CYCLING: Peter’s ‘Cocker’-hoop over senior road race win

Peter Cocker

Peter Cocker

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WITHAM Wheelers junior Peter Cocker celebrated his first senior road race win at Beverley on Sunday.

Organised by Hull-based cycle shop ‘We Love Mountains’, the race boasted a long uphill drag, high-speed descent and sharp climb within the finishing stretch. All this made the eight-lap, seven-mile circuit a challenge in the cold, changeable conditions in which Peter and the other riders riders found themselves.

The first half of the race was relatively quiet with only a few attempted breaks successful including that of Ben Ives (We Love Mountains RT) and Peter who stayed away for two laps, sharing the first two prime sprint prizes before being reeled in by the main bunch.

On the fourth lap, the action really started to hot up with numerous attacks eventually splintering the race and a lead group of around 15 riders was formed – including Peter.

At the end of the fifth lap, Peter attacked again for another prime and was eventually joined by Zack Whitehead (Dirt Wheels Cycles) who were to form the winning move.

Peter proved to be the stronger of the leading duo and crossed the finished line just ahead of his breakaway partner.

Only 26 riders managed to finish from the initial 57-rider field, and Peter’s victory gave him enough points to move him up from Category Three to Two in the British Cycling ranking system.

l Witham Wheelers fast man Jim Coleman recorded another open time trial victory in the Northants and District 19.2-mile event at Corby on Saturday.

Jim was familiar with the two-lap course from his road racing days and his knowledge allowed him to dominate the technical, undulating race which featured one sharp climb per lap.

He took the win by 40 seconds in 41min 28sec at an average speed of 27.7mph which established a new course record.

Fellow Wheeler Bill Harrison also raced and did well to break the 50-minute mark with 49.55, beating his time from last year.

l Sean Culpin took fourth place in the first category three Victoria Park circuit race at Leamington Spa on Saturday.

l Six members of Witham Wheelers contested the latest Velo 99 road race on the club’s own Skillington circuit.

Forty-five riders were on the start line but by the end a select group of 10 riders battled out the top spots. Veteran Phil Etches went for an early one on the drag before the finish line coming out of Skillington but was quickly swallowed up. Clubmate Chris Samler took an excellent fifth place in the final 200m sprint to the line, with Phil three places behind. Also riding were Dave Moulds 12th, Ross Tomblin 13th, Rob Johnson 16th and Dave Herd 22nd.

l Witham Wheelers club sponsor Echo Personnel’s Richard Ellingworth found his old sprinting legs to take ninth place in a bunch dash to the line in the NCRA Handicap road race at Kettering last Saturday.

l There was a 40-rider gallop to the line in the TLI Handicap road race at Blyth last Sunday. Wheelers Ross Tomblin, Phil Atherton, Tony Mendham and Rob Johnson all finished in the minor placings.

l The second round of Witham Wheelers’ Tuesday evening 10-mile time trial handicap league was contested by 35 riders on Gorse Lane.

Despite the cold, windy conditions, 14-year-old Karl Baillie recorded a highly respectable 23min 26sec as fastest rider on the night. Peter Cocker was second and Martin Milne finished in the top three for the first time.

Twelve riders defied the weather to record personal bests, with Steve Kidd leading the way in only his second race.

Results: Karl Baillie 23.26, Peter Cocker 23.55, Martin Milne 24.44, Harry Browning 24.50, Chris Crawford 24.56, Jacob Storey 25.03, Martin Hedley 25.05, Patrick Cutmore 25.11, John Farmer 25.27, Reece Egner 26.31, John Pygott 26.59, James Carter 27.02, Matt Pennifold 27.02, Dave Herd 27.37, Peter Barnes 27.57, Lara Thornhill 28.31, Robert Barrett-Duckett 28.36, Steve Kidd 28.43, Kevin Flint 28.47, Tony Mendham 28.49, Michael Smalley 29.00, John Clifton 29.02, Natasha Cutmore 29.26, Kevin Rice 29.29, Tony Hardenberg 29.45, Adam Egner 30.04, Wayne Dakin 30.10, Peter Storey 30.50, Peter Brooks 30.56, Trevor White 31.07, Carol Milne 31.13, Suzanne Holdsworth 31.30, Louise George 31.33, Joshua Webb 33.42, Eleanor Crawford 34.40.