It was a dead heat for first place but also a case of what might have been as Round 4 of The Decathlon Evening 10 Series by Wrekinsport saw a late course change to The Tiddly circuit due to long-term road works commencing at Bratton on the club’s usual course. The first post-Covid event admitting non-Wrekinsport riders to enter saw Chris Halford’s usual dominance challenged as Nova Raiders’ Tim Beardmore gave him a run for his money. Beardmore had been in great form pre-lockdown and showed he has lost none of that early season fitness in a strong charge for the line that saw a tie on 21 minutes 9 seconds.
Halford looked super smooth in his usual ‘preying mantis’ position and totally locked into the groove as he steadily increased the power in the final 200 metres. This contrasted with Beardmore’s finish which was all about maximum power and effort in the closing stretch.
But things might have been different if Dan Watts hadn’t taken a wrong turn into Hazles Road, just a couple of hundred yards from the actual turn after missing sight of the marshal. Watts immediately realised his error and spun around, but too late to save the vital four seconds that would have given him the win, crossing the finish in 21:12. Watts nearly had a shock however thanks to a first-time appearance from CC Bridgnorth RWG rider Will Lewis, just five seconds off Watts’ time after signing on via the Covid-required electronic system with just half an hour to the start. Meanwhile Revolutions Racing’s Junior Henri Bedford appears to have taken giant strides over the lock down, rounding off a Top 5 all on 21 minute marks in a fabulous 21:20.
Halford stretched his lead at the top of series standings to four points, with Tomos Hales taking five points on offer to the second Wrekinsport rider. With just one round remaining in the series Halford is making it look like Round 5 will be a lap of honour.
In the Road Bike Series 17 of the 46 strong field were using non-aero bikes, which is a record turnout and a feature of this year’s belated club events as many newer riders test themselves against the clock for the first time. Overall winner was Paramount CRT’s Chris Riley in a strong 25:01, with Wrekinsport second claimer Dan Ramsbottom runner-up with 26:17. But it’s all to play for in the final round as Carl Fenlon snatched two vital points from series leader Derek Fleming thanks to a 28:07 effort, a personal best by 13 seconds to tie with Fleming on 14 points at the top of the table in spite of Fleming also posting a PB of 28:45. However club Junior Jack Inglis may have something to say about that as he took the maximum six points on offer to move into third place in the series on 12 points, with a Round 2 equalling 27:12, giving the prospect of a points tie meaning a potential shared trophy.
There were more PB’s to celebrate particularly amongst a good showing of nine women, with Alison Salthouse knocking five seconds off her benchmark in 30:54 and Clare O’Donnell recording her fourth PB in four straight events with 31:43. Meanwhile there were satisfying first-ever time trials for Club Secretary Dave Slater in 30:27, and Emma Mumford helping husband Adam celebrate his birthday in style with 32:19.