Wrekinsport CC Gordon Davis 20.7
Chris Halford opened up a lead at the top of the SB Sports Injuries Series and took over the lead of the SB Veterans Series after a terrific win in his own club's Gordon Davis event. Scheduled to take place over 19 miles and two laps of the usual Wrekinsport club course, a late change to two laps and 20.7 miles of The Tiddly circuit due to ongoing road works at Long Lane saw Halford take a 48 second win on Actual from Nova Raiders' Tim Beardmore with a fine effort of 46 minutes 4 seconds and by the same margin on Veteran's Standard with +9:34.
Halford already had a 24 second advantage at the end of the first lap and eventually doubled it in the still conditions that made this little-known course a popular choice post-race, with some fast times recorded. Those conditions had been pre-empted by a significant amount of rain which bighted signing on but which critically calmed the wind right down. Halford stated: "Thanks to the helpers standing out in the rain. It was great to win a Wrekinsport event, although I will be glad to be back onto the shorter events".
Beardmore is on the comeback trail after his early season was written off with injury but is already back on form even after a short return, stopping the watch on 46:52 Actual and +8:46 Veteran's Standard to take the runner-up spot in both competitions. He enjoyed the course change which features slight drags and no significant climbing which suited his powerful style. He commented: "I'm only just getting back in racing this season having been off the bike for three months, so I was very happy with my time and result. Thankfully the rain held off and conditions were good. Thanks to everyone at Wrekinsport for making it happen".
Fresh from a 10-day Majorcan training camp Rich Smith put that fitness work to good advantage, helping himself to third spot both on Actual and on Standard in 48:22 and +8:03 respectively. The Wrekinsport rider moved into Overall Top 10 standings on the strength of his ride and enjoyed the belated course change, commenting: "I'm happy to have a decent ride after 10 days away from racing. Strong rides from Chris and Tim on what turned out to be a fast night after the rain had cleared. Great fun"! Smith also took the Bronze medal in Wrekinsport's Gordon Davis Handicap with an adjusted 44:52, making for an excellent evening.
In the Women's SB Championship Alison Dockney made up a little lost ground on Women's Series leader Louise Hurdley after beating the Hafren CC rider by 2:09 with a fine effort of 54:13. Dockney got the better of the second lap after the two passed the 10 mile point at the end of lap one just 41 seconds apart and was initially reluctant to compete given the rain lashing down at sign on. However she relented and was glad she did so in retrospect: "Yet another evening where I questioned my sanity as I arrived to sign on in the pouring rain! I was strongly tempted to drive straight home again, but glad to have raced in the end as the weather did brighten up. Another last-minute course change due to road works very well managed by Wrekinsport and what a fantastic course! I can't wait to have a go full gas on that one as a 10. Thanks all for marshalling and timekeeping in nasty conditions and well done to the other riders - some really great results and good camaraderie as always".
Taking the Wrekinsport Gordon Davis Trophy wasn't on Pete Mulloy's radar but he did so by 17 seconds from Bruce Gregory in an adjusted 43:23. Instrumental in that victory was a skirmish with two other riders, as Mulloy explained: "I was very surprised to win the Gordon Davis Handicap Trophy. I had a fairly good first lap for me, and a PB on the second lap probably due to a big battle with Dave Moore and Mark Stocks where we changed position several times from the Hodnet island to the end. Thank you for all volunteers, time keepers and marshals for turning out on very wet night". Gregory took Silver in an adjusted 43:40, and added: "Obviously I'm very pleased with the result and really enjoyed it. My first time trial this year, I'm hoping to do more now but need to invest in some tri bars"!