Palmer crowned club champion

Neil Palmer
Neil Palmer
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The final 10-mile time trial of Spalding Cycling Club’s season counts as the Club Championship title race over that distance and often attracts a good sized field.

With the Fisherman’s Arms Trophy for the season’s most improved rider having been decided the previous week and less than favourable weather in the evening, some members chose not to ride with only 11 members and four guests reporting.

In a reversal of fortunes from round 12 when Chris Ward got the better of Neil Palmer to win it was Palmer who was fastest on the night, posting 22:19 just 14 seconds ahead of Ward.

Third place overall went to Sam Bentley who finished with 25:36, mirroring the top-three finish order from the 2014 championship race.

First position in the ladies race went to Natasha Tooley whose 28:26 was a personal best on a night when some riders struggled with the wind and greasy surfaces. Second lady was Sarah Bentley with 28:33.

Only one under-16 member, Will Gurney, started the event.

Riding cautiously at first to get used to TT bars, he still got close to his PB – posting a creditable 28:50.

Other Spalding times: Ross McGivern 45:48, Barry Drew 27.40, Rob Boothman 28:27, Sarah Bentley 28:33, Chris Bettinson (The Fisherman’s Arms Trophy winner) 30:27, Derek Chamberlain 32:30.

Regular guest riders all posted great times – notably a fast improving Bryn Richards of Bourne Wheelers with a PB of 26:55 beaten only by the 26:38 recorded by P Matthews of Fenland Road Club.

Gareth Richards of Bourne stopped the clock on 27:14 while Louise Day of Team Swift put in a ride time of 27:30 – had she been a member that time would have secured her the ladies 10-mile title.

With members away on holiday and racing elsewhere, the club hill climb championship was less well attended than usual with only seven members taking the start. For the third year in succession Ben Moore took the title – albeit in a much slower time of 1:1.79 – more than six seconds down on the 54:55 he took to complete the course in 2014.

Second and third places went to Adam and Matt Ellis who finished with 1:05.04 and 1:07.01.

Of the others, who all rode the 2014 event, it was only Mark Hills who recorded a faster time this year – posting 1:15.60 good enough for fifth place behind Chris Ward who stopped the clock at the top of Manthorpe hill on 1:08.35.

Gary and Sarah Bentley made up the results with ride times of 1:28.51 and 1:44.66.