CYCLING: Local riders enjoy no luck in Rutland-Melton Cicle Classic

Young riders enjoy the traffic-free tarmat at RAF Barkston Heath. Photo: Alan East
Young riders enjoy the traffic-free tarmat at RAF Barkston Heath. Photo: Alan East
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Local riders were out of luck in the annual Rutland-Melton Cicle Classic at the weekend.

With 180 riders including elite and professional teams from Holland, France, Spain and Ireland, it was always going to be a tough task, on a 188km course including numerous sections of farm tracks between Oakham and Melton, giving this road race a unique character.

Riding for the Giant Wattbike team, Steve Young was the first to drop back after 100km on the second lap of the Owston sector. Peter Cocker’s luck was really out as, having regained the bunch after puncturing at 125km, he slid out on a gravel-strewn corner and a service car close behind was unable to avoid running over his bike, ending his race.

After 135km, Karl Baillie was distanced from the bunch as the pressure went on at the front.

The race was finally won by Dan Fleeman of the local Metaltek Kuota team.

l Witham Wheelers have begun their sessions at RAF Barkston Heath, with coaching for all age groups on a safe, traffic-free circuit.

Sessions take place on alternate Wednesday evenings from 6.30pm, with the next one due on May 4.

Full details on the club website and Facebook page.

l An excellent set of times was recorded by Witham Wheelers on the Long Bennington-Gonerby Moor A1 course in the VTTA 10 on Saturday.

Veteran Dave Stickson was fastest Wheeler, rolling back the years in 22min 47sec.

Also riding were Patrick Cutmore 23:09, Tony Hardenberg 23.58 and Louise George 24:59 – a possible club veteran ladies’ record.

Quickest rider was Brett Harwood (Team Bottrill) in 19.31.

l Week three of the club 10TT league saw rider numbers drop as quickly as the temperature, with Arctic-like wind blowing in from the north.

Most riders were typically at least 30 seconds down on previous times, with John Pilgrim quickest in 22:43. Quickest lady Louise George in 29:18 with youngsters Eleanor Crawford second in 33.58 and Evangeline Searle clocking 39.54. Josh Kettle was fastest youth rider in 33.40.

Only two riders managed an improvement on the evening – Gavin Kettle by 14 seconds and comeback man Bill Harrison by one second.

Michael Smalley led the veterans, from Simon Cocker and Tony Hardenberg.

The fourth round of the series is on Tuesday evening with signing on at Grantham Cricket Club on Gorse Lane from 6pm. All welcome.

Results: 1 John Pilgrim 22:43, 2 Henry Gould 25:06, 3 Simon Cocker 25:22, 4 Michael Smalley 25:44, 5 Matthew Kingston-Lee 26:15, 6 Gary Tudbury 27:17, 7 Tony Hardenberg 27:18, 8 Wayne Hackett 27:39 PB, 9 Dave Miller 28:22, 10 Gavin Kettle 28:26 PB, 11 Wayne Searle 29:12, 12 Louise George 29:18, 13 Chris Crawford 29:33, 14 Bill Harrison 29:36 PB, 15 James Cox 30:01 PB, 16 Mick Smith 30:13, 17 Phil Smith 30:29, 18 Joshua Kettle 33:40, 19 Eleanor Crawford 33:58, 20 Evangeline Searle 39:54.