Record entry for Spalding Cycling Club’s opener

Will Gurney
Will Gurney

The traditional season opening event for Spalding Cycling Club – the 27-mile hilly time trial – used the out and back Edenham course.

Reflecting the popularity of this event, organiser Claire Thomas received a record number of entrants – 51 with many names on the start list making a second or third appearance and attracting riders from Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.

Peter Holland

Peter Holland

Fine conditions with very little wind at first made for some fast times but a rising head wind on the return leg ended any challenge to the course record of 56:59 set in 2015 by Brett Harwood.

Only three riders got inside the hour with Peterborough’s James Gelthorpe first in 58:02, exactly three minutes quicker than his 2015 ride and just four seconds quicker than James Perkins of Team Bottrill in 58:06.

Making up the podium was Alford Wheelers’ Adam Coffey who posted 59:30.

With five ladies racing, 2015 winner Louise Day of Team Swift had a bit more competition but was unable to pull off a repeat win when posting 1:15:12 for second place behind Ann Walsham of Maxx RT with 1:13:55.

Gary Bentley

Gary Bentley

Third fastest in the ladies race was Spalding’s Junior category rider Tilly Gurney in 1:22:18 followed in by Natali Tooley on 1:24:18 and Sarah Bentley with 1:25:34.

Fourth overall and fastest veteran on standard time was Neil Palmer of Velo-One with 01:00:18 and once again so close to getting inside the hour.

At the other end of the age categories, Sam Walsham of Team BikeBox Alan posted the best juniors time of 1:02:19 while Spalding’s Will Gurney recorded 1:31:08 in his debut open time trial.

The team event was won for the second year running by Peterborough’s squad of James Gelthorpe, Jason Burrill and Steve Wood.

Ben Moore

Ben Moore

Lincoln Wheelers’ Peter Holland makes this event every year a bit different by riding a trike, completing the course in 1:41:37.

First home for Spalding, Ben Moore put in a strong ride to finish 12th overall by stopping the clock on 1:02:58 to win Group D.

Other Spalding members times: Simon Wright 1:14:09 (57 seconds quicker than 2015), Andrew Gurney 1:15:04, Derek Chamberlain 1:1:16:32, Gary Bentley 1:17:44 (almost three minutes off his 2015 time).

Mark Hills did not finish.