It was also the final round of the GDW mountain bike races at Alfred’s Tower, which was very wet and muddy. Once the course had been cleared of some fallen trees, series organiser Vince Hounsome had the riders on a fairly short route which included coming up the notorious chute. Kris Caines (Certini) and Andy Parsons (Offcamber) were locked together throughout the one hour race, with 16 year old Kris just winning the sprint to the line. Scawen Roberts rode well to third and was the last unlapped rider.
Darren Caines also did well for fourth and is clearly getting back to fitness after his recent leg break. In fifth was Dean Dredge, with Patsy Caines sixth just ahead of James Chant. Dan Riggs came home eighth with Jim Broom in ninth. The two youth riders came home in 10th and 11th, with Toby Easby a lap ahead of Kian Calloway.
Big thanks to Vince for running the series again and to all those who have helped out with setting up the courses and marshalling.
There were several Wheelers in action at various events over the weekend and in various disciplines.
Charles Rees took part in his first road race for his new team Ride 24/7. This was the Severn Bridge race which had switched from its usual location in South Gloucestershire over to a course near Malmesbury. Charles’ new kit just about turned up in time and he took to the line in amongst many of the Premier Calendar pro riders in what must have been the strongest line up the race has had. Alexandre Blain (Team Raleigh) was in an early break which turned out to be the winning move at the end of the 80 miles race, with Blain beating Marcin Bialoblocki (Velosure-Giordana) in the sprint for the line.
Behind them, several riders dropped out due to quick pace of the bunch, but Charles hung in there in what became the second group on the road until near the end of the race when he dropped back, understandably shattered. He came home 51st after a promising start to his season.
Using some of the same roads, albeit in the opposite direction, the WTTA Hardriders time trial series got underway with the usual opening event promoted by Chippenham and District Wheelers. The wind conditions were very favourable and after 24 miles of ups and downs, Bath CC’s Rob Pears won with a course pb of 54.02. There were many other course pb times throughout the field. Steve Way was the fastest of the GDW riders, finishing in 1.10.47, Chris Mullett (on a road bike after problems with his tt machine) recorded a time of 1.14.18, while Sarah Wheeler got round in 1.16.27.