Heavy rain, strong winds and even hail blighted the domestic cycling scene across the country at the weekend, but while non-starters were littered across results boards, the determined few battled on – and some were even rewarded by personal best performances!
Chippenham and District Wheelers rider Jeff Jones, a contender for the Rudy Project National Time Trial Series, set a new PB in the North Middlesex and Hertfordshire CA 100 on the F1 course near Tempsford in Bedfordshire on Sunday morning.
His time of 3-39-43 was not only a PB, but was good enough for victory by almost 20 minutes from his nearest rival, Avonlea RT’s Paul Gamlin with 3-58-11, while Dave Johnson (VC 10) was just 18 seconds slower in third.
There were also some similar times in the Shropshire CCA 100 near Prees where heavy rain gave way for many of the riders, and although the winds became stronger later in the race, it turned out to be a reasonable day.
Team Pedal Revolution.co.uk rider Andy Bason was fastest in Shropshire with an impressive 3-38-38, and like Jones in Bedfordshire, he too was quickest by around 20 minutes from his nearest rival on a results board with many riders marked DNS.
Also a non-starter was Alf Hilton (Congleton CC) who was due to defend his title in the Manchester and District TTA 50-Mile Championship in Cheshire on Saturday.
As well as Hilton almost half the field chose not to ride, but those who did managed to clock some good times – none more so than Charles Taylor (South Pennine RC) who was credited with 1-49-33 to move up from second in 2010 to the top step of the podium this time.
Leigh Premier’s Mark Turnbull was also in good form and was second with 1-50-13, just 30 seconds behind Taylor.
But while some events were successful in dodging the weather, the same cannot be said for the API Metrow 25-mile event in Cambridgeshire, which was cancelled because of the heavy rain and associated spray on the course.
Up in Nottinghamshire, Rudy Project National Series leader Matt Bottrill (I Ride RT) won the North Notts Olympic 25 at Carlton on Trent.
Many were looking forward to seeing how he would square up against the Team Pedal Revolution trio of Andy Bason, Mark Arnold and Nik Bowdler, but all three decided not to ride – as did 46 of the field.
There was also a good time set by Ferryhill Wheelers’ Keith Murray in the Stockton Wheelers 25 at Crathorne in North Yorkshire.
The Darlington-based rider clocked 53-18 to win by over a minute from Carl Saint who led Yorkshire Road Club to the team prize.
In Wales, Simon Harradine had a successful weekend in the Ross-on-Wye and District CC events, run on Saturday and Sunday over 10 and 25 miles respectively.
Harradine (Leisure Lakes) took third in the 109-mile event on Saturday, with Justyn Cannon (RAF CC) winning with 20-31, while the promoting club’s Alan Cook was second.
But the following day Harradine excelled over the longer distance and took victory with 55-14, seven seconds ahead of Ogmore Valley Wheelers’ Jacob Clark, while Cook had to settle for third, more than a minute further back.
North of the Border, Caithness CC staged their annual Festival of events over the weekend, which this year was sponsored by Lab Impex.
Peter Ettles (Sandy Wallace Cycles) won Saturday’s Mack Mowat Memorial 25 by 59 seconds, while on Sunday he had to settle for third and second respectively in the North of Scotland 10-mile Championships and the Loch Calder 11-mile event, with Nevis Cycles’ Gavin Shirley winning both those events.
But Ettles had still done enough to win the overall weekend.