Olympic track ace Wendy Houvenaghel (Bike Chain-Ricci) proved a star attraction in the Nev Crane Memorial 25, promoted by Sleaford Wheelers on the C25/35 course in Lincolnshire.
Visiting friends in the area, both Wendy and Ian Houvenaghel rode the event at Donington and placed in the top ten, although it was Wendy who stole the show.
The silver medallist in the 3km pursuit discipline at the Beijing Olympics, Houvenaghel clocked 54-17 to finish second overall and slice a huge 5-13 from the women’s course record for the C25 and go home with prizes for second place, the course record and fastest woman.
Only Matt Sinclair (Lutterworth Cycle Centre) could go faster than Houvenaghel, winning the event by 23 seconds with his time of 53-54, while I Ride RT’s Julian Ramsbottom took third with 55-15.
The Nev Crane Memorial Trophy, presented to the best Sleaford Wheelers rider, went to Ian Pike who was fifth overall in the well supported event which boasted around £800 in prizes.
Elsewhere, it was a good weekend for Chippenham-based rider Ben Anstie, the 34-year-old who riders for Adeo Cadence Racing Team.
He tasted victory in the Cardiff 100 Miles RCC 25 on Saturday, clocking 50-46 to win by 23 seconds from Leisure Lakes’ Simon Harradine, while Bynea CC’s Keiron Davies was third in the event in Wales from Usk to Monmouth and back.
And 24 hours later, Anstie was on the podium again – but this time he had to settle for the second step in the Chippenham and District Wheelers 25 at Ashton Keynes, Wiltshire.
Bath CC’s Rob Pears won Sunday’s event with 51-47, but just seven seconds behind was Anstie, while Oliver Mott (Bike Science-Planet X) was third, another 15 seconds back.
The weekend was certainly mixed, with some events suffering heavy rain and hail – not least the National 100 where nearly 30 riders failed to finish.
But some events dodged the conditions and there were some other fast 25-mile times recorded across the country.
Scunthorpe Poly CC’s Anthony Nash won the Rockingham CC 25 near Worksop in Nottinghamshire, clocking 51-19 to win by just two seconds from Keith Murray (Ferryhill Wheelers) who is ten years his junior.
And Revo Racing’s Lubos Obornik clocked 52-39 to win the Camel Valley C&TC 25 by just seven seconds at Victoria, Devon. Second spot went to Royal Navy and Royal Marines CA rider Simon Edney, while Bike Cellar’s Rob Scott took third, 44 seconds off the pace.
It was also close in the women’s race, with Revo Racing taking another victory through Rebecca Timothy who clocked 1-03-03 to win by 18 seconds from Penzance Wheelers’ Caroline Chesterfield. And Camel Valley’s Ginine Martin was just 30 seconds off the pace.
Revo Racing had to settle for second in the Bournemouth Jubilee Wheelers 25 at Lytchett Matravers in Dorset, where James Gilfillan (Team Feat) won with 52-28.
That time pushed Revo’s Tom Alliban into second by almost two minutes, while Poole Wheelers’ Gary Dighton took third, another 13 seconds back.
Over longer distances, Lewes Wanderers dominated the East Sussex CA 50 at East Hoathley on Sunday. They record a 1-2-3-4 and dominated the podium, while they also placed seven riders in the top ten.
Nick Dwyer took the win with 1-50-09, while team-mate Rob Pelham wasn’t far behind in second with 1-50-28.
Matt Coombs and Tom Glandfield were around seven minutes further off the pace, but did enough to help the club to dominate.
South Pennine Road Club’s Charles Taylor won the Manchester and District TTA 100-mile championships at Goostrey in Cheshire on Sunday, covering the course in 3-55-52 to finish as the only rider under the four-hour mark.
He was around four and a half minutes quicker than Mark Turnbull (Leigh Premier RC) in second, and more than 11 minutes quicker than third-placed Dan Mathers (Seamons CC).