TIME TRIAL SEASON STARTS WITH ELY HARDRIDERS RACE
On Sunday Ely & District Cycling Club - B&T Motor Repairs hosted the tradititional season-opener for the year's time trial season. The course is a 25 mile circuit of Fen roads, featuring a number of very rough minor roads. Combined with the persistent rain and gusty winds the event certainly lived up to its name as the Hardriders Race, particularly with very low temperatures throughout the race and plenty of standing water thanks to the constant rain.
Last year's second-placed rider Felix Barker went one better to win the event, in a time of 56:25. Barker was one of only eight riders to break the one hour barrier, and finished ahead of Toby Cowell and Rob Walker in second and third respectively. In the women's race Ely & District Cycling Club - B&T Motor Repairs riders Zena Palgrave and Alison Holmes came second and third respectively, behind the winner Cindy Berry. The team prize went to Cambridge University CC, whose riders filled 3 of the top ten places.
In the Veterans race, Frank Holmes came out on top on standard times, with Andrew Ashwith second and Mark Williams in third. Williams was lucky to be riding in the event, as he inadvertently brought two rear wheels and no front wheel to the race, but was able to borrow a front wheel from an Ely club member to allow him to race. In the Under 23s race, Toby Cowell came first with Jack Brown and Lucas He in third. David Halliday won the road bike category for riders using conventional road bikes rather than specialist time trial bikes.
One of the Ely junior riders was also racing at the weekend. On Saturday Tom Lewis took part in the Essex Roads Cycling Club junior road racing at the Redbridge cycling centre in Ilford. Tom was racing in the Under 12 category, and was just beaten into second place at the line. In the second race Tom was boxed in towards the end of the second lap, allowing other riders to get away off the front of the pack, but Tom was able to take fourth place in a sprint finish.