Wrekinsport CC 25
Sam Morris made an immediate impact in his first entry to the 2018 SB Sports Injuries Series in Round 10, Wrekinsport CC's 25. Morris was amongst many riders who were getting their first taste of the Crudgington - Shawbirch - Hodnet - Tern Hill - Hodnet - Waters Upton course which saw it's first use for six years, and it didn't disappoint on a scorching hot evening as he took the win in a fabulous 56 minutes 7 seconds.
In his first year as a Senior Morris pushed out the promoting club's Chris Halford by 38 seconds and was delighted with the victory. He commented: "I was really happy to take the win. I quite liked the course, which was quicker than I expected but also tough as there was just no easy part the whole way round"!
Halford is more used to finishing on top of the pile but with the event incorporating Wrekinsport's Club 25 Championship he not only took the Overall runner-up spot but the club silverware too thanks to his 56:45 effort, seeing off SB Series leader Ian Nisbett by 27 seconds. Halford seemed to struggle with the distance, stating: "My first 25 in a year. My pacing was completely off, but I enjoyed it anyway. A nice course, I will look forward to returning to it. Well done to everyone in that heat". He wasn't finished there either with a fine +10:30 Veteran's Standard seeing him take the maximum 26 points on offer in the Veteran's Series, again ahead of Nisbett who ended Veteran's runner-up.
Halford's nearest challenger for the club Championship was Adam Mumford, stopping the watch on 1:00:11 to take Silver with Rich Smith 5 seconds back helping himself to Bronze.
Whilst Nisbett ended the evening in third spot Overall on 57:12 and Veterans' runner-up with +9:51 he vitally managed to extend his lead in each of these Series, making the trip from over the Welsh border all the more worthwhile. Nisbett was another rider getting his first taste of the course, something he has become used to in his quest for Gold. He commented: "A new course again for me - although obviously it's been on the same roads recently for other events. The layout is a bit different to a normal 'out and back' 25 which made a nice change. It was challenging without much of a flow, and felt quite slow all the way round. And yet my finish time wasn't too bad really. I'm still suffering the effects from recent illness, so had to back off later on - and the Peplow Pave didn't help either"!
Taking third Veteran was SCCA Private Member Ian Pollard, another first-timer posting a fine Veteran's Standard of +9:09 and just missing out on beating the hour by 11 seconds. He stated: "I was happy with the course, we use parts of it on most time trials so no surprises. I enjoy riding in the heat and am now getting more consistent over the last few weeks by riding more time trials. Would have liked to go 11 seconds faster though"!
The ride of the evening came from Nova Raiders' Charlotte Chapman who seems to be getting ever faster as the season progresses. Women's Series leader Chapman set an excellent time of 1:00:48 to take a solid 10th spot from the 29-strong field - a huge winning margin of 7:51 from Helen Tudor to stretch he lead at the top of the standings. She said: "A great course and a great event. It was lovely to see everyone so thanks to all involved! I went a tad too hard on the out leg and didn’t have much left to give into the wind on the way back from Tern Hill, but I’m still happy to be close to the hour again. Special thanks to Ed Middleton for shouting encouragement at me on the way around"!
On a fine evening for the Series leaders 14 year-old Henri Bedford added a huge 26 points to his Junior Series lead to extend it to 38 points over Kieran Morris. Bedford has only just stepped up to the longer distances and is doing it in style with a top ride of 1:03:04. He stated: "I found the road surface challenging although the route was enjoyable. I look forward to riding it again. Big thank you to all the marshals".