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CYCLING: Italian job for Palmer

Tim Lister, Chris Bettinson and Neil Palmer
Tim Lister, Chris Bettinson and Neil Palmer

Neil Palmer managed the double by qualifying for August's UCI Amateur Championships in Italy in both the Chrono and Gran Fondo Race in the 45- 49 year group.

The Cambridge UCI Championships at the East of England Show ground, Peterborough, saw thousands of cyclists taking part in events over two days.

Spalding had a contingent of six riders in Saturday's Chrono - a 16.3-mile TT over a course consisting of one sharp climb up to Morbon Radio Tower and a series of long drags.

Neil Palmer (38:05), Andy Bowser (40:11) and Andy Gurney (42:56) were joined by Rob Mcalinden who fell off and damaged his steering which resulted in a disappointing time of 50:48.

Sarah Bentley (50:01) and Barry Drew (50:05) set off in the later age groups and had to contend with stronger breeze.

Chris Ward, who currently rides for Team Swift, finished in 38:45 in the 50-54 age group and has a provisional qualification for Italy.

Sunday was the turn of the Gran Fondo Race for riders holding a race licence and the mass participation Sportive over the same 79-mile course.

Tim Lister claimed a provisional qualification with 2:59.59 followed by Chris Bettinson (3:26.37) and Neil Palmer (3:03.02).

In the Sportive, Mark Hills rode an impressive 3:49:00, Drew was pleased with his 4:21:58 and Keith Seaton rode the 79 miles as a celebration for reaching 79 years old - finishing in 5:08:18.

Josh Wallis again stamped his authority on the competition by taking top spot in a time of 21.25 in Spalding's Tuesday time trial on the Pode Hole course.

Palmer and Matt Ellis chose to miss this one out - taking away an element of competitiveness.

Other times: Lister (22.42), Bowser (23.37), Adam Ellis (23.41), Frazer Wallis (24.20), Mark Hills (25.31). Tom Wright (25.36 PB), Simon Wright (25.46), James Bramma (26.04), Drew (29.08), Sophie Wright (32.2), Brian Johnson (DNF), Andrew Gurney (DNS). Guests: Matt Elworthy (22.47), Aaron Vella (30.33).

Lister won the Bourne Wheelers 11-mile TT on the new Witham-on-the-Hill course.

The midweek social riders took a 54-mile hilly ride to Grantham while the Saturday riders had a 40-mile leisurely ride stopping off in Bourne.

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