CYCLING: Win for super-vet Phil

Phil Etches
Phil Etches
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WITHAM Wheelers super-vet Phil Etches won his first LVRC road race of the season at Norwell on Sunday.

Phil triumphed in the EFG category in which the race was run at a fast and then slow pace as fast attacks were quickly snuffed out by the chasing peloton who then brought the speed down. After three laps a decisive break was initiated by Mick Allen with Phil quickly jumping across, and five other riders also managed to jump on to make a seven-man break.

The break worked well to keep away from the peloton and with only half a lap to go, repeated attacks were fired off by Chris Gunter and Allen with Phil just able to hold on, and this became the winning three-man break.

With the 200m to go flag in sight, Phil showed his sprinting ability by jumping early with 400m remaining and was never in danger of being caught by the finish line. Clubmate Tony Mendham sat in with the peloton throughout and finished comfortably in the main bunch.

In the category CD race, a six-man break got away on the first lap and by the end of lap two had established a lead of two minutes.

Chris Samler and Mark Colclough just failed to get into the break, despite chasing hard for half a lap and the peloton, containing Phil Atherton and Rob Johnson, eventually closed them down. Attacks from the thinning peloton came every lap but none were allowed to get far down the road and at the end of the 5.5-lap race, covering 52 miles, there was a mass sprint for the minor placings with Chris, Mark, Phil and Rob all in the bunch and managing to secure top 20 positions.

l Jim Coleman and Chris Carter contested Sunday’s National 25-mile Time Trial Championship at Holdsworth, Devon, on a hilly, single-carriageway course.

Over-geared and suffering with a bad back, Jim finished in a creditable 32nd place in 58min 27sec. Riding his first national event, Chris finished 91st in 1.06.39.

The severity of the course was highlighted by winner Michael Hutchinson’s time of 53.36, the slowest winning time since 1987.

l Seven Witham Wheelers took part in the Newark Castle 25-mile time trial on a windy A1-based Cromwell-Long Bennington course on Saturday.

Results: Martin Hedley 64:01, Dave Herd 67:15, Ian Simpson 71:15, Lara Thornhill 69:11, Kim Paxton 65:42, Neil Sentance 61:57, Mike Lewis 70:35.

l Winner of Witham Wheelers’ latest handicap league 10-mile time trial was junior Peter Cocker in 23.41, with Neil Sentance the only other rider under 24 minutes. Fourteen-year-old Karl Baillie continued to show promise, recording 24.22 for fifth overall.

Fifteen riders registered personal bests, with Nathan O’Leary knocking almost two minutes of his previous best. Mick Egner leads the handicap league by 30 points from Dave Moulds and James Carter, both on 25.

Results: Peter Cocker 23:41 1 Neil Sentence 23:57 2 Juan Carlos 24:04 3 Bill Harrison 24:11 4 Karl Baillie 24:22 5 Martin Hedley 25:08 6 Martin Harlock 25:13 7 Graham Jenks 25:13 8 Charlotte Colclough 25:22 9 Martin Milne 25:51 10 Jason Harlock 26:01 11 Patrick Cutmore 26:03 12 Mick Egner 26:14 13 Chris Crawford 26:17 14 Harry Browning 26:29 15 Ashley Money 26:45 16 Dave Herd 27:01 17 Simon Cocker 27:05 18 Jake Poole 27:06 19 Steve Lord 27:10 20 Dave Moulds 27:24 21 Lara Thornhill 27:29 22 James Carter 27:37 23 Ian Simpson 27:58 24 Peter Barnes 28:05 25 Wayne Dakin 28:05 26 Reece Egner 28:14 27 Carl Jennings 28:18 28 Neil Dowsett 28:31 29 Natasha Cutmore 28:39 30 Kevin Rice 28:53 31 Peter Brooks 29:17 32 John Clifton 29:34 33 Cameron Bibby 29:46 34 Carol Milne 30:26 35 Tony Hardenberg 30:34 36 Dave Beckett 31:04 37 Nathan O’Leary 32:04 38 Suzanne Holdsworth 32:27 39 Trevor White 33:44 40 Karen Crawford 34:46 41.