Swirling winds and an unshipped chain were still not enough to deny Michael Hutchinson a fifth National 25-mile title in Devon on Sunday.
The In Gear-Quickvit RT rider was hot favourite heading into the event at Holsworthy, and despite a good start things looked to have gone awry when he unshipped his chain.
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But he managed to get untangled in double-quick time, and continued his ride to take victory in 53-36, 36 seconds faster than his nearest rival, Rudy Project Series leader Matt Bottrill (I Ride RT), while Andrew Griffiths (Twnety 3C-Orbea) was third, another 12 seconds off the pace.
Drag2Zero.com rider Julia Shaw successfully defended her title in the women’s event with a time of 59-20, while Planet X’s Ryan Mullen was fastest junior with 56-16.
But several of the country’s top riders were not at the National 25, preferring to chase fast times at some longer distances and some faster courses than the rolling Devon course used for the title race.
Team Swift’s Joel Wainman clocked 1-45-18 to take a convincing victory in the Ferryhill Wheelers 50-mile event on the Kirklevington course in North Yorkshire. His time was around seven minutes faster than second-placed Vince Macklam (Pedalsport), while East Bradford CC’s John Dewhurst was third, another 1-18 off the pace.
Pre-race favourite Derek Parkinson (Cleveleys RC) won the VC Cumbria 50, and like Wainman he won by more than seven minutes from his nearest rival.
Parkinson clocked 1-44-08 for the picturesque L505 course, which takes riders from Cockermouth to Keswick on the A66 in the Lake District. Second spot went to Glasgow Couriers’ James Cusick with 1-49-53, while Border City Wheelers’ Richard Bickley was third.
Gusty winds and patchy rain made for tough going in several events last weekend, including the Burton and District CA 50 in Derbyshire.
Matlock CC’s Peter Colledge won the event from Darley Dale to Bakewell and Matlock in a time of 1-55-38, just 24 seconds faster than runner-up Rob Weare (Leamington C&AC).
Further south, Redhill CC’s Rupert Burbidge won the Sussex CA 50 on the G50/10 course at Bole Hill, clocking 1-56-48 to hold off the challenge of Bec CC rival Dominic Hill by 36 seconds.
Many riders had made a long journey to East Yorkshire to tackle the Yorkshire CF 10, which took in the potentially fast V718 course at South Cave. And while windy conditions ended any hopes of clocking PBs, there were still some fast times produced.
Team Pedal Revolution were out in force, and placed four riders in the top five – all of whom went under the 20-minute mark.
Nino Piccoli won the event with 19-32, just three seconds quicker than team-mate Andy Bason, while Lyme RC’s Barry Charlton clocked 19-52 for third. The other sub-20 minute times were Piccoli’s colleagues Nik Bowdler and Mark Arnold, fourth and fifth respectively with 19-53 and 19-57.
Meanwhile, 100 Per Cent ME rider Luke Rowe displayed his promise with victory by more than a minute in the Somerset Road Club 10 on Saturday, clocking 19-21 for the U21 course at Axbridge.
And over in Kent, Kevin Tye (Datateam Allstars) went agonisingly close to recording a 19-minute time in the VC Elan 10 at Reculver, winning by just five seconds with his time of 20-03.
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