Wrekinsport CC 10 supported by Nova Raiders
Last minute road works saw a late course and event change for Round 6 of the SB Sports Injuries Series as Nova Raiders combined their 10 with Wrekinsport CC - but it didn't stop some red hot competition on a glorious evening. Top of the pile was SCCA Private Member Matt Garthwaite, elevating himself into joint top spot in the Series thanks to a fabulous effort of 20 minutes 34 seconds - though he knew he had a fight on his hands with Dan Watts and Luke Pollard also entering.
Garthwaite revealed: "My heart sank when I saw Dan and Luke at sign on as I knew it was going to be a tough night out. My heckling at Dan failed to deliver results, so I had to push hard on what turned out to be a night of favourable conditions. Fair play to him for doing his time when stuck in a 55x11".
Watts' gears had indeed jammed on the very biggest cog, but that seemed to do him no harm as he fought furiously to get to the finish line. The extra effort required to push that massive gear saw Watts come home just one second ahead of Pollard in 21:08 - and the team mates enjoyed the chance to josh each other post race. Watts stated: "It was a good evening for racing, happy to just pip team mate Luke to get those bragging rights for our next few training rides! The ride of the evening went to Charlotte Chapman, super quick on a tough course, fair play". Pollard meanwhile took the ribbing with good nature, adding: "I enjoyed listening to a gloating Dan on the ride home. A prime example of every second counts, looks like the beers are on me"!
Watts' comments about Charlotte Chapman were well placed as she rode to an excellent victory in the Women's race of 1:18 over Nova Raiders' team mate Deb Hutson-Lumb in a fine 23:25 - a strong 9th Overall from a field of 42. Chapman was delighted with her efforts, increasing her lead in the SB Women's Series in the process with mother Jane her closest rival. Charlotte commented: "I was very happy with that, my legs felt good. It was a lovely night for it and I actually kind of had fun! Very, very pleased to sneak into the Top 10 overall as well. Great support and marshalling on the course, and as always thanks to everyone who gave up their time so we could race".
Hutson-Lumb meanwhile wasn't just runner-up in the Women's race with a fine 24:43, she also took the same place in the Veteran's race too just three seconds behind Wrekinsport's Chris Halford in +4:26. That performance didn't come free however as Hutson-Lumb suffered towards the end: "My second solo 10 after rather too many years away from the sport - and I'm sure it's more fun than I remember! I'm still not getting the pacing right as my legs went on strike for a while at eight miles, but I'm pleased with my time. A big thanks to Wrekinsport for enabling R6 to go ahead when there were road works on the original planned course".
Halford's +4:29 converted to 21:58 on actual for 4th place as he pushed Hafren CC's Ian Nisbett out by two seconds, costing him the Overall Series lead. Halford also made it maximum points in Wrekinsport's Evening 10 Series and looks a hard nut to beat. He stated: "There were some fantastic times. Great to see so many people racing".
It was a close call in the SB Junior Series as Henri Bedford equalled his personal best 24:21 set the previous week - but found himself pushed out by just three seconds by a first-time rider. Newport Shropshire CC's Tom Bullock posted an impressive 24:18 to make an immediate impact in the Series. He commented: "I was really pleased with my time, position overall and win in category in my first ever time trial. I found it tough but enjoyable and hope to be able to do a few more over the season when track and circuit races allow".