A change of date for round eight of Spalding’s 10-mile Time Trial League meant a significantly lower number of starters – but many of those who turned out were rewarded with personal bests.
Just eight seconds split second-placed Chris Ward – who set a new PB of 22:00 – and overall winner Neil Palmer who recorded 21:52, seven seconds slower than his course record time set in round three.
The battle for third place saw Andy Bowser improving to 23:29 from his previous PB of 23:54 while Ben Moore finished inside 24 minutes for the first time, stopping the clock with 23:52.
The only other category represented on the night – the Under-16 Boys – saw Matt Ellis take the win and sixth overall with a fine 25:02.
Will Gurney, who rode using TT bars for the first time, was second on 28:26 and M Hull got third in 29:31 – all in personal bests.
Other club members with PBs were Andrew Gurney who finished on 24:40 – just three seconds quicker than his 2014 PB of 24:43, the fast improving Ross McGivern completed his first sub 26-minute ride in 25:42 while Mark Hills shaved 39 seconds off his round three time by crossing the line with 26:19.
New member N Tooley posted a time of 30:03 – six minutes quicker than his first ride.
‘Super-Vet’ Bill Wood completed the club line-up in 32.01.
Of the guest riders Ian Fensom of Fenland Road Club was fastest by covering the distance in 24:22 while Dave Wright (29:07) and Rex Stamp (29:08) chased each other round.
With attention turning to the club 17-mile league events it will be interesting to see who in their current form will be challenging Neil Palmer’s 2014 course record time of 37:30.
Round five of the Mud, Sweat and Gears Mountain bike Cross Country series was held at Thetford Forest – attracting almost 400 riders to a number of races on a dusty circuit of forest trail and fire break roads.
Although not so technically challenging as other circuits, the day was not without incident as two crashes marred the men’s race.
Stewart Elderkin finished in 59th place, posting a time of 1:24:01, while Spalding’s second claim member Matt Ellis – riding for Sherwood Pines SRAM RT – took a fine second place in the Youth Male race, covering four laps in 53:46.