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CYCLING: Grantham’s Egner brother dominate road race with victory and third place

A triumphant Reece Enger crosses the finish line at the top of Harby Hill, with brother Adam not far behind in third place. Photo: Alan East
A triumphant Reece Enger crosses the finish line at the top of Harby Hill, with brother Adam not far behind in third place. Photo: Alan East

Witham Wheelers brothers Adam and Reece Egner took part in the 3/4 category East Midlands Road Race League on Sunday – and both found themselves on the podium.

Raced over three laps of a 12-mile circuit, including the tough climb of Harby Hill with the finish just over the top, it was a race which pointed to the climbers for the winning moves.

The 36-mile race was fairly uneventful with most of the action at the back as riders were dropped on the climb.

A pair of riders broke away with just under a lap to go but their lead never exceeded more than around half a minute.

Hitting the ascent for the final time, the peloton caught one rider half way up, leaving the other dangling off the front just metres in front. Around the last corner of the hill, at the steepest part, junior rider Adam attacked for the finish with only his older brother Reece able to keep up.

Reece then attacked his younger brother and managed to catch the lone rider in the final metres before passing him to take his maiden win on the adult scene. Adam was unable to catch the other rider but finished a very respectable third out of the 60-strong field to take the first Junior prize.

l Witham Wheelers promoted their Open 25-mile Time Trial, incorporating the club championship on Saturday afternoon, on the Sleaford, Osbournby, Donington and back course.

Conditions were mainly dry but a strong westerley wind had riders flying along the A52 to the Donington turn at 30mph+, and then struggling to reach 20mph on the return into the wind on the exposed stretches.

However there were still some fast times with the winner Richard Sharp, from York Cycleworks, finishing in 53min 40sec.

Of the club riders, John Pilgrim was quickest in fifth overall to claim the blue riband TT championship, while Lara Thornhill was second lady overall to win the ladies’ club championship ahead of Carol Milne who was third lady overall. Ehren Courtman was second juvenile overall.

Open results: 5 John Pilgrim 56.27, 18 James Westwood 1.01.47, 22 Llewellyn Byrne 1.02.24, 26 Graham McAndrew 1.03.50, 27 Simon Cocker 1.03.52, 29 Michael Smalley 1.04.30, 39 Ehren Courtman 1.07.26, 40 Lara Thornhill 1.07.36, 47 David Herd 1.10.20, 51 Carol Milne 1.12.29, 52 Tracy George 1.14.17, 55 Victoria Safarris 1.21.02, 56 Heidi Moulds 1.23.50.

l Wheelers John Pygott and Crispin Bridges-Webb completed the Coast to Coast cycle sportive last Saturday.

The day started at 5.30am by dipping their back wheels in the sea at Seascale in Cumbria in cool but clear conditions.

The route took them over some of the steepest roads in the UK, starting with Hardknott and Wrynoss passes in the Lake District, followed by a ferry crossing of Lake Windermere. With a first feed stop and adjustments to bikes at Kendal, it was then on through the gentler and faster terrain of the undulating Yorkshire Dales, with rising temperatures and beautiful blue skies.

The final part of the challenge took them on to the edge of the Yorkshire Moors with more tough climbs, the hardest being Limber Hill at 25 per cent with 140 miles in the legs, before dropping down to the finish back at the sea in Whitby.

Altogether, a very challenging but satisfying 150-mile ride with 13,000ft of climbing which they completed in 12 hours, with 10 hours of actual pedalling.

John was the oldest rider of more than a thousand participating and second fastest over 60. He completed it as a personnel challenge and to raise money for the Lincs and Notts Air Ambulance Service, and has so far collected approximately £750.


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