Time trials across the country were greeted with freezing winds, rain and snow – but it didn’t stop several riders putting in some storming rides and even breaking course records.
Leicester’s Matt Bottrill (Drag2Zero.com) sliced almost two minutes off the previous course record to win the Kettering CC 20-mile event at Towcester in Northamptonshire on Sunday.
Early rain hammered down on the course, and there was little hope of good time being set. But as riders began to return, it was clear that some were defying the predictions.
Matt Sinclair was the first to break the course record, his time of 44:20 being 17 seconds inside the course record of Gary Dighton that had stood for some 21 years. With some big hitters still to come a sense of anticipation began to build in the dry and warm surroundings of the HQ.
Anticipation turned to stunned silence when Bottrill clocked an astonishing time of 42-42 to smash Dighton’s mark.
Elsewhere, Roy Chamberlain (Team Corley Cycles) won the Banbury Star hardriders event at Wroxton in Oxfordshire, clocking 56-01 for the 23-mile course to win by 14 seconds from Tejvan Pettinger (Sri Chinmoy CT), while Tim Davies (Icknield RC) was third.
There was snow on high ground and shivering riders at HQ for both the Banbury event as well as the Chippenham and District Wheelers hardriders 24 at Sutton Benger in Wiltshire, where Rob Pears (Bath CC) won in 56-14.
Expected challenger Jeff Jones (Drag2Zero.com) fell victim to a puncture at Wooton and was a DNF.
Jones’ new team-mates at Drag2Zero.com, Derek Parkinson and Mark Holton secured a one-two in the Circuit of Pendle, staged by Border City Wheelers over a 29-mile course in Cumbria.
Parkinson came out on top by 46 seconds, clocking 1-05-32 to beat Holton, while John Morgan (Preston Wheelers) was third, almost three minutes slower.
Former Premier Calendar winner and Commonwealth Games rider John Tanner is still a formidable rider at the age of 44, and the Doncaster-based Sportscover rider teamed up with colleague Collin Humphrey to win the Sheffrec CC two-up 25 at Hatfield Woodhouse in South Yorkshire on Saturday.
They won by 23 seconds from Sportscover team-mates Ashley Brown and Adam Duggleby.
Also in Yorkshire, Team Swift trio Joel Wainman, Alastair Wareham and Simon Beldon won the City RC Hill three-up 25 at Beverley.
And down in Essex, Scott Cousins (Maldon and District CC) won the Hainault RC 50km event at a wet and windy Navestock Side by 46 seconds from High Wycombe CC rival Jonathan Shubert, while the promoting club’s Russell Kober completed the podium.