Cycling: McKay on his mettle as mountaineer: Norwegians spring surprise as Simensen's move to Lillywhite's shoulder has the top Banana running scared

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The Independent Online
AS THE race leader Chris Lillywhite stewed in the uncertainty of what the next day would bring, Mark McKay was ruthless in claiming the red colours of the King of the Mountains for Britain.

This is McKay's first Milk Race, and he has ridden it like a veteran. Yesterday, in the Pennines, he almost tore the mountain leader's jersey from the shoulders of Kazakhstan's Andrei Mizourov. He was only two points behind as the race left Sheffield, but he got the better of Mizourov on four of the five climbs.

'I think it broke his heart after I beat him on the second climb, and his head dropped,' McKay said after picking himself up from a tumble on the finishing circuit.

Lillywhite's labours are not so efficiently disposed. He has suffered agonies and anxiety as pretenders to his throne vigorously pop into contention each day. Yesterday Ole Simensen made his move, and now is the chief challenger, just 20 seconds behind the Banana professional. The Norwegian chased and caught the three leaders on the finishing circuit, and although he had nothing left for the cobbled climb to the chequered flag, fourth place was sufficient to scare the Banana bunch.

Before Simensen's surge, the Banana men had to be watchful when Australia's Grant Rice attacked after seven miles. He was joined by the Dutchman Marc Lotz, who was no threat, but Rice was only five minutes in arrears. Their lead went to more than two and a half minutes before the alarm bells rang.

Later they missed Simensen's break, but were relieved he did not snaffle any of the first three's time bonuses. The 15- second bonus fell to Alex Nadobenko, who bounced up and down the kerb in the finishing straight but held on to give Kazakhstan their first success.

MILK RACE Stage 10 (Sheffield to Liverpool, 116.5 miles): 1 A Nadobenko (Kazakhstan) 4hr 33min 29sec; 2 G Beneke (SA, Southern Sun); 3 J Charlesworth (Britannia); 4 O Simensen (Norway) all same time; 5 M Illingworth (Britannia) +31sec; 6 C Andersen (Denmark); 7 C Lillywhite (GB, Banana); 8 F Hoej (Denmark); 9 R de Poel (Netherlands); 10 G Rice (Australia) all s/t. Stage team: 1 Britannia 13hr 41min 24sec; 2 Norway +5sec; 3 Australia +30.

Overall: 1 C Lillywhite 38hr 33min 10sec; 2 Simensen +20sec; 3 D Kovar (Czech Republic) +25; 4 A Kivilev (Kazakhstan) +30; 5 B Smith (GB, Banana) +37; 6 C Henry (Ireland) +41; 7 N Mattan (Belgium) +45; 8 M Rendell (New Zealand) +46; 9 N van der Steen (Netherlands) +48; 10 M Stephens (GB Amateur) +1min 13sec. Overall team: 1 Norway 115hr 25min 36sec; 2 Denmark +2min 31sec; 3 GB Amateur +3:48.

King of the Mountains: 1 M McKay (GB Amateur) 92pts; 2 R Romanik (Poland) 76; 3 A Mizourov (Kazakhstan) 74. Sprints: 1 J Mickiewicz (Poland) 24; 2 Nadobenko 13; 3 B Smith 12. Points: 1 M van Steen (Netherlands) 70; 2 Lillywhite 62; 3 Rice 53.