Rebecca Johnson and Carl Donaldson were the fastest male and female riders as Worcestershire hosted round three of the Knight Composites Classic Time Trial Series on Sunday.
Fourth in round one at Easter, Donaldson improved to take victory in this event and boost his overall series ambitions. He clocked 1-32-09 to win by almost two minutes from Dean Robson (Northover VT), with early series leader Rob Walker (Cambridge University CC) third, just five seconds behind Robson.
And Johnson, the 27-year-old Fusion RT Veloperformance rider from near Ipswich, clocked 1-34-46 for the 37-mile course. That gave her the win by just 16 seconds from series leader Kelly Murphy (C2 Racing), while Lauren Creamer (Brotherton Cycles) was third, a further 1-28 back.
“I’ve been targeting the series this year so it’s great to get the win,” said Donaldson, 37 and from Morpeth. “It’s something a bit different to the BBAR I was chasing last season.
“I’ve beaten most of the riders who were here already this season so I was quietly confident - but I didn’t feel great during the event.
“I had the course record written down on my stem as a bit of a target and motivation, but I was just short of that by about 45 seconds.
“There were some really steep hills on the course, so it was just a case of getting over them as best I could and keeping the power going over the flat sections.”
The win for Donaldson comes after some mixed results so far this season.
Having placed fourth in the opening round of the series, he then snapped his chain in the Circuit of Ingleborough after nine miles and had to walk to a local bike shop for repairs before continuing and finishing 46th.
He then punctured and didn’t finish in the Blaydon CC two-up, before going on to finish second to James Gullen in the Circuit of the Dales 50 last weekend.
Meanwhile fastest female Rebecca Johnson – who has been focussed on road racing with Fusion RT – said: “It was a big surprise to win. I only got a time trial bike a week ago, but now I guess I’ll have to start doing a few more!
“I was hoping to get on the podium but I wasn’t sure how I had done after I finished, so it’s great to have won.
“I drove the course for the first time yesterday to scope it out, and my tactic was to go hard on the climbs and recover on the flat. It was a perfect course for me; I love climbs – the more savage the better!”
In the veterans category, Danny Axford (Arctic Tacx RT) took the win in a time of 1-34-46 and left last season’s overall category winner Peter Nicholls, the Racehub rider who has won the first two rounds this season, to settle for second by exactly one minute. James Rix (Team Bottrill-Vanguard) was third.
CC Ashwell’s Jackie Field was the first female veteran and sixth female overall. Her time of 1-52-37 was more than nine minutes quicker than the next best female veteran in Tina Reid (Trainsharp).
Third overall heading into round three, 2016 series winner David Murphy (Liverpool Mercury Dolan CC) was fastest in the paracyclists category with an adjusted time of 1-39-03, which sees him take over at the top of the series rankings.
Lichfield City CC youngster Emile Alexander was top of the junior podium with an impressive time of 1-42-59 which gave him the win on the day by almost five minutes from juvenile Daniels Kucerjavijs (Mossley CRT). Overall Jarps and Kucerjavijs are tied on 118 points, with Kieran Morris - who did not ride in Worcestershire – is third.
Conditions were cool, grey and overcast with a slight breeze, while the later starters had to contend with some light drizzle.
The challenging K22/37 course takes riders on an anti-clockwise loop starting just south west of Great Witley, it heads up along minor roads onto the B4203 and then circles round and through Upper Sapey, Tedstone Wafre, round the Brockhampton Estate to the east of Bromyard and then joins the A44 to Knightwick.
The riders turn off there and head north to Martley, where they turn off again and head to Hallow and then up to A443to Holt Heath and Little Witley, through Great Witley and then back down to a finish just beyond the start point.
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