A busy spell of time trialling for Spalding Cycling Club members brought mixed fortunes at three events.
With the focus now on the 17- mile League time trials on the Pode Hole-Bourne-Pode Hole course, a good-sized field lined up to face the starters for round one – encouraged no doubt by the weather on one of the nicest evenings of the year.
The conditions enabled a number of people to return personal best times and it appears that a new course record may have been set by overall winner Neil Palmer who posted a time of 37:00 – a 30-second beating of his record-breaking 2014 ride and possibly a best for him too.
Second and third places were occupied by Chris Ward with 37:26 and Ben Moore, riding a time trial bike instead of his usual road bike, just got inside 40:00 with 39:41.
It is not confirmed if the times are personal bests for this distance but a look at 2014 results suggest that.
The only lady to take part, Natasha Tooley, stopped the clock on 51:09 in her first time trial at this distance.
Mark Hills, who has shown consistently good results this season, punctured but did well to recover – completing the course in 55:37 just two seconds ahead of Bill Wood.
Confirmed PBs were Andy Bowser (40:19), Ross McGivern (44:11) and Barry Drew (48:35).
Guest riders did equally well with Spalding second claim rider Tom Neale, riding for his Catford Equipe Team, posting a fine 37:20, Ian Fensom of Fenland Road Club 43:28 and Richard Young on 46:59.
The following week it was round three of the Hereward League series and eight club members signed on for the event hosted by Fenland Clarion on their popular Helpston course.
Although roadworks prevented the use of the full circuit, the alternative fast, 6.9-mile course finished with a sting in the tail – the short, sharp climb through Ufford to the finish at the top.
Paul Lunn of the host club took just 15:13 to complete his ride with Spalding’s Ward chasing in hard for second place in 15:19.
Moore (16:57) and Simon Wright (17:08) made up the Spalding top three.
Sophie Wright flew the flag as the only Spalding lady, racing to a fine time of 22:08.
Other Spalding times: Chris Peel 18:28, McGivern 19:18, Chris Bettinson 20:03.
Spalding’s open 25-mile time trial was held on the usual Donington A52-based course.
Event organiser for the first time, Andy Bowser gave up his chance to ride this event, which counts as the Club 25-mile Championship, but was probably pleased he had done so as the field of 30 who started had their times slowed by a strong headwind on the outward legs of the course.
Making up for his failure to finish at Helpston, Palmer was on a mission – taking top spot in 55:33 while the runners-up places on the podium went to the wire with a real battle between ex-Spalding rider Jeremy Hargraves, of Fenland Road Club, and Ward, separated by just two seconds on 56:17 and 56:19 respectively.
Third home for Spalding was Wright on 1:05.02 with Hills and Barry Drew making up the club’s presence in 24th and 25th places in 1:10:35 and 1:11:43.
Of the lady riders first home was Louise Day of Team Swift on 1:06:49 with Wendy Gooding of St Ives second in 1:13:09.
The only junior rider, Jenny McAndrew of Team Jadan, finished in 1:07:55.