A cool and relatively calm evening greeted 34 riders who signed with time keepers Sharon Fensom and Jo Bellars for Spalding Cycling Club’s first time trial of 2017.
The five-mile championship has traditionally been the season’s opening event – short and sharp, this one lap of the Pode Hole circuit tests the early-season fitness and this year it was no different with a bunch of fast times being posted.
In 2016, a course record of 11:01 was set by guest rider Max Williamson and that was regarded as one which would stand for some time.
However, subject to official confirmation, it turned out to be exactly one year when, with dusk falling, it was bettered by one second by Velo One’s Neil Palmer.
In the club championship standings, the absence of 2016 winner Ben Moore saw a new name at the top.
Andy Bowser took the crown with a fine ride of 11:27 – just four seconds faster than second-placed Matt Ellis, now a first claim member of the club again.
Improving on his 2016 time of 12:17, Ellis posted 11:33 to take the youth category win two minutes 19 seconds quicker than Will Gurney in 13:52. Completing the podium, the 2016 best novice rider Frazer Wallis posted 12:15. As an unattached rider in 2016, he finished with 13:55.
For Mark Hills there must have been a sense of deja vu when he saw the results – joint fourth in 2016 with Simon Wright on 12:47; this year saw Hills and Andrew Gurney stop the clock on 12:26 for joint fourth!
There was a change, too, at the top of the ladies standings as Sarah Bentley and Natasha Tooley were non-starters to open the way for 2016 junior ladies BAR winner Sophie Wright to post 15:53, with Helen Wallis and Nicole Flatters following in on 16:33 and 18:29.
Tom Wright – the 2016 junior men’s BAR winner – completed the course in 13:46, good enough for 10th in the club competition overall standings and first under-14, while Ed Gurney took second place with 17:32.
There was a warm welcome to new member Nigel Howard, Gary Hignett – who rode cyclo-cross last season in Spalding colours – and Brian Johnson, returning to the club. They posted 13:57, 15:42 and 16:10 respectively.
However, Paul Kendall’s race ended prematurely.
Other Spalding CC times: Ross McGivern 12:31, Keiran Buffham 12:45, Chris Bettinson 13:05, Richard Flatters 13:40, Barry Drew 14:18, Derek Chamberlain 14:22, Katie Wright 18:53, Kimberly Fisher 19:45.
As is now usual, a group of regular guest riders took part too.
Palmer was chased hard by team-mate Josh Wallis in 11:17 and PHMS’s Will Tidball on 11:22.
Using Spalding’s event as preparation for their own club league, Bourne Wheelers were out in force with times set by Bryn Richards 12:09, Lee Thomas 12:47, Gareth Richards 13:32, Chris Peel – riding fixed gear – 14:38 and Molly Peel 14:51.
Vision Innovation Leisure’s Maddie Gammons finished with 12:50 and Jess Woodworth of Team Onform had a time of 13:21.