Cyclists out in force

THE spell of good weather last week coincided with the start of evening club time trials for the two local clubs, Kent Valley Road Club and Lancaster Cycling Club, although the other local evening time trial series, the PETTS at Barton, does not start until Tuesday, April 19.

Evident of the increasing popularity of cycling and cycle sport in the area, both of last week’s events attracted bumper fields for so early in the season. On Wednesday evening the Kent Valley 10 using the A6 course south of Milnthorpe had a field of 22 from which the fastest two were second claim members Callum Nicholson and Jonathon Knox, both riding for Team Wallis CHH this year.

The following night conditions were just about as good as you can get for early April and 47 riders turned out for the Lancaster CC/Salt Ayre Cog Set time trials on the Salt Ayre circuit. Seven young Cog Set riders rode the two mile time trial with Bobby Horton recording the fastest time of 7:15.

The six mile group is very competitive this year with some strong teenage riders coming through. Fabian Brennan set the course record in July last year with 14:59, the first rider under 15mins for the six miles, but in the first event of the year both he and Tim Birkett smashed the record with 14:29 and 14:16 respectively.

Twenty-five riders, more than half, chose to ride the 10 mile event with some good times recorded. Graham Hodgson, only returning to racing last year at 50, rode his fastest Salt Ayre 10 to win the event with 23:38 with Tim Norton the only other rider to break 24mins/25mph with 23:55.

Several riders recorded personal best times for the Saly Ayre 10 but two who rode their first event on the circuit, Andrew Paton and Luke Perkin, showed great promise with 25:05 and 25:59 respectively. There are time trials at the three distances scheduled at Salt Ayre every Thursday night until the end of August and if the first event is anything to go by it is going to be a record breaking season.

There was also a full weekend of open racing last weekend starting on Saturday afternoon with the Lancashire RC’s 10 mile TT on the A6 from Garstang to Hampson Green and back. With no afternoon events on the renowned Levens course this year the A6 course has seen a resurgence in popularity with 10 events.

Saturday’s event had a field of 83 of which nearly half got inside 24mins and the top 11 sub 22.

Team Wallis/CHH’s James Gullen was fastest of the three to record 20mins times with 20:11 backed up by team-mate Callum Nicholson with 22:18 but with no third counter it was left for Preston Wheelers to take the team award with John Morgan, recording 20:37 for third place, Luke Sollitt (21:56) and Paul Fleming (21:59).

Sunday’s time trial event was the second round of the RTTC/Rudy Project Time Trial Series on the Bassenthwaite Lake course. Winner of the men/espoirs category was the defending champion and winner of the first round Matthew Bottrill (I-Ride.co.uk) with 1:03:58 for two laps of the lakeside course (31.2miles), beating second placed Mark Holton (www.drag2zero.com) by 1:27.

In the Women’s event over one lap Lynn Hamel (Herbalife/Wheelbase) was fourth with 38:37, only 2:38 behind winner Chrissy Radon (Zappi’s CC) who recorded 35:59.

Also on Sunday was the fourth round of the CDNW Road Race League, Kent Valley Road Club’s Westmorland Tankard RR on the Old Hutton circuit. In a hard elite/1/2/3 cat race over 75 miles run at 25mph Maxgear RT’s Adam Yates was the winner, one of four elites in the top five places.

The 3/4 category event, over 56 miles at only a slightly slower 23mph, there was almost an epic win for the Lune’s Adrian Dalgleish. In his first RR of the season, having ridden some very good SpoCo time trials over recent weeks. Dalgleish intended on spending the first few laps in the bunch to re-find his road racing legs but he attacked out of the hairpin at Old Town on the first lap with the intent of stretching everyone’s legs a bit only to find himself with a sizeable gap.

Committed he set about time trialling away. Just over a lap later he was joined by Buxton CC’s Sam Clark and between them they opened up a gap of a minute over the next two laps. By the end of lap 4 it had stretched to 1:30 and 1:45 going into the last lap.

With no more time gaps (and none of the luxury of race radios of continental professionals) it came as a shock when they realised they were being caught with about 3 miles to go. They held off the peloton until the last mile when they were caught.

Totally spent they went straight through the bunch to finish in 35 and 36th place. The race was won by Francis Pilkington (Bill Nickson RT) from Garth McColville (Honister 92).

Lancaster CC’s Mike Wong, obviously finding the hilly events to his liking, improved on his seventh place the previous week at Capernwray to take sixth place just ahead of the Lune’s Gary Vose. Also in the top 10 was Biketreksracing.com’s John Dodgin in ninth place with his teammate Nicolas Bertrand just out of the points in 12th place just behind the Lune’s Neil Robinson.

Road racing moves nearer to home this weekend with the Aughton RR organised by the Lune RCC starting at Aughton Village Hall at 10am on Sunday and in time trialling there is the Barrow Central Wheelers 20mile SpoCo TT at Torver on Saturday afternoon and the Ribble Valley CRC 25mile TT at Garstang on Sunday morning.

Team News: The local sponsored teams have all been busy racing both locally and further afield and each has had some degree of success. The Herbalife/Wheelbase team have had some minor victories so far.

A forthnight ago, Sam Huddleston won the Junior event at the Border City Wheelers 25m TT and came third overall and that same weekend Simon Baxter won the Stokesley 10m TT, then last week he, Alastair Kay and Jamie Shirlaw competed in the Hambleton Circuit Races at RAF Leeming where Jamie missed out on a win by the smallest of margins.

This month things step up a gear with the team’s first major challenge of the season being at the season’s first Premier Calendar the Tesco Rutland - Melton International CiCLE Classic. Following on from that, the team are sending two squads away over Easter. One squad to The Easter Four Day in the North East and the second squad to The Tour of The North in Ireland.

Lancaster’s Vanillabikes.com team have won their first two races of the season. Harry Grey won the Pete Gannon Memorial last weekend and Adam Norris won the Spring Rumble on Saturday at Hog Hill. The team is building up to the Tour of Doonhame at Easter which will also see a number of notable local riders are riding including Ben Greenwood (Rapha/Condor/Sharp) and Matt Cronshaw (Team Raleigh).

Finally TeamWallis CHH, who have had considerable success in the early season time trials and had a win by Rob Crampton in the first of the Preston critriums last week, will be holding a team launch on Thursday, April 21, at 4pm. The event will be held at the newly renovated Wallis Cycles store, which is situated on Higher Walton Road, Higher Walton, Preston, followed by several of the riders competing in the Preston criterium event.

Results: KVRC - Milnthorpe 10 – 6/4/2011: 1 Callum Nicholson (Team Wallis CHH) 22:52; 2 Jonathon Knox (Team Wallis CHH) 23:28; 3 Dave Baxter 23:44; 4 Steve Hodgson 23:55; 5 Ashley Fynn (Cyclepremier/Metaltec) 24:22; 6 Andrew Barlow 24:44; 7 Nic Bertrand (Biketreks RT) 26:01; 8 Chris Stilling 26:04; 9 Glenn Haworth 26:49; 10 Nigel Hooler 27:2; 11 Richard Belk 27:14; 12 Stuart Mouncey 28:25; 13 Jamie Mullagh (U/Att 28:42; 14 Neil Stirling 28:51; 15 Gary Date (Inverse Racing) 29:17; 16 Louise McCall (L) (Inverse Racing) 29:52; 17 Fred Pickstone 30:32; 18 Robert Wharton 31:14; 19 Howard Richards 32:36; 20 Emily Wharton (L) 37:15; 21 Jim Lawley (Barrrow Cent Whls) Trike 37:28; 22 Tom Finn (J) 38:47.

Lancaster CC/SA CogSet – Salt Ayre TTs – 7/4/2011: Two miles: 1 Bobby Horton 7:15; 2 India Brennan 7:42; 3 Matty Alderson 8:02; 4 Xavier Brennan 8:05; 5 Saskia Hirst 9:03; 6 Flo Horton 9:38; 7 Amelia Hirst 9:54; SIX MILES: 1 Tim Birkett 14:16; 2 Fabian Brennan 14:29; 3 John Didsbury 15:04; 4 Callum Young 15:19; 5 Elliot Robertson 17:41; 6 Jess Atkinson 17:44; 7 Nigel Neil 18:23; 8 Sam Atkinson 18:37; 9 Nathan Clarey 18:50; 10 Cameron hirst 18:54; 11 Ethan Robertson 20:11; 12 Amy Monkhouse 20:38; 13 Jason Pullar 21:16; 14 Toby Oldham 23:27; 15 Jamie Morphet 24:37; TEN MILES: 1 Graham Hodgson 23:38; 2 Tim Norton 23:55; 3 Mark Monkhouse 24:30; 4 Mike Barlow 24:33; 5 Mark Brennan 24:50; 6 Andrew Paton 25:05; 7 Tom Oldham 25:06; 8 Keith Roberston 25:13; 9 Luke Perkin 25:59; 10 Ian Boydon 26:11; 11 Jon Barry 26:15; 12 Ken Peasnell 26:28; 13 David Trotter 26:28; 14 Howard Hirst 26:32; 15 Dave Horton 26:41; 16 Matthew Hirst 26:52; 17 Paul Tynan 27:38; 18 James Jackson 27:55; 19 Andrew Parker 28:36; 20 John Morphet 28:51; 21 Sam Baldwin 29:40; 22 Sue Holden 30:52; 23 Bethany Kettlewell 33:29; (Martyn Housley-Smith 23:34; Liz Housley-Smith 28:01; 11.5 laps only).