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Wrekinsport Gordon Davies 19 - Race report

25 Jul 2021 17:52 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

The winning margin could not have been closer in Round 13 of the SB Sports Injuries Series as Adam Baker ended up ousting the Series leader by one second in Wrekinsport CC's Gordon Davies 19, held over two laps of the Shawbirch – Cotwall Bank circuit. Despite losing 10 seconds to Dean Callister on the second lap Adam Baker clung on for a maiden win in 41 minutes 44 seconds having battled through a sapping northerly headwind that affected the three mile stretch between Shawbirch island an Crudgington crossroads. Baker was pleased with his win, commenting: “It was extremely close for the win, especially over that distance, any number of things where a second is made and lost. It was a tough day with the wind, but I paced it very well, pushing hard into the headwind and then using the tail wind to recover while keeping the speed high. The sections down wind were certainly more enjoyable - happy with my first win at these events”.

Callister stretched his lead at the top of the Overall standings to 12 points after an extremely close battle with the rider in runner-up spot Henri Bedford. The two were split by 10 seconds at the en of the first lap and by exactly the same margin at the end of the second, with Callister stopping the watch on 41:45. The Nova Raider's comments show the difficulty judging a course that provides a variety of challenges, stating: “A nice temperature for racing but a strong wind in places. I always find that course hard to pace, and missed the win by such a small margin, but a great ride and congratulations to Adam Baker - thanks to Wrekinsport for a top evening”.

Bedford had had other plans for the evening, looking to enter the re-arranged North Shropshire Wheelers' 25 due unavoidably to take place at the same time, but a late cancellation saw a hasty revision to his plans, making the transfer just in time. Whilst he cemented his Silver medal position Overall he became the first medal winner of the Series taking Junior Gold with four Rounds to spare after a fabulous season. He stated: “I love the Wrekinsport course as I am very familiar with it. A big headwind made the first part of the course tough and challenging. I enjoyed the race a lot, and well done to all those who competed - thanks to Wrekinsport CC for hosting”. With a healthy contingent of five Juniors among the 28-strong field Bedford's nearest challenger was 16 year-old Bridgnorth CC rider Nathan Fullwood in 46:42.   

Another of the riders caught on the hop by the late cancellation took the win in the SB Women's Series as Marie Llewellyn extended her lead at the top of the standings. Nova Raider Llewellyn crossed the finish line in 50:29 to see off a challenge from Wrekinsport's Clare Cotterill who occupies the Silver medal position after ending her evening on 58:52. Her arrival after the event had started meant she had less than ideal race preparation, as she explained: “The 25 had been the plan for the night, but after the cancellation a very quick drive and entry online for the Wrekinsport 19. The first five kilometres was the warm up as nothing wanted to work, and then I found my power and pace and had an enjoyable race. Many thanks for Wrekinsport for letting us and others join last minute”.

In the SB Veterans Championship it was a surprise win for Wrekinsport's Chris Halford, still recovering from a knee operation but pushing out Bridgnorth CC's Jonathan Mills-Keeling, another of the late transferees by 8 seconds in +7:53. Halford was 20 seconds behind Mills-Keeling at the end of the first lap but finished strongly, as his comments reveal: “I went easy on the first lap, and pushed a little on the second. I'm surprised to of won the Veteran's race with such strong riders racing”.

Wrekinsport were running their Gordon Davies Handicap within the event, with Stephen Porter-Knott taking Gold in an adjusted 35:26, with Ian Bond Silver in 39:23 and Ben Wood Bronze in 40:47.

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