Ben hits back for podium place

Gary Bentley
Gary Bentley

Witham Wheelers hosted their round of the Lincolnshire Cyclo Cross League on the testing Church Farm circuit.

Despite a technical setback prior to the start of his race Ben Norton achieved another podium result in the under-12s race with 
a fine third place while Velvet Bowser took the second girl award after finishing eighth overall.

No Spalding youth riders took part in this event so it was down to the veterans to fly the flag for the club in a race which from the start was fast and furious with the top three places separated by just 35 seconds.

Only 24 finished in the same lap but no Spalding jerseys were present.

Chris Peel was Spalding’s first rider home in 41st place with Tom Webster close behind in 43rd good enough for 15th place in the V50 Category.

The 18th and 22nd places in the same category were filled by Gary Bentley in 50th overall and Chris Bettinson who completed the race in 59th place.

Sam Bentley started the seniors race but was forced to abandon with mechanical problems.

A clash of dates with the Grafham Water round of the Eastern Cyclo Cross League and the Arrow Cycles round of the Lincs League meant Spalding were represented in both, although only three took the long journey to Louth.

In the Lincs League event at Hubbard’s Farm, Jake Norton – riding as usual in his Sherwood Pines SRAM RT kit – put in a fine solo ride to win the youths race nearly one-and-three-quarter minutes clear of second-placed Bradley Sprogis of Paul Milnes Cycles.

Ben Norton finished his under-12 race without making it onto the podium having to settle for fifth overall.

Gary Bentley, continuing a consistent season, posted 47th place overall in the veterans race and 17th in the V50 category.

At Grafham, Matt Ellis – representing his Sherwood Pines SRAM RT team – finished second in the youths race, 15 seconds down on the winner.

Racing in wet, muddy and foggy conditions, both had crashed but overcame that setback to stay at front of the 65-strong field.

Conditions improved during the morning and all three veterans – Simon Wright, Stewart Elderkin and Chris Bettinson – took advantage of that to ride 
well on a challenging course.

In his first event of the season Elderkin had to start towards the back of the field of 70 riders so had to work hard to make up ground.

Eventually that work paid off and after catching Wright, the pair worked together over the remaining laps – posting places of 58th and 59th respectively.

The Vets 50+ race saw Bettinson crash in the water jump but despite that he put in fine ride, finishing 41st overall in a field of 72 riders.