CYCLING: Opening Pedal Pushers race attracts more than 200 riders to Grantham

Pedal Pushers circuit race
Pedal Pushers circuit race
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Witham Wheelers promoted the first round of the Pedal Pushers circuit race league at RAF Barkston Heath on Saturday.

A total of 225 riders contested categories varying from youth and ladies, through to senior men’s races on the 1km circuit.

Racing was really competitive in all the categories but most seemed to follow a similar pattern with riders making small breaks but never able to break the elastic, before being reined in by a dwindling bunch in time for the final sprint.

The Wheelers enjoyed a race victory with Jennifer McAndrew winning the ladies’ event in her first outing since moving up to junior level.

Other successes were Leo Moore finishing second in his debut circuit race in the under-8 boys’. In the under-12s, Max Moore was 17th in his first race and fellow debutante Beth McLoughlin finished seventh in the equivalent girls’ event.

Robert McAndrew raced to ninth in the under-14 boys’, and Adam Egner took a creditable 12th in the always competitive under-16s.

In the senior 2/3/4 category race, Pedal Pushers team members Harry Browning, Jim Coleman and Peter Cocker were all in the mix in a select escape group sprint, with Jim finishing third, Harry fifth and Peter seventh. Junior Wheelers Reece Egner and James Carter rode well to finish 23rd and 27th respectively in the bunch.

The next event is at Barkston Heath on April 26.

Pictured from left are – Reece Egner, James Carter and Jim Coleman. Photo: Alan East

l Karl Baillie (Pedal Pushers) took part in the latest round of the Junior National Road Race Series in the Tour of the Mendips on Sunday.

Following Saturday’s stage one cancellation due to roadworks, the next day’s 60-miler was run in strong winds with some long ascents for riders to climb.

A three-man breakaway escaped early on but Karl managed to finish in a strong 10th place at the top of the final ascent of Harptree Hill.

l Four local riders tackled the Coalville Wheelers 70-mile road race on Sunday.

The Pedal Pushers trio of Steve Young, Harry Browning and Peter Cocker were active throughout but could not get in the key breaks, and finished in the bunch some 40 seconds behind the leaders.

Riding his first race of the year, Martin Ludlam (Witham Wheelers) found the pace a bit too quick and retired of the fourth of nine laps.