Partners Sophie Driscoll and Nic Fennell were fastest female and male riders at the Kent CA 10 at Betteshanger Park, while there were many strong rides from youngsters at the GHS District Heats which ran alongside the KCA event.
Driscoll, 23, and Fennell, 28, ensured a good day for their household in Staplehurst as well as for Thanet Road Club by taking both top prizes. Fennell clocked 20-24 to win overall by 27 seconds, while Driscoll covered the course in 25-44 to win the women’s prize by almost three minutes.
Second in the scratch event was Fennell’s team-mate Lewis Tompsett with 20-51, while third went to Lance Childs (TrainSharp Junior Development Team).
“The conditions were pretty dreadful,” said Fennell. “The rain came down very hard just before the first riders were due off which made warming up under an umbrella an experience!”
“For the later riders the heavy rain eased to more of a drizzle but left some standing water in places. Despite knowing the course well I was very cautious around the bends, as it can be slippery at the bottom of the straight and at the hairpin.
“I enjoy the Betteshanger course as it’s traffic free and has no junctions or turns to negotiate, so always pleased when it’s run as an open event. I was happy with my ride overall and my time was good for the rainy conditions.”
Driscoll’s time gave her the women’s prize by 2-54 from Deborah Percival (Kent Velo Boys & Girls), while just a second further back in third was Natasha Jarman (Southborough & District Wheelers) with 28-39.
“The race was enjoyable as it was my first one back since the National Open Circuit Championship in October,” said Driscoll.
“Training has been a bit on the back burner recently due to competing on horses so was a pleasant surprise to do so well. Despite the rain it was lovely for it not to be blowing a gale. All in all I’m very pleased and the result spurs me on to do some more training to see what I can achieve next.”
Top junior was Lance Childs whose time of 21-30 gave him third overall, while fastest juvenile was Essex Roads CC rider Ryan Jackson in 25-33.
Mark Hill (Velo Refined Rule 5 Aerosmith) was best veteran on standard with +5.09, 38 seconds better than Simon Henderson (Thanet Road Club) in second, while the best improvement on previous three years was by Wigmore CC rider Tom Odell who improved 2-26.
Thanet Road Club won the team-mate with Fennell being joined by Tompsett and Adrian Hawkins.
The road bike category was won by Tom Odell in 24-30, 47 seconds ahead of Paul Flaherty of VC Deal, while top female on a road bike was Grace Dent (Project 51) in 26-17.
The GHS event saw Casey Humber-Kelley (VC Deal) clock 25-34 to win his age group, while fastest girl was Tallulah Butcher (Thanet Road Club) in 26-16 for second overall.
GHS age group winners were Tallulah Butcher, Emily Tanner and Ferne Pierce in the girls, and for the boys it was Toby Clayson, Casey Humber-Kelley, William Tullett and Douglas Tullett.
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