The club held the annual Open tt and the final round of the winter mountain bike series at the weekend.  

At Bruton on Saturday, the Open was blessed with a lucky break in the weather, treating the riders to a couple of hours of sun and light winds.  Times were generally a little slower than last year but here were still some impressive rides during the event, which was round two of the WTTA Hardriders championship.  Rob Pears headed everyone yet again, the Bath CC rider recording a 43.05  to win.  Rob set his best ever time on the section from Druly Hill to the finish, 8 minutes 42, an average of 55kmh, top speed of 52 mph…
Paul Jones (Bristol South CC) was runner up with Derek Smetham (Dursley RC) in third. Nicole Walters (VC Walcot, 53.21) was the fastest lady rider, as she was at round one of the Hardriders.  James Cook (Cycology) set a quick time of 48.09 as fastest junior while the Northover Vets trio of Jon Wynn, Rick Johnston and Mark Ashurst won the teams’ prize.

Of the home riders, Kim Little had an off day but was the quickest in 51.16, Simon Rouse finished in 55.43 and Grahame Reed set 56.09.  James Chant DNF’d with a puncture.  Full results are here while there are photos on Charles Whitton’s  website

A big thank you to everyone who helped out on the day, especially – 
Vince for putting out signs and giving some very strong launches form the startline
Jerome for doing signs and collecting errant riders
Ebby, Cheryl and Mary Miller who spent an hour cleaning the filthy kitchen before they could start on the food

On to Sunday and Alfred’s Tower woods for the final mountain bike race of the winter and a freezing cold morning.  18 riders turned out for the race on a typically challenging route.  Paul Hopkins was in fine form as he gears up for the first of the National races in two weeks time, making it look easy as he quickly pulled out a 30 seconds lead which then maintained throughout. Behind him, Kim Little and Nigel Brown had another scrap, but eventually Kim got away after a couple of laps to take second place and win the championship overall.  Nigel’s third place gave him second in the series while Andy Parsons fourth place on the day clinched third place in the series.

Marcus Williams was riding well and finished fifth ahead of Richard Higgs and Darren Caines who were closely matched throughout the race.  Liam Teesdale put in a really good ride and looked like he was going to beat Kris Caines and Lawrence Pitman to be the first junior home but Liam paid for his earlier efforts and over the final lap Kris got ahead.  Lawrence won the juniors’ title for the second year in a row.
Patsy Caines won the under 12s Youth category again, beating some of the senior riders along the way.  Kian Calloway had already secured enough points to win the Youth section championship.

All of the championship winners were given their trophies after the race, as well as prizes courtesy of the Wheels bike shop.

Thanks again to Vince for getting the races organised again this year, and thanks also to Nigel and Kim who regularly turn out the day before to mark out the course and Chris Mullett and Mark Pitman for regular marshalling duties.

Full results are here