RISING star Cat Ferguson shrugged off a crash to scorch to a brilliant victory at the top of Saltburn Bank at the inaugural East Cleveland Classic.

The 17-year-old WorldTour prospect,  of Shibden Apex Racing Team, won the women's race as top class cycling came to Teesside, while Saint Piran's Rowan Baker came out on top in the men's race.

Racing got underway at 9am under blue skies, with 97 female riders embarking on four laps of the undulating course around the seaside towns of Redcar and Cleveland.

Ferguson, from Skipton, and teammate Imogen Wolff led a group of six riders over the first ascent of Saltburn bank. The teams most represented at the front seemingly wanted to control the race and keep the other riders in check.

A small third lap attack from Jessica Finney, of Doltcini – O’Shea, and Tamsin Miller, of DAS-Hutchinson-Brother was quickly quelled by the chasing peloton.

Eventual winner Ferguson crashed just before the riders climbed Saltburn Bank for the penultimate time and had to change to a new bike she'd never ridden before. The teenager’s race looked to be over, but the newest member of the women’s WorldTour put in an almighty effort to chase the raging peloton and eventually got back in the mix.

With the peloton climbing Saltburn Bank for the fourth and final time, battered and bruised Ferguson wound up her legs, took one look over her shoulder and attacked.

Ferguson crossed the line three seconds ahead of Eilidh Shaw, of Alba Development Road Team. Ferguson’s teammate Imogen Wolff rounded out the podium six seconds back.

Shaw is now the new leader of the National Road Series standings and her Alba Development Road squad top the team table.

With the impressive victory, Ferguson underlined why WorldTour outfit Movistar Team have taken a chance on the teenager. She'll join the professional team next year.


Conditions had changed by the time the men took to the roads, with winds howling across the course, making for an attritional race for the 130 riders.

Unlike the women’s race, attacks came in abundance. Saint Piran set out to once again prove their dominance on the UK domestic scene. The first move to go included one of their riders and eventual winner Baker, with Dom Jackson of Foran CT and Tom Martin of Wheelbase CabTech Castelli. The trio gained a 10-second advantage before being reeled back in.

On the third lap, Saint Piran asserted their dominance with Baker once again making a break and gaining a 15-second lead on the peloton before being caught with 78km to go. Saint Piran then sent teammate Rhys Robotham to attack the race, gaining a small advantage.

These attacks and the blustery conditions had started to thin out the chasing group behind with the race being split to pieces.

On the penultimate lap and with the finale looming large, Baker, Robotham and Thomas Mein of PROJECT 1 Cycling team eked out a gap that grew to over 30-seconds.

Mein couldn’t hack the pace of the raging Saint Piran duo and was eventually dropped by the pairing on the final lap.

With Baker pushing hard on the pedals, teammate Robotham eventually ran out of energy and let his teammate push ahead. 

Baker came across the finish line solo and secured victory by an outstanding 48-seconds.

The race for second was between another two Saint Piran riders, James Mckay, Dylan Hicks and Tim Shoreman, of Wheelbase Cabtech Castelli. After a sprint to the line, Shoreman sealed second, Mckay rounded out the podium in third and Hicks finished in fourth.

The victory proved shows once again Saint Piran’s vice grip on the UK peloton. The Cornish based team take the lead in the team standings in the National Road Series and its impossible to think of a situation where they wouldn’t keep hold of this until the end of the season.

Official Results

Women's Race:

1. Cat Ferguson – MOVISTAR – Shibden Apex RT

2. Eilidh Shaw – Alba Development Road Team

3. Imogen Wolff – Shibden Apex RT

Sprint Classification:

1. Imogen Wolff – Shibden Apex RT

2. Cat Ferguson -Shibden Apex RT

3. Charlotte Hodgkins-Byrne – DAS-Hutchinson-Brother UK

Open Race:

1. Rowan Baker – Saint Piran

2. Tim Shoreman – Wheelbase CabTech Castelli

3. James McKay – Saint Piran

Sprint Classification:

1. Edward Morgan – Spectra Racing

2. George Kimber – Spirit TBW Stuart Hall Cycling

3. Thomas Mein – PROJECT 1 Cycling Team