CYCLING: Tom takes third in photo finish sprint

Tom Wright takes third in the points race at Sleaford Wheelers Go Green Series race.
Tom Wright takes third in the points race at Sleaford Wheelers Go Green Series race.

The inaugural event in the Go Green Grass Track Series got under way on Saturday.

Each participating club – Spalding, Bourne Wheelers, Sleaford Wheelers, Chesterfield Coureurs and Fenland Clarion – host an event for go riders and seniors following a similar programme.

The Heckington Show round organised by Dave and Kate Kennedy of Chesterfield Coureurs incorporates the usual inter-club Go Ride racing and senior races but with the added bonus of National Championship events which have drawn good entries and promise a high standard of racing.

At Sleaford, an impressive number of entries made for some exciting racing.

As one of only two events before Heckington, the clubs entered were out in force to hone their skills under race conditions.

Spalding were less well represented but Tom Wright and Ed Gurney both rode incredibly well in all their races –working together to hold off a numerically superior Bourne Wheelers team.

Ed Gurney passes 'Spalding Corner' during the Devil Take the Hindmost race

Ed Gurney passes 'Spalding Corner' during the Devil Take the Hindmost race

Wright finished the day in third overall after repeating his photo finish sprint win from 2016, snatching third place by a tyre width in the points race.

Gurney showed considerable improvement and confidence with some fine attacking racing.

The next Go Green series race on Sunday is hosted by Bourne Wheelers and should see Jack and Velvet Bowser competing with Wright and Gurney.

While the rain did not affect the grass track, last week’s 10-mile time trial on the out and back course did get hit hard with only six competitors and almost the same number of officials!

Ed Gurney (middle) and Tom Wright at the head of the bunch during the points race.

Ed Gurney (middle) and Tom Wright at the head of the bunch during the points race.

There was little wind so it was no surprise that some fast times emerged.

After finishing 11th the previous Sunday in a tough race at Bourne Wheelers’ junior road races, it could have been reasonable to expect tired legs to reflect in Matt Ellis’ time but once again he was fastest – posting 22:20.

A full five minutes and seven seconds passed before Mark Hills stopped the clock – his 25:27 consistent with times posted on the usual course this season but hampered by traffic on the course.

Ross McGivern’s 26:13 was just one second slower than his round five time, even though he was on his road bike.

Richard Flatters

Richard Flatters

Richard Flatters, making a welcome return from injury, clearly found conditions to his liking – finishing on 26:30, if not a personal best then certainly a season’s best.

Barry Drew was also faster this time with 27:49 as was Sarah Bentley with 29:03 – an early indication that training for her 100-mile and 12-hour races is well on schedule.