Racing season in full swing

NOW that (early) summer is here and the rain has arrived the racing season is in full swing with local events every day last week bar Friday, the traditional recovery/rest days.

Tuesday evening saw the fifth event in the Salt Ayre Cycling Association/VannilaBikes.com League 2011 and, despite the forecast, conditions were dry with the sun trying to break out on occasions.

After several short youth races in which the Salt Ayre Cog Set were well represented the main event of the evening got underway with nearly 50 riders taking to the track for the senor league criterium.

With a fast pace from the start, the many attempts to form breakaways were all quickly thwarted and it came down to a bunch sprint with the current league leader, Julian Pearson (Teamwallis CHH) taking third place to extend his lead over his main rival for the top spot Sam Jackson (Herbalife/Wheelbase) who finished in eighth place, to 12 points.

Lune RCC riders Andy Pickering and Ian Rutherford and Lancaster CC’s Graham Atkinson all finished in the points (fourth, fifth and ninth respectively) to maintain their top 10 league spots.

Wednesday evening saw the Kent Valley run their second event of the week having earlier held a Jungle Cafe TT on Monday evening on the A6 north of Kendal.

Dave Baxter, who is having an exceptionally good season of club TTs, won both Monday’s race and Wednesday’s Milnthorpe 10 with Jonathon Knox second on Monday and third on Wednesday behind Lancaster CC’s Dave Chell.

Thursday’s Lancaster CC/Salt Ayre Cog Set time trials on a cold and windy evening with the threat of rain had a surprisingly large field of 56 riders including 29 for the 10 alone. Although it looked like being a slow night some excellent times were recorded. Emily Ingham went steady as ever to take the two mile event ahead of first timer Sarah Didsbury.

In the six-miler Callum Young won for the fourth time in succession, got under 15 minutes, within striking distance of Tim Birkett’s 14:16 record and beat senior Jon Barry into the bargain but then Jon had just travelled up from Lowestoft and acted as starting steward for the first 55 riders before off himself for a six mile TT. Thank you Jon.

In the 10 however there were several PBs or best times since comeback recorded with the first record of the night going to Ella Sadler Andrews (Horizon Fitness) who recorded 24:14 to break Leanne Thompson’s 2009 women’s record of 25:06.

The evening’s fastest time (and rider who gave Jan and co at the finish the most worries such was his exhaustion) was that of Adrian Dalgleish.

It was the Lune RCC rider’s first try at time trialling on the Salt Ayre track and he set a new course record of 21:50, knocking 15 seconds off John Ingham’s 2010 record of 22:05. John unfortunately was DNF following a trackside incident but his first two lap split times of 1:46 and 1:47 suggest he was on course for a low 22 minute ride. Great ride by Adrian nonetheless and it is hoped the two will go head to head again soon.

Saturday afternoon saw 62 riders in the West Pennine RC’s open 10 on the Garstang – Hampson Green course. Mark Holton (www.drag2zero.com) recorded the fastest time of 19:57 with TeamWallis CHH’s James Gullen second in 20:33. Fastest under 18 rider by nearly two minutes was Sam Huddleston (Herbalife/Wheelbase) with 22:26 which was good enough for sixth place overall.

Sunday saw a clash of events with both the Lancaster CC and the Lune RCC promoting morning events in wet conditions with, typically, the weather brightening up in the afternoon. Lancaster’s event was the annual Open 50 on the Cockermouth to Keswick course. Although a good course on a good day this course seldom attracts large fields for the longer distance events probably due to the round trip of upwards of 150 miles and the fickle nature of the weather in Northern Cumbria.

A disappointingly low entry of 32 was further reduced to 22 starters when Sunday dawned more like a cold, wet March morning rather than mid-May.

Despite the conditions three riders managed to get under two hours, the fastest being Julian Markham (Preston CC) returning in 1:53:40 with previous winner Brian Payton (VC Cumbria) second in 1:55:14 and Julian’s teammate, Matt Moorhouse, third (and second counter in the winning team the other being Jose Pinon-Shaw with 2:01:55) in 1:56:34.

Post event many riders offered their sincere thanks to all the marshals and officials standing out in the cold and wet for nearly three hours.

The Lune RCC’s event was a 84km road race for 2/3/4/J riders over six laps of the hard Capernwray course which includes the tough 2km climb up past Capernwray Hall to the finish at Lord’s Lot Woods on each of the six laps. The race winning break went away at the beginning of the second lap when Jack Cutsforth (Herbalife/Wheelbase), Callum Nicholson (TeamWallis CHH) and Sam Ward (Will Bros RT) went clear, soon gaining a 15s advantage on the bunch.

On the second ascent of the climb Sam Boast (Cycle Sport Pendle) broke away in pursuit followed by Scott Easter (Team Felt) Jack Penrice (S-i-S) and John Hopkinson (Aire Valley). Boast closed the gap alone but it was not until the fourth lap that the other three managed to close the gap with the bunch at 1:15. Jack Cutsforth mastered the final climb and sprint to take the win ahead of Sam Boast and Calum Nicholson with Harry Grey (Vanillabikes) heading the rest of the field in eighth place.

Finally some non-racing news. In 1996 a group of eight members of Lancaster CC and Kent Valley RC completed the ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats in seven and a half days.

Ten years later, in 2006, a larger group including three from LEJoG96 took eight days for the jaunt. Now five years on, Bob Jessop with LEJoG96 and LEJoG06 to his credit is hitting the road again for LEJoG2011.

This time though he is doing it solo, following the same route and schedule as 2006; no sheltering in the bunch; no back up vehicle with an endless supply of bananas. Further details of Bob’s ride which started on May 19 (arriving in Lancaster on the 22nd) and a link to sponsor him for his chosen charities Cardiac Risk in the Young and Freedom from Torture will be found on the news section of the Lancaster CC website www.lancastercc.co.uk.

Results: KVRC – Jungle Hilly TT – 09/05/2011: 1 Dave Baxter 30:19; 2 Jonathon Knox (J) 31:12; 3 Andrew Barlow 32:36; 4 James Knox (J) 34:38; 5 Ian Jackson 34:38; 6 Richard Belk 37:00; 7 KevinPreston 39:17; 8 Neil Stirling 40:15; 9 Kath Finn (L) 46:52.

Salt Ayre Cycling Association/VannilaBikes.com League 2011 – ‘Event 5’ 10/05/2010: 1 James Claydon (Sportcity Velo); 2 Jack Sadler (Herbalife/Wheelbase); 3 Julian Pearson (Teamwallis CHH); 4 Andy Pickering (Lune RCC); 5 Ian Rutherford (Lune RCC); 6 Mark Hammond (BC PM); 7 Chris Wade (Aire Valley); 8 Sam Jackson (Herbalife/Wheelbase); 9 Graham Atkinson (Lancaster CC); 10 Dan Whelan (Maxgear RT); League Standings after 5 events: 1 Julian Pearson (Teamwallis CHH) 62 Points; 2 Sam Jackson (Herbalife/Wheelbase) 50p; 3 Jack Sadler (Herbalife/Wheelbase) 40p; 4 Andrew Pickering (Lune RCC) 35p; 4 James Claydon (Sports City Velo) 35p.

KVRC - Milnthorpe ‘10’ – 11/05/2011: 1 Dave Baxter 22:53; 2 Dave Chell 23:31; 3 Jonathon Knox(J) 23:43; 4 Andrew Barlow 24:02; 5 Luke Osborne 24:13; 6 Steve Hodgson 24:28; 7 Chris Dixon 24:32; 8 James Knox (J) 25:05; 9 Tim Bennett 25:19; 10 Ian Jackson 25:19; 11 Stuart Mounsey 25:23; 12 Dave Wilkinson 26:08; 13 Glenn Haworth 26:30; 14 Richard Belk 26:50; 15 Richard Fawcett 27:25; 16 Neil Stirling 27:50; 17 Kris Baldock 27:58; 18 Neil Robinson (Gst) 27:59; 19 Fred Pickstone 29:04; 20 Sharon Padley (L) 29:58; 21 Gary Fawcett 30:23; 22 Tony Wilson (Gst) 31:00; 23 Caroline Bell (L) 31:25; 24 Emily Clark (L) 31:40; Garry & Eve Dixon (2-UP) 26:34.

Lancaster CC/SA CogSet – Salt Ayre TT’s – 12/05/2011: TWO MILES: 1 Emily Ingham 7:24; 2 Sarah Didsbury 7:50; 3 Abby Trowse 8:03; 4 Saskia Hirst 8:21; 5 Mia Johnson 8:28; 6 Sophie Hamilton 8:49; 7 Louise Didsbury 8:52; 8 Flo Horton 8:52; 9 Amelia Hirst 9:02; 10 Ale:Hirst 10:24; 11 Lewis Trowse 10:45; SIX MILES: 1 Callum Young 14:54; 2 Jon Barry (LCC) 15:34; 3 John Didsbury 16:09; 4 Elliot Robertson 16:53; 5 Sam Monkhouse 18:13; 6 Nathan Clarey 18:21; 7 Bailey Johnson 18:30; 8 Cameron Hirst 18:50; 9 Ethan Robertson 19:59; 10 Ben Hamilton 20:01; 11 Jason Pullar 20:06; 12 Ross Dorrington 21:08; 13 Amy Monkhouse 21:39; 14 Bobby Horton 22:36; 15 Mary Neil 23:49; 16 Kit Nolan Barnes 24:12; TEN MILES: 1 Adrian Dalgleish (Lune RCC) 21:50; 2 Harry Tarrant (LUCC) 22:39; 3 Dave Chell 22:39; 4 Graham Hodgson 22:59; 5 John Callaghan (Raventhorpe CC) 23:58; 6 Mark Monkhouse 24:01; 7 Mike Barlow 24:05; 8 Ella Sadler Andrews (Horizon Fitness) 24:14; 9 Paul Tynan 24:40; 10 James Kennedy (LUCC) 24:59; 11 Keith Robertson 25:00; 12 Jason Shane (LUCC) 25:16; 13 David Switzer (Lune RCC) 25:23; 14 Andrew Parker 25:40; 15 Peter Hailwood (LUCC) 25:48; 16 Neil Slater 25:54; 17 Dave Horton 25:57; 18 Brian Murray 26:32; 19 Ken Peasnell 26:37; 20 Adrian Hamilton 27:04; 21 David Trotter 27:13; 22 Jamie Edgecombe (LUCC) 28:17; 23 Jane Applegarth 29:46; 24 Suzanne Monkhouse 29:48; 25 James Hulme (LUCC) 30:22; 26 Jack Pullar 30:37; 27 Sue Holden 30:57; 28 Nigel Neil 31:45; John Ingham DNF.

Lancaster CC – Open 50mile TT – 15/05/2011: 1 Julian Markham (Preston CC) 1:53:40; 2 Brian Payton (VC Cumbria) 1:55:14; 3 Matt Moorhouse (Preston CC) 1:56:34; 4 David Turner (Cleveleys RC) 1:57:29; 5 Paul Russell (Cleveleys RC) 2:00:33; Andrew Barlow (KVRC) 2:06:20; Richard Belk (KVRC) 2:20:36.

Lune RCC - Capernwray RR – 15/05/2011: 1 Jack Cutsforth (Herbalife/Wheelbase); 2 Sam Boast (CS Pendle); 3 Calum Nicholson (Team Wallis) CHH; 4 Sam Ward (Wills Bros); 5 Jack Penrice (S-i-S); 6 John Hopkinson (Aire Valley); 7 Scot Easter (Team Felt); 8 Harry Grey (Vanillabikes); 9 Stuart Percival (Fire Sevice); 10 Jack Bowyer (Team Wallis).