IT HAS been a busy recent few weeks for Stratford Cycling Club members who have been involved in time trials, open time trials and road races.
Saturday saw the club’s 50-mile time trial. Most time trials are about speed and pain, but a 50 also adds in a very healthy dose of endurance.
The overall results came down to the two best testers of the season so far – Mick Stallard and Martin Millington. Over the shorter course distances Mick has been gaining the upper hand, but this longer, rolling course suited Martin’s riding strengths more as he powered around the course to victory in a time of 2hours, 5minutes and 48seconds. His time was also enough to set a new Stratford course record.
Mick finished just behind in 2hours, 7minutes and 23seconds. To finish a 50-miler is an achievement in itself and the other Stratford CC finishers also set good times.
Carl Taylor finished in 2:20:23 to claim third. Adrian Osborn set a brilliant 2:21:41 to take fourth. Fifth was Keith Walton in 2:25:06, with Lloyd Walton sixth in 2:27:10. Seventh was Emma Bexon in 2:27:56, eighth was Chris Huxley in 2:28:04 and ninth Alan Coley-Smith in 2:28:23.
On Sunday there was an open time trial near Coventry on the normally fast K11/10 course. However, conditions were against the rider.
Despite this both of Stratford CC’s testers did well, with Martin Millington recording a decent time of 22:54 and Stephen Eggleton setting a new personal best of 25:48.
A couple of weeks ago Stratford’s Tom Lane and Andrew Butler were left in awe at Castle Combe when they found that the road race entries had reached 154 riders for their massed start circuit race.
Not only that but, as junior riders, they had to ride with handicapped gearing in a field mainly of older and more experienced riders who do not have to suffer such restrictions.
Tom decided that, come what may, he would stay in the top ten riders on the circuit throughout and managed it. Andrew in his first race this year decided he would get shelter in the middle of the pack for the early part of the race and try to get through the pack towards the end of the 32-mile race.
The prediction the conditions would make it difficult for any sustained break-up in the field was correct and so it came down to the action of the last four miles or so.
Tom stuck to his guns at the front of the field as the pace picked up to about 32mph and Andrew worked his way through the bunch so that from the last corner they were both in with a chance. However, the remaining 140-plus riders had the same idea.
At this point the restricted gears and a tail wind really told as both Andrew and Tom could not pedal any faster and around them competitors on higher gears had an advantage, so it came down to one massive sprint.
Tom held his position and came in sixth and Andrew finished 20th. It was a brilliant ride from both competitors.