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CYCLING: Reece races to victory in Witham Wheelers hill climb


Witham Wheelers’ time trial season was finished off with the annual Hill Climb and Freewheel Championships at Harby Hill on Tuesday night.

In warm dry conditions Reece Egner was slightly slower than last year but still quickest on the evening in 2min 47sec, with young guest Kerrigan Robb just getting the best of Adam Egner by two seconds in 3:01.

In the battle of the veterans, Matthew Kingston-Lee 3:14 got the better of Simon Cocker 3:38. Schoolboy Joshua Gibson rode smoothly to take the juvenile award in 3:53, while Carol Milne was leading lady by just six seconds from Tracey George.

Results: 1 Reece Egner 2:47, 2 Kerrigan Robb 3:01, 3 Adam Egner 3:03, 4 Matthew Kingston-Lee 3:14, 5 Simon Cocker 3:38, 6 James Westwood 3:42, 7 Joshua Gibson 3:53, 8 Mick Egner 4:00, 9 Martin Hedley 4:14, 10 Carol Milne 4:17, 11 Tracey George 4:23, 12 Michael Smalley 4:38, 13 John Scott 5:57.

In the hotly contested freewheel downhill contest the calm conditions saw a tight battle, with only 50 yards separating the five leading contenders as they negotiated the small rises and falls into Harby village.

The winner, James Westwood, finished approximately 100 yards past the pub for a total distance of 2.75 miles, beating Mick Egner by about 10 yards with Adam Egner and Michael Smalley another 10 yards further back tied in third, and Simon Cocker another 20 yards behind.

On Tuesday, there will be a chance for a group ride starting at 6.30pm from Grantham Cricket Club on Gorse Lane, to suit all abilities, lights required.

l Local riders were active over the weekend, and on Saturday it was back to the Darley Moor circuit near Ashbourne for the John Hinksman Memorial Meeting.

In the morning 3/4 category event, Adam Egner was out of luck, being held up by a crash but fortunately not suffering any injury.

In the E123 category event, a good quality field saw breaks going away from the off with Peter Cocker (Giant Rutland Wattbike), Karl Baillie (Raleigh) and Reece Egner (Witham Wh) in the thick of the action.

Just after half distance, Karl made a lone bid for victory but after a few laps on his own he was caught by the rest of the break.

With three laps to go, Bertie Newey (Catford) attacked to be followed by Joel Lewis (Wheelbase) and Peter. These three stayed clear to the finish where Peter led out the sprint but was not strong enough to hold off the fast finishing Newey. Karl held on for seventh in the break and Egner 14th in the remnants of the bunch.

On Sunday it was the 82 mile Out of The Saddle road race near Rotherham.

In a strong field, three riders from the professional JLT Condor team took the first three places. Karl Baillie rode a good race to finish 12th and secure the points he required to keep his first category licence for another year, while Steve Young (Giant Rutland Wattbike) finished 16th.

l There were more ridiculously fast times in the Team Swift 10 at Hull, with John Pilgrin having a great ride with a new personal best of 19:46.

Gary Symons was disappointed to only record 20:31, while veteran Dave Herd rode a 24:31 in the slightly earlier overflow event.

Such is the standard on this course, John was only 48th in the event with the winner James Gullen equalling Alex Dowsett’s national competition record in an astounding 17.20. Hayley Simmonds won the overflow event in 19.18, a new women’s competition record.


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