said Oldham. “In that one I got carted off with hypothermia after falling off my bike and into a puddle. I was shoved in the back of a car and carted off.
“To win against Rob is amazing. Jebby is an absolute legend and he was only just second. He’s the best ever at this race and a world class athlete. I’ll try to be back to defend my title next year if I can. It would be nice.”
Mountain-biker Jules Toone, 32, was 139th overall and raced round in a time of 3:57.07. Second fastest woman was last year’s winner, Verity Appleyard of Brotherton Cycles. She came home in 4:01.22. The winner of the 2006 race, Isla Rowntree of Isalbikes, was third in 4:09.00.