Glorious conditions saw over a third of the field beat the hour in Round 9 of the SB Sports Injuries Series Wrekinsport CC’s 25 with personal bests the order of the day. With bonus points on offer for the longer distance it was Dean Callister who came out on top with a fabulous effort of 53 minutes 8 seconds on the Crudgington – Shawbirch – Tern Hill - Waters Upton course. The Nova Raider narrowed the gap at the top of the standings to just 12 points as he consolidated his second place in the Championship with just a light north-easterly wind to cope with. Callister was pleased with his effort, stating: “Great conditions and a fast night, I paced it well so was very happy with my time. It was a 25 mile personal best for me - thanks to Wrekinsport for a top evening”.
Callister wasn’t the only rider to set a personal best as runner-up Adam Baker also beat his previous benchmark with a fine effort of 54:17. Whilst much of the course is flat Baker’s comments show how the Hodnet bypass can catch out the unwary with a long, sapping drag back to Espley island, and how being ‘on the rivet’ of Functional Threshold Power, highest average wattage arider can sustain for one hour is a painful experience: “The race went well with a one minute personal best, although it's only my second 25 mile event. It was a tough course with slow sections of road and a headwind on the way out. 25 mile events are tough! Tying to hold close to FTP for an hour isn't pleasant - still fun nonetheless”.
Wrekinsport were holding their club 25 mile championship within the event and it was a straight battle between Tomos Hales and Chris Halford, with Hales taking third spot overall in 54:39 and Halford two places back in 55:07. Hales had his sights set on this trophy whilst enjoying the first use of Wrekinsport’s new HQ, Eyton Village Hall: “An excellent hosting from Wrekinsport and a great new HQ, I was pleased with the time on a quick night. I was very happy to take the trophy as I targeted this event at the start of the year - thanks to all the marshals and timekeepers”.
The rider getting in between Hales and Halford was Bridgnorth CC’s Jonathan Mills-Keeling in an actual time of 54:47, and who also took victory in the Veteran’s Series with a strong +15:09 with Halford runner-up in +12:36. Mills-Keeling is a regular visitor to Wrekinsport 10’s but seemed to enjoy the stretch, commenting: “A nice course, I had a great ride, thanks to Wrekinsport and all involved”.
The Series leader Henri Bedford had a quiet evening by his standards finishing 6th in 55:35, but stretching his Junior Series lead to a huge 86 points. He explained: “I didn’t quite have the legs for some reason but I tried to limit my losses as best as I could - thanks to Wrekinsport for running the event as smoothly as ever”.
In the Women’s Series it was a case of coming up with the goods in the face of adversity as nothing seemed to be going right for Series leader Marie Llewellyn – as the Nova Raider scored a massive personal best regardless. Llewellyn stopped the clock on 1:07:07, stretching her Series lead over Wrekinsport’s Clare Cotterill who finished in 1:12:33. Llewellyn explained what went wrong: “Everything was against me for racing! I’d worked three night shifts with no sleep, and my boyfriend was pushing me to race when I just wanted to sleep! I ended up borrowing his shoes as I'd left mine in my horsebox, added to which my Garmin computer dying 10miles in! I thoroughly enjoyed the race, I was racing blind to power and heart rate, but I felt strong and put 100% in. I’m very happy with a new personal best by five minutes -thank you to the organisers once again”!