Setting a new or bettering an existing club record is never easy – particularly for the longer distance events – but the challenge is unique and rewarding for Spalding’s Sarah Bentley.
The 2016 ladies best all-rounder and ladies 50-mile TT record holder posted the second fastest time over 100 miles with 4:57:30, just under two minutes slower than the 2013 record set by Aimee Stocker (4:55:33).
Fittingly, in the club’s 90th year, Bentley has now written a new record into Spalding’s history as the ladies 12-hour time trial champion.
As far as is known, she is the only lady club member to have attempted the 12-hour event.
Covering just short of 212 miles to finish 14th lady in the RTTC National 12-hour Championship on the fast E2/12 Baldock to Newmarket course is in itself no mean feat – so this record looks set to stand for some time, unless inspired by Alice Lethbridge’s 285.64-mile winning ride, she has another go in 2018.
At the other and more familiar end of time trialling – 10 miles, round 11 of the league and club championship – was business as usual with slightly more traffic to contend with as well as a rising headwind on the return leg.
Even with some of the usual participants absent, the results show a remarkable consistency with round 10 as Frazer Wallis (24:31), Andrew Gurney (25:51) and Mark Hills (26:00) occupied third, fifth and sixth in very similar times.
Wallis posted another personal best, along with brothers Will and Ed Gurney with 26:47 and 32:29.
Fourth placed in the club standings, Chris Bettinson’s time of 25:39 would also appear to be a personal best.
Brian Johnson, using Derek Chamberlain’s bike, set a new best time with his 30:35.
Chamberlain rode his training bike to a finish time of 31:18.
A season’s best of 34:31 went to Adrian Thurston after a long time out due to illness.
Nigel Howard and Barry Drew posted ride times of 27:57 and 28:29 while Simon Hare, whose ride was impeded by traffic, used his fixed gear machine effectively enough to cross the line on 29:45.
The only lady in the 14-strong club field, Bentley finished on 28:39, just three seconds slower than her 2016 ride time.
The club members’ top spots went to Matt Ellis (22:21) and Ben Moore (22:56) while the overall fastest time of the night (21:50) was six seconds quicker than that posted in round nine for Velo-One’s Neil Palmer.
Of the other guests, Chris Ward took 22:31 to complete the course while Josh Wallis of Velo-One (23:14) – using his road bike – just managed to stay ahead of Bourne Wheelers’ Tim Lister (23:36).