The 90th anniversary season for Spalding Cycling Club is full of success stories, with many riders achieving personal bests, some returning to racing after injury and others completing various distance challenges.
While most of the club’s members have focussed on the more standard time trial distances of 10, 25 and 50 miles, racing secretary Sarah Bentley – 2016 women’s best all-rounder – has looked to the 100-mile and 12-hour distances as challenges this year.
Riding the East District Cycling Association’s 100-mile time trial on the rolling Attleborough, Queniborough and Wymondham course, she averaged over 21mph to finish on 4:57:30 which could mean an award for second or third place in the Vets results – although the outcome is not yet confirmed by the official results.
Meanwhile, a strong sense of deja vu surrounded round seven of the 10-mile Time Trial League.
In 2016, the out and back course was used due to re-surfacing works on the normal course and this season rounds six and seven have been held for the same reasons.
Weather conditions and competitor numbers were similar in 2016 and 2017.
Second in 2016 with 23:12, Ben Moore took first place in the club standings with 23:11.
Matt Ellis’ 22:32 this year was significantly quicker than his 2016 time but couldn’t quite match his 22:20 set in round six.
Overall the fastest three times came from guest riders Neil Palmer and Josh Wallis of Velo-One with 22:15 and 23.00 – both rode in 2016 finishing on 22.09 and 22.50.
The third time came from a new member to Bourne Wheelers and first-time visitor to Spalding events.
Tim Lister – despite being “slightly nervous” – posted a very creditable 24:31.
Fewer ladies have raced in recent weeks with Bentley and second claim member, Bowlphish Racing’s Tilly Gurney, being the notable exceptions.
Bentley put in another great ride – finishing with 29:14, just 11 seconds slower than the rain-swept round six but quicker than her 2016 ride time of 30:00.
Gurney followed up a great ride in the Wallingford Criterium with a strong Bowlphish team by adding another personal best to her collection with a fine 27:50 – a 1:25 beating of the previous time.
Having finished on 35:30 in 2016, Bill Wood made a return to competition after surgery with 39:23, and Team Swift’s Chris Ward also continues his recovery with 25:57.
Fenland Road Club’s Ian Fensom was fastest of a quartet who finished in the 26th minute on 25:01 with Ross McGivern (25:08), Frazer Wallis (25:20) and Andrew Gurney (25:42).
Other Spalding times: Simon Wright 26:08, Mark Hills 26:29, Tom Wright 27:44, Richard Flatters 28:04, Nigel Howard 28:51, Brian Johnson 31:35, Derek Chamberlain 32:16.