A HOT TIME IN DEVON
On a day made for heading for Devon's beaches or sitting down for a cream tea Hatherleigh played host to the Mid-Devon CC promoted RTTC Team Time Trial Championship on Sunday as temperatures soared in to the upper 20s. In fact Lloyd Chapman of new champions Pedal Heaven RT reckoned he had registered a temperature of 27 degrees at one point. So plenty of hot action was on the cards.
With 47 teams listed it was the women's competition that was first to be sorted over the 32.5 miles and it was eventual winners Chester RC with Jill Wilkinson, Rebecca Holland and Gina Riley who quickley established a commanding lead, 1-46 up on TORQ Performance's Janet Birkmyre, Madelaine Moore and Melanie Sneddon at around nine miles. By 20 miles Chester RC had caught Torq Performance,who had started three minutes before them, and headed to finish wirh their Gilt Medal winning 1-22-16. Torq Performance, 1-26-42, went home with the Silver Medal and the Tavistock Wheelers' Victoria Lloyd-Walsh, Pippa McDougall and Kath Fletcher rounded out the top spots with their Bronze Medal 1-38-29 performance. The secret of the Chester trio's success "we spent a lot of time practising and planning for this," Jill Wilkinson revealed.
RAF CA SET THE EARLY STANDARD
With 42 men's team the spotlight was on the last four away who were all potential medallists on current form but it was earlier starters, the RAF CA's Jonathan Gates, Ryan Morley and Robert Willcocks who threw in a challenge when their first split,19-21 turned out to be the day's third fastest. A finishing 1-12-01 earned them a well deserved fifth place, best of the Armed Services teams entered.
The Fareham wheelers got away and clocked 19-53 and 45-10 splits before ending up with a fourth place 1-10-51 thanks to the efforts of Paul Ashley, Gary Chapman and James Copeland. But they had been caught three minutes by the rapid moving Pedal Heaven RT trio of Chapman, Joseph Fry and Max Steadman, called in to replace James Gullen who on Saturday had won the British Cycling North-West Region road race championship.
Pedal Heaven's winning 1-07-40 followed splits of 18-27 and 42-43 with two teams to finish, Team Bottrill's John Dewey, Jonathan Parker and Matthew Smith, and SSLL RT's Andy Jackson, Alastair Wareham and Jonathan Wears, Jackson and Wareham Champions last year when with Team Swift. The Bottrill squad were 1-03 down at nine miles and at the second split that had gone out to 1-21. A finishing 1-09-39 gave them a temporary second spot with SSLL RT still out on the road.
SSLL RT FIGHT BACK
The Jackson led team showed they were not going to go down without a fight. At nine miles they were just 20 seconds off of Pedal Heavn RT's pace. Eleven miles on and that had gone out to 46 seconds and at the end of the 32.5 miles they were 39 seconds adrift of Pedal Heaven RT with their 1-08-19, Silver Medallists.
"That's the first time we have ridden together in a team time trial. Lloyd Chapman said. "Max did very well, he had only ridden a club event before and was called in at the last moment so it was new ground for him. It wasn't easy today but riding the An Post Ras stage race paid dividends as far as fitness goes. It was very hot today and that made it a bit difficult relief only came when we could pedal faster in the wind and get cooler," Chapman said. "I think we did pretty well."