CYCLING: Witham Wheelers ride well in their own open 10

Reece Egner overtakes Witham Wheelers clubmate Lara Thornhill. Photo: Alan East
Reece Egner overtakes Witham Wheelers clubmate Lara Thornhill. Photo: Alan East
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Witham Wheelers promoted their annual open 10-mile time trial on the Sleaford-Osbournby course with proceeds of more than £200 going to the MacMillan Nurses.

The event also incorporated the club 10 mile championships and there were some excellent rides by club members, with several riding their first open event away from the confines of Gorse Lane.

Quickest club rider was Reece Egner in a rapid 21min 58sec for second place overall, just nine seconds behind winner Richard Hamblin of Sleaford Wheelers.

Gary Symons was just outside of the top three with 22.16 whilst Karl Baillie finished a respectable seventh in 22.37 on a standard road bike.

Probably the biggest improver on the day was Henry Gould in 23.01, in his first season of racing. Adam Egner was a second further back as first junior with Ehren Courtman first juvenile in 26.06.

A great turnout also by the clubs ladies saw several personal bests, led by Lara Thornhill in 26.23, from Louise George 26.48 and Carol Milne 27.35

Other results: 24 James Westwood 24.38, 27 Michael Smalley 24.54, 30 Simon Cocker 25.11, 36 Anthony Hardenberg 26.15, 46 David Herd 26.55, 55 Tracey George 29.51, 56 Heidi Moulds 29.58, 58 Victoria Safarris 31.13.

l Martyn Ludlam celebrated getting his upgrade to his second category road racing licence last week in the Witham Wheelers GT Ellingworth RR with a win in the third category 37 mile AA Brown Road Race at Lutterworth on Saturday afternoon.

Having raced in Belgium and a national track champion with the Leicestershire RC team back in the early 1990s, this is his best season since returning to racing a few years ago.

l On Sunday, the British Cycling East Midlands Road Race Championships took place over eight laps of an 11 mile circuit near Little Bytham, promoted by Bourne Wheelers.

Due to the range of abilities riding, from full time UK based professionals to aspiring third category riders and seasoned veterans, this is always a difficult race to predict. The rolling course, coupled with hot, sunny conditions made for a hard race for the 60 rider field, which included several locals who were prominent in the action throughout.

Before the end of the first lap, Steve Young (Giant Ruttland-Wattbike) had initiated an eight man break which was starting to move clear of the main bunch. As the gap grew to 1.30, Young’s team-mate Peter Cocker covered a group of three riders trying to bridge the gap and as they closed, he helped push on to the front to make a 12-strong leading group with half the race gone.

With the bunch slipping back to almost two minutes Alistair Slater (JT Condor), Adam Kenway (Metaltek Kuota) and Ollie Maxwell (Neon Velo) realised it was now or never and started to chase, bridging the gap with just over a lap to go.

Into the last lap, after 80 miles at the front of the race, all the riders were tiring and the lead group started to split. Rob Orr (Planet X) jumped away at the bottom of the finish hill for a clear win, with Young just out of the medals on an excellent fourth, although very frustrated at missing the winner’s final break. Cocker tired on the last lap to finish a respectable 15th and Karl Baillie (Raleigh) was just in the top 20 in a small chasing group a further two minutes back.

What was left of the main bunch finished more than six minutes behind, including Martyn Ludlam and Llewey Byrne (Witham Wheelers) and George Thompson (Giant Rutland-Wattbike).