Dominant duo on top form in opening race

Tom Webster
Tom Webster
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While the time trial season continues, this year’s Lincolnshire Cyclo Cross League started with Sleaford Wheelers as hosts.

Despite the loss of a couple of under-12s and youth category riders to other clubs, Spalding put out teams in both events.

Ben Norton opened his campaign with third overall and in her first season Velvet Bowser crossed the line in 12th overall to take the award for second girl.

The 2014 youth category was dominated by Spalding’s second claim members Matt Ellis and Jake Norton riding for Sherwood Pines SRAM RT.

In this opening race the duo crossed the line in first and second places almost four minutes ahead of third-placed Bryn Richards of Bourne Wheelers.

Will and Ed Gurney made up the Spalding contingent in the 18-strong field, finishing 12th and 17th respectively.

The veteran race had the biggest field with more than 70 riders lining up at the start.

Of the Spalding riders, first to finish was Adam Ellis putting in a fine eighth place.

A very fast race saw some significant time gaps and many riders lapped as a group of 21 went clear.

In the back group Shane Norton rode well to limit his losses to finish 26th – the only other Spalding rider in the top 30.

Further back and making a welcome return to racing was Tom Webster 45th, just in front of Chris Peel (47th), Chris Bettinson (55th), Gary Bentley (62nd) and latest member Andy Barnard (63rd). Neil Palmer’s race ended prematurely with problems.

The last race of the day for seniors, juniors and women was won convincingly by Graham Briggs of the Rapha Condor pro team.

A group of eight riders finished in the same lap albeit with big time gaps but just enough to get past Ben Moore who rode a fine race to finish 10th one lap down.

A further lap down saw Sam Bentley and Andy Bowser finishing 25th and 31st while Tilly Gurney, Spalding’s second claim lady member riding for Squadra Donne, took the award for third lady and 40th overall.

Tom Webster, Spalding’s only junior in the race, crossed the line in 45th – taking fourth junior at the same time.