The final round of the 2017 Hereward League, hosted by Spalding on their usual 17-mile course, was held on one of the finest evenings of the year.
A field of 29 from Spalding, Bourne Wheelers, Fenland Clarion and Peterborough as well as guests started the race outside the Fisherman’s Arms with timekeepers Sharon Fensom, Nicky Ellis, Jo Bellars and pusher off Adrian Thurston officiating.
A slight breeze which picked up strength during the race made some of the exposed parts of the course tougher going for a few riders but did not prevent some fast times being recorded with nine competitors posting sub 40-minute rides.
As usual, a member of the host club started on number one. This time it was Tom Wright riding in the under-16 category and what is believed to be his first race at the distance. He completed his race in a very creditable 45:59.
Within the Hereward competition, the league overall leader Antony Gough, of Bourne Wheelers, was first home on 36:59.
His time was just two seconds off the pace set by guest rider Velo-One’s Neil Palmer and one of several very close finish times.
Fenland Clarion’s Simon Pitchford took second spot in 37:51.
Third placed and fastest club member Matt Ellis shaved a few seconds off his round two time, finishing with 37:51.
Second place in the club standings went to the 2016 17-mile TT club champion, Ben Moore with 38:35, a full one minute and two seconds ahead of Andy Bowser – both were slightly slower than their round two times.
Frazer Wallis’ final time of 41:42 chipped four seconds off his round two time.
All four finished in the top 10 of the Hereward standings – the other six places being spilt equally by Bourne, Fenland and Peterborough.
A tussle for fastest time between Simon Wright (43:20) and Mark Hills (43:22) ended in a two-second difference.
Next in for Spalding was Adam Ellis with 43:51 then a long wait of three minutes before Barry Drew crossed the line on 46:52.
He was followed in by club president Derek Chamberlain who recorded 47:17.
A number of competitors from other clubs, not eligible for the Hereward League competition, were also present.
Guest riders Palmer and Josh Wallis of Velo-One, plus Team Swift’s Chris Ward, all put in great rides as usual, making the competition harder.
Wallis posted 40:58 to finish one place ahead of his brother while Ward turned in a ride time of 43:10 just ahead of former team-mates Wright and Hills.