Barry claims hat-trick of personal best times

25 mile TT organiser Ed Holliday congratulates Barry Drew (right) on his latest PB
25 mile TT organiser Ed Holliday congratulates Barry Drew (right) on his latest PB

A busy few days for Spalding Cycling Club’s time triallists featured the Fenland Clarion’s hosted Hereward League race on their fast 9.8-mile Helpston course, the open 25-mile time trial on the Donington- Grantham and back course and the first 17-mile Club League event.

It was the dynamic duo of Neil Palmer and Chris Ward who led the Spalding charge at all three events.

But special mention must be given to Barry Drew who recorded personal bests in all three events as well as in the LRRA 50 in which he took a massive 17 minutes off his previous best.

In the Hereward League event Palmer was first Spalding rider home in 22:45 and eighth overall.

The event was won in 21:19 by Dave Langland of the host club, Ward took 13th in 23:06 while Simon Wright made up Spalding’s top three finishing in 24th on 24:57.

Joe Andrews stopped the clock on 25:48 for 27th place with Drew 36th, just over one minute further down on 26:51 – one of his PBs, and narrowly beating Gerry Charlwood by six seconds whose 26:57 was good enough for 37th place.

Ross McGivern was next back with 27:12 followed shortly after by Sarah and Gary Bentley – separated by just one second with 27:52 and 27:53.

Sophie Wright, making what is believed to be her Hereward League debut, followed up her recent PB with a fine 32.56.

On the following Sunday 43 riders faced timekeepers Sharon Fensom and Nikki Ellis for Spalding’s open 25-mile time trial in exceptionally good weather.

Organiser Ed Holliday did a great job and thanks go to all riders and all who assisted, marshalled and provided much-needed refreshments from which a £45 donation was raised for Lincs Air Ambulance.

The event was won by Ian Pike of Fenland Road Club in 57:09 from Richard Hamblin of Sleaford Wheelers (Chandlers Mitsubishi) 57:16 with Neil Palmer in third at 57:59 there were another five riders inside the hour – the last of those being Ward in 59:26.

First lady was Helen Eborall of Born to Bike Bridgtown Cycles with 1:02:18.

Wright was third Spalding rider home with 1:04:07 in 22nd place while ‘Mr PB’ took 1:08:16 to take 33rd place and 3rd on handicap time.

Sarah Bentley completed the course in 1:11:41 finishing in 37th and third lady.

Windy conditions faced the 19 riders who lined up for the first 17-mile League event, a non standard distance which stretches endurance and speed.

Despite that Palmer and Ward turned out times inside 40 minutes recording 38:57 and 39:34 with Andy Gurney third with a PB of 40:56. Andy Bowser took just 42:48 to achieve a fourth place PB – six minutes quicker than his 2013 time.

More reported PBs went to Wright 43:45, McGivern 46:26 and Drew 53:02.

Only one guest rider Callum McPartlin of Spalding Tri Club was present and he 
finished with 42:56 just one second ahead of Ben Moore 42:57.

Other times were: Joe Andrews 43:27, Ben Richards 45:21, Harry Bellars 46:20, Rob Boothman 47:01, Andy Foster 47:51, Gary Bentley 48:50, Derek Chamberlain 49:22, Mark Hills 50:59, Brian Johnson 53:31 and Chris Bettinson 54:14.