TRAVELLING to the Isle of Man to race against the best riders in the country in a three-stage race in the annual Youth tour was a tough experience for David Hird, but the Stratford Cycling Club youngster was undaunted.
The 14-year-old is getting all the experience he can but, when the wet weather and wind come straight off the Irish Sea, it gets tough.
Hird cuts a slight figure and, against bigger competitors and in tough conditions, it makes a difference. His final placing of 29th overall in a selected field of 60 riders with individual placings on the stages of 44th, 29th and 31st was excellent.
The time trial stage was the one which let him down somewhat, but this is the event in which he is least experienced.
However, on his return he showed how well he is developing by finishing fourth in an evening circuit race at Castle Combe.
Tony Owen was the sole Stratford competitor in the League of Veteran Cyclists Swindon Road Race on Sunday over a distance of 48 miles.
The race started on slippery roads following a downpour, which led to a number of accidents, but nobody was seriously hurt.
This led to several breakaways and a fast race and as the roads dried out three riders broke clear and were never seen again, but a further pack of nine riders, including Owen, chased hard but to no avail.
In the end on the uphill sprint Owen had to settle for a creditable sixth place.
Stratford Cycling Club’s evening time trials are now in full swing and Thursday nights produced two records on Course K25/11.2 miles at Aston Cantlow.
The event was classified as an Aero Bar event so pure time trial bikes were used by all the seniors. The three youth riders used normal road bikes.
Thirty-one riders took part and the top ten was: 1st Ian Hemming, 25.56, a new club record; 2nd Martin Millington, 26.22; 3rd Pete Ward, 28.08; 4th Robin Corder, 28.17; 5th Ewan Gibb, 28.38; 6th Carl Max Taylor, 28.39; 7th Nicholas Gardner, 28.41: 8th Adrian Osborne, 28.45; 9th Lloyd Walton, 28.48; 10th Nick Green, 29.07.
Former club superstar Tony Kiss (Performance cycles) returned to set a new course record of 25.17. Youth riders: Ben Snodgrass, 29.55; Baden Green, 33.06; Jess O’Reilly, 36.26.