Wheelers regain O’Connor title

Dave Herd
Dave Herd
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WITHAM Wheelers restored local pride by winning the annual Jack O’Connor Interclub 25-mile time trial for the first time in more than 40 years.

The 50th anniversary of the running of the race in honour of the former Witham Wheeler was also contested as usual by VC Lincoln, Newark Castle and Sleaford Wheelers. The race took place on a tough course at Saxilby with windy conditions hampering progress.

Only two riders made it under the hour mark, with Witham Wheeler fast man Jim Coleman winning outright win 57min 30sec. As well as the team prize club prize, other winners on the night were Peter Cocker (fourth on handicap and first under-18), Louise Allen (first lady), Chris Carter (third overall).

Club results: Jim Coleman 57.30, Chris Carter 1.00.18, Peter Cocker 1.02.50, Bill Harrison 1.05.15, Chris Crawford 1.06.02, Martin Hedley 1.06.51, Simon Allan 1.06.58, Dean Toon 1.08.11, Dave Herd 1.09.55, Louise Allen 1.10.25, Simon Cocker 1.10.35, Lara Thornhill 1.14.24, Ian Simpson 1.21.26.

l Two Witham Wheelers rode the Kiveton Park CC open 10 on the A1-based course at Ranby.

Returning from a recent lay-off, Jim Coleman was back on the pace with a 20.50 ride to finish second just five seconds behind winner Julian Ramsbottom.

Veteran Ian Simpson recorded a season’s best 25.28.

l Witham Wheelers’ super-veteran Phil Etches registered a second LVRC E-category win at Barton on Humber on Sunday.

A total of 118 LVRC riders contested nine gruelling laps of a testing Deepdale circuit. In the 60 years plus group, Phil was very active at the front, either attacking or going with the moves to form a breakaway.

In the end, one rider clipped off the front to win the F category, but the peloton were then poised for the sprint which Phil won with ease by jumping 400m from the line to win his category.

In the C- and D-category event, Chris Samler worked extremely hard to bring back the break that formed on the first lap. Despite their efforts, the chasers could not reel in the break and it went down to a sprint finish with Chris crossing the line in 10th position.

l Five of the club’s youth riders took part in the latest round of the National Youth Circuit race series at Curborough, near Lichfield, on Saturday.

In only his third ever race, under-12 James Browning produced the star ride of the day, staying up with the front group throughout the race and finished an excellent ninth. Kerrigan Robb found the speed of the front runners in the under-10s too fast but kept going well and will only learn from the exerience.

Carl Baillie was also well in contention throughout in the front bunch of the under-14s, but lost out for finishing speed in the final dash to the line.

Sixty-seven riders took to the start line in the under-16s. In the hour-long race, Peter Cocker rode well at the front of the bunch throughout. He attacked with several laps to go but after a lap on the front was reeled in by the fast-moving bunch, and finished just outside the top 20 in the frenetic finish.

After initially finding the bunch pace a bit too quick, Harry Browning settled into a chasing group and rode strongly to the finish.

l Good conditions produced 34 personal bests in the 10th round of Witham Wheelers’ 10-mile time trial league on Tuesday night.

Fastest on the night, junior Peter Cocker improved by three seconds, and second placed Spanish rider Juan Carlos was only 11 seconds behind.

Trevor White, Matthew Dilks and Sean Powers all made big improvements, with 13-year-old James Carter also showing great promise. James leads the league with 32 points, one ahead of Mick Egner and Dave Moulds (28) in third.

Results: Peter Cocker 23:21 1 Juan Carlos 23:32 2 Cameron Brown 24:13 3 Karl Baillie 24:23 4 Bill Harrison 24:28 5 Mick Ryan 24:49 6 Chris Crawford 25:00 7 Martin Hedley 25:00 8 Paul Conneely 25:02 9 Sean Powers 25:07 10 Martin Milne 25:24 11 Mick Egner 25:53 12 Patrick Cutmore 25:55 13 Dave Herd 26:30 14 Dave Moulds 26:54 15 James Carter 26:57 16 Mike Lewis 27:26 17 John Scott 27:29 18 Carl Jennings 27:37 19 Reece Egner 27:45 20 Kevin Rice 28:34 21 John Clifton 28:59 22 Matthew Dilks 29:21 23 Cameron Bibby 29:27 24 Carol Milne 30:10 25 Bill Wilson 30:16 26 Dave Beckett 30:18 27 Adam Egner 30:31 28 Tony Hardenberg 30:47 29 Trevor White 31:42 30 Conor Bibby 34:14 31 Karen Crawford 34:17 32 Joshua Webb 35:14 33 Michael Smalley DNF.

l For more information on Witham Wheelers’ activities visit www.withamwheelers.co.uk