CYCLING: Witham Wheeler Conneely wins at Widmerpool

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Witham Wheelers veteran Paul Conneely won the latest round of the Velo 99 road race series at Widmerpool last Sunday.

Held in wet conditions, the race unsurprisingly attracted a smaller field of riders than usual, but Witham Wheelers were well represented with Carol Milne in Group Two, Dave Moulds, Crispin Bridges-Webb, Tony Mendham and Phil Etches in Group Four, Martin Milne, Gary Rands and John Farmer in Group Five, and Paul Conneelly in Group Six.

Paul Conneely wins at Widmerpool. Photo: Alan East

Paul Conneely wins at Widmerpool. Photo: Alan East

It was something of a war of attrition, with a fair number of punctures including those of Milne and Farmer.

Groups Four, Five and Six came together with two of 5.5-mile undulating laps to go.

Conneelly made an attack on the last lap and no-one else had the legs to go with him or try to chase him down.

The fast men finally caught the slower groups on the last lap but only rider managed to hang on to Conneelly as he sped by and he went on to win comfortably.

The Wheelers also made up the majority of the top 10 places including, Rands, Etches, Moulds, Bridges-Webb and Mendham.

Moulds won Group Four, Rands Group 5 and Conneelly Group Six as well as the overall.

l Witham Wheelers won the team prize competition in the LRRA 25-mile time trial on Sunday.

Three of the Wheelers quintet went under the hour, with Gary Symons the swiftest in 57.44.

Others: Rick Yates 59.13, Jon Beere 59.43, Martin Hedley 1.05.18, Tony Hardenberg 1.07.13.

l Paul Fairey and Tony Hardenberg both rode well in the Team Zenith 10 on the Long Bennington-Gonerby Moor course on Saturday.

Paul knocked more than 30 seconds off his personal best to finish in 24.01, and Tony recorded 24.05.

Despite a troublesome blustery crosswind, race winner Matt Bottrill ( broke Michael Hutchinson’s course record with a stunning 18.33.

l The 14th round of the Witham Wheelers 10-mile handicap time trial league last Tuesday saw windy conditions slow riders down.

Quickest again was Peter Cocker (PedalPushers) in 22.06, 30 seconds clear of junior Karl Baillie (Haribo-Beacon), with Gary Symons and Reece Egner tied in third on 23.28. Jenny McAndrew was fastest lady in 27.31 and 12th overall out of the 31 riders.

On handicap, Rick Yates took his first win of the year, only slowing by 17 seconds, and juvenile Robert McAndrew was just one second behind.

In the veteran competition, it was Yates (+3.05) by almost 30 seconds from Gary Symons (+2.36), with Tony Hardenberg (+1.30) in third.

l Karl Baillie (Haribo-Beacon) raced in the Category 2/3/4 support race at the Leicester Castle Classic.

A crash on the first corner allowed a rider to solo off the front before being joined by another.

Karl tried to bridge the gap, getting away with another rider, and although they worked well together, they were unable to reel in the two riders up front.

Karl beat his fellow breakaway rider with relative ease at the end to take third place.