Round five of the 10-mile league for Spalding Cycling Club was hit by bad weather again just as in 2015, this time with torrential rain instead of high wind.
A field of eight braved the event in 2015 and this year a similarly small field of seven lined up.
The waterlogged course and new tarmac in places ensured times were slower despite the urge to finish and get into the Fisherman’s Arms quickly.
One of only two of this year’s field who took part in 2015, Ross McGivern took top spot – 25:53 just 30 seconds ahead of second-placed Mark Hills but almost four minutes quicker than his 2015 time.
Third place overall went to Velo-One’s Josh Wallis in 26:57.
Simon Wright was third club member home with 28:43.
Guest Ed Holliday chose the worst night of the year to make a rare appearance and posted 29:02 while the other 2015 entrant Gary Bentley recorded 30:29 – well over two minutes faster than last year’s finishing time of 33:18.
Sarah Bentley had a fall on the newly-surfaced Iron Bar Drove corner but managed to remount and complete her race with a time of 33:45.
The 29 riders who signed on for round six enjoyed a warm, dry and super-fast evening with three course best times and seven personal bests notified.
Of the field, 20 were club members with four families represented by two members each.
Nine guests included four former members of the club and Kieran Buffham’s first TT saw a creditable result of 27:35.
While the fastest overall time went to Neil Palmer of Velo-One, Ben Moore was the fastest club member in 22:47 – just two seconds shy of his PB of 22:45 set in round two.
He finished just behind Chris Ward of Team Swift on 22:29 and was pushed hard all the way round by Andy Bowser who set a new course best for himself finishing in 22:53.
A battle between Velo-One’s Wallis and Adam Ellis ended with a PB of 23:15, only seven seconds ahead of Ellis.
Just 17 seconds separated Simon Wright’s new course best of 24:15 from McGivern’s record of 24:32.
More personal bests were posted by Hills (24:40), Frazer Wallis (25:46) and Chris Bettinson (26:39).
In the dash to the line Wallis managed to hold off Ian Fensom who recorded 25:54 while Bourne Wheelers’ Rex Stamp recorded 26:36 which is believed to be a course best for him.
After a series of 28-minute rides Richard Flatters finally got inside with a personal best of 27:06.
Under-16 rider Tom Wright also managed a personal best of 28:50.
The under-16s event was won by Matt Hull with 27:47 – believed to be a personal best – ahead of Will Gurney (28:20) and Ed Gurney (36:24).
Fastest lady overall was guest rider RP Vision’s Maddie Gammons who improved her time from 26:51 posted in round one to 26:07, ahead of Team Swift’s Louise Day’s 26:35.
Fastest lady club member Natasha Tooley rode strongly, crossing the line on 27:22 ahead of a fully recovered Bentley (27:56) and Nicole Flatters (32:19 PB).
Other Spalding times: Barry Drew (27:36), David Thornley (28:06), Paul Kendall (29:33), Bill Wood (34:12).