CYCLING: Palmer two minutes clear in 25-mile time trial

Natalie Tooley was second lady in the Interclub 25.
Natalie Tooley was second lady in the Interclub 25.

The usual mid-season change from 10-mile time trialling to the more challenging distance of 17 miles coincided with the South Lincs Interclub 25-mile Time Trial.

Having previously been the winners of this event, Spalding again put out a strong team to ride against Bourne Wheelers, Sleaford Wheelers and Boston Wheelers as well as guests Velo-One.

Hosted by Sleaford and using the familiar Donington course on one of the better evenings of the year, fast times were clearly expected.

First back was Velo-One’s Neil Palmer – who had been part of the winning Spalding team – crossing the line in 54:46 almost two minutes clear of Sleaford’s George Thompson on 56:39 and Tom Comben of Bourne in 57:50.

Ben Moore of Spalding posted a fantastic fourth place in 58:23.

His ride separated out some fast times from other Sleaford riders but in the end their times gained them the team prize.

Continuing his fine return to form after early-season illness, eighth-placed Andy Bowser’s efforts to get inside the hour faded – missing out by 24 seconds.

Simon Wright was next in on 12th overall in a time of 1:04:34 over a minute quicker than Mark Hills (1:05:51).

Enjoying a season of good results, Chris Bettinson recorded a time of 1:10:54 for 21st place after being chased hard by Barry Drew who finished just 30 seconds later in 24th.

Dave Thornley, in his debut ride in this event and distance, stopped the clock on 1:12:05 while Natalie Tooley took the award for second lady with her 1:16:49.

The following week on the club’s 17-mile course, heavy rain deterred all but four from signing on.

Three club members and one guest clearly wanted to get it over and done with posted personal best times with Andy Bowser on top in 39:40 followed by Ross McGivern (40:52), Mark Hills (43:10) and Velo-One’s Josh Wallis (42:43).

The club also had a stand at Spalding Grammar School fete to promote activities, especially Go Ride, by offering leisure rides led by club members, a display of bikes and kit as well as a time trial challenge on a turbo trainer for people of all ages to try.

Preparations are now underway for Alan Stacey’s ‘Moonlight ride’ on Friday as well as Go Ride and the usual Saturday Club run.