CYCLING: Trio push themselves to the limit

THREE Spalding Cycling Club riders pushed themselves to the limit over five gruelling days at the Ras De Cymru Stage race in South Wales.

Tom Neale, Adam Ellis and second claim member James Handley-Smith helped Spalding placed 18th out of the 27 teams competing.

The challenging event comprised of six separate stage races held over five days on difficult and often mountainous roads.

It attracted race teams from all over the United Kingdom, as well as squads from Ireland and the Netherlands.

Day one consisted of a short, four mile time trial which included asting in the tail in the shape of a one mile hill climb to the finish line.

Day two’s stage took the riders on a challenging 60 mile road course, while stage three was another 60 mile road stage with three steep 18 per cent gradient climbs on each lap and another hill top finish.

If that wasn’t enough, day three also included a second stage in the form of an 11 mile rolling team time trial.

Stage four was by far the hardest with a 51 mile hilly road stage and a demanding hill top finish.

By the last stage most of the riders looked shattered, but they summoned the last of their reserves to tackle a final 47 mile road stage with a four mile mountain climb to finish on the summit of Llangynidr.

Tom Neale was the best placed Spalding rider in 50th, while James Handley-Smith finished in 61st and Adam Ellis was 72nd out of 102 starters.

The Spalding team received on event support and back up from Gary Bentley and David Neale.

• JEREMY Hargrave edged out Alex Avery in a cracking battle at Spalding Cycling Club’s 10 mile Time Trial League meet on July 26.

Just for seconds separated the top two, with Hargrave taking the spoils in 23.18 minutes.

Avery’s time of 23.22secs was a new personal best, but not quite good enough for the win.

Weather conditions were generally favourable for some quick times and several other riders clocked new bests, including Tilly Gurney, David Thornley, Neil Palmer and Sarah Plows.

Results: Jeremy Hargrave 23.18mins; Alex Avery 23.22 (PB); Ian Fensom 23.53; Neil Palmer 24.22 (PB); Tom Neale 24.53; Chris Ward 25.04; Andrew Gurney 25.47; Andy Pack 26.15; Simon Wright 26.21; Graham McAndrew 26.27; Jake Peel 26.28; Harry Bellars 26.35; Ben Richards 26.35; David Thornley 26.59 (PB); Gareth Richards 27.03; Shane Norton 27.12; Gary Bentley 27.16; Chris Peel 27.23; Brett Shepherd 27.46; Aimee Stocker 27.46; Peter Daniels 27.52; Sarah Plows 27.56 (PB); Derek Chamberlain 28.16; Barry Drew 28.46; Jennifer McAndrew 28.52; Christine Payne 28.55; Claire Thomas 29.42; Gareth Pates 29.53; Adrian Thurston 30.04; Kate Peel 30.35; Bill Wood 30.37; Reece Moradkhan 31.29; Adam Medlock 33.01; Tilly Gurney 35.00 (PB). Guests – Tom Drew 26.31; Gareth Pates 29.53.