Wrekinsport CC Hanna Phipps-Jones 19
Hanna Phipps-Jones 19 - race report
Turning up last minute after the event was underway didn't do any harm to Matt Garthwaite's chances as the SCCA Private Member took a dominant win and moved into the lead of the SB Sports Injuries Series in Round 4, Wrekinsport CC's Hanna Phipps-Jones 19 held over two laps of the rolling Shawbirch - Cotwall Bank course. Despite being tired from a major tour and getting baulked out on the course Garthwaite still managed to beat the nearest competition by over two minutes. Visibly faster on each pass of the finish line, Garthwaite stopped the watch on 41 minutes 58 minutes to take over the Series lead by four points from Ed Middleton, who ended his evening on a respectable 45:25 for 5th spot.
The Rhino Velo rider revealed however that he was by no means sure how his form would hold up: "I had no idea if my legs would work or not after riding a tough Tour of Ulster over the Bank Holiday weekend. Thankfully there was still something in them! Traffic wasn’t favourable after getting stuck behind a tractor on the out leg, but I was satisfied with my time overall".
Alex Leek made his debut in the 2018 SB Series and made an immediate impact to take runner-up spot - although he was another rider expressing concern about his form. Leek pushed Hafren CC's Ian Nisbett into third by just two seconds after ending his evening on 44:02, and was contented with his efforts: "I was happy with second after slow start to my season. Other than being a bit chilly it seemed OK conditions so I tried to keep the speed up on the drags and rest a bit on the faster sections. Well done to Matt on the win, and thanks to Wrekinsport for putting the event on".
Nisbett meanwhile was a little taken aback by the changeable nature of the course, which certainly provides variety. More used to the smooth roads of Mid-Wales he was nevertheless pleased to take the Veteran's win in +6:33, 50 seconds ahead of Wrekinsport's Chris Halford on Standard and 59 seconds on Actual, moving into the lead of this Series and up to third Overall thanks to his 44:04 effort. He commented: "A new course for me. I enjoyed it, but I did have to work to maintain a steady effort over the varied terrain. The bike seemed to be kicking around on the road surfaces too. It's always frustrating to miss out on a higher placing by two seconds, but I'm chuffed with the Veterans win".
In the Junior Series 14 year-old Henri Bedford was back for another try at over two laps having stepped up to a longer distance for the first time on this course last July - and was determined to beat his benchmark. With timekeeper Jenny York recording times for both laps the ever-smiling youngster had the distinction of knowing he had beaten both his 10 mile and 19 mile bests, knocking a huge 2:28 off his 19 mile record. He stated: "I really enjoyed the longer ride and was pleased to achieve a new course Personal Best In both my 10 and 19 mile times. Thank you to all at Wrekinsport and Dave and Jenny York for your support".
Meanwhile it was a quiet evening in the Women's Series with only competitor Toni Lynam of Wrekinsport pulling up before completing a lap with back problems.
Wrekinsport riders were competing for the Hanna Phipps-Jones Trophy, awarded on handicap, and after the handicaps were applied Bob Elliott came out top of the pile with an adjusted 41:14, comfortably ahead of runner-up Chris Halford, who was scratch man. He commented: "This is the first time I have won a medal for cycling never thought it was possible. I would like to thank all the organisers time keepers and marshals".
- Round 5 of the SB Sports Injuries Series takes place on Wednesday at 7pm when Hafren CC promote their 10 on the new, fast D310/1 course entirely on the A483 starting and finishing near Berriew. HQ Berriew Leisure Centre.