CYCLING: Witham Wheelers tough it out in LRRA 30

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There were very tough conditions for the LRRA 30 promoted by Witham Wheeler Martin Hedley on a variation of the Osbournby-Quarrington-Donington course.

With riders comfortably exceeding 30mph on the way out to Donington, there was complete agreement that the last five miles past Threekingham to the finish at Scott Willoughby were horrendous.

Some good performances by club riders included John Pilgrim who just missed on the top three by four seconds after unshipping his chain on the start line. Gary Symons was sixth overall, with an excellent ride by Louise George for first lady and Ehren Courtman for first juvenile. John and Gary were also credited with first and third in the handicap awards

Results: 4 John Pilgrim 1.08.56, 6 Gary Symons 1.10.39, 11 Henry Gould 1.14.10, 18 James Westwood 1.16.47, 25 Simon Cocker 1.19.49, 26 Michael Smalley 1.20.34, 30 Louise George 1.22.06, 42 David Herd 1.26.04, 45 Ehren Courtman 1.27.13, 51 John Scott 1.31.13.

l Wheelers Llewey Byrne, Adam Egner and Reece Egner rode the two-day Belvoir stage race, along with Martyn Ludlam who was guesting for Giant Wattbike.

In stage one, on a wet Saturday morning, the team time trial was a tough effort in which Witham Wheelers finished 12th out of 16, with Giant coming in sixth.

The afternoon 37-mile road race, again in torrential rain, went up Harby Hill three times. On the second lap, Adam was suffering and after getting dropped due to the high pace, he pulled out in the horrendous conditions. Reece managed to get in a breakaway group of 11 which held on until the end. Llewey and Martyn both finished in the pack.

Riders faced a brutal stage three on Sunday – a 60-mile road race with four ascents of Harby Hill and finishing atop Terrace Hill. Luckily the weather was much better, with the sun bearing down on the 50-strong field.

A group of seven broke away from the start and then the race split up every time up the Harby climb, with all the Witham Wheelers team and Martyn managing to stay in the remainder of the bunch. Coming up to the finish up Terrace Hill, all three Wheelers broke away to try and get a buffer going up the climb.

The climb was brutal at the end of the long race, and first in was Reece, followed by Llewey and then Martyn, with junior Adam coming in not far behind, having a much better day than on Saturday

Finally, the individual hill climb awaited on stage four. The 2.4-mile course starting at Woolsthorpe and climbed past Belvoir Castle, proving a tough challenge at the end of the weekend. Reece was fastest of the four locals, finishing 26th, with Martyn next quickest, followed Adam then Llewey.

Overall, both Reece and Martyn finished in the top 15 so a good weekend’s racing for the Witham Wheelers

l Witham Wheelers were represented by three riders in Sunday’s Ratae 25.

James Westwood was first home with 59.19, in almost perfect weather conditions on the very lumpy Six Hills course. Martin Hedley recorded 1.04.32 and Louise George 1.05.48, (second lady).