Chronicle Submission August 2020

Global sports took a back seat for a few months but with the recent return of F1 motor racing and football, Congleton Cycling Club (CCC) have been involved over the past month with a shortened but successful and extremely popular timetrial series.

Following British Cycling and Cycle Time Trials (CTT) advice the club racing secretary Ben Norbury  arranged four weekly 10-miles TTs to the detriment of his own racing whilst ensuring everyone maintained social distancing. There would be no socializing with tea and cake afterwards and race numbers would be collected from the ‘washing line’ and returned to a disinfecting bucket afterwards.

Race one was the pilot with 28 riders finishing the J2/1 Chelford to Knutsford course. Philip Gleave posted the fastest club rider time of 22 min 10s with new rider for 2020 Andy Gray exactly 30s behind for 2nd and Mat Stephenson 3rd in 23min 24s. Lucy Rogers was 1st lady in 24min 31s, Claire Harrison 2nd with 25min 12s and Alice Taylor 3rd on a road bike with 28min 5s. Local rider Alex Royle posted the fastest overall time on 20min 6 sec, almost a 30mph ride!

Race two male and female Congleton riders remained the same but with quicker times. Philip Gleave breaking 22 minutes…just…21:59 and Lucy with 24:17. Second were Mat Stephenson (23:05) and Lynsey Astles (26:39) and third, Jon White (23:06) and Alison Stephenson (29:38). Thirty-thee riders took part.

Race 3 moved course to Twelmlow Lane with an out and back course to Chelford roundabout. A slower course generally but 46 riders had a name on the start list on a blustery evening. Philip (22:19) and Lucy (24:35) again taking the CCC honours on timetrial bikes and fastest road bike set up went to Adrian Fox with 28:50.

Race four and the numbers increased again. Forty-eight riders on the start sheet all at minute intervals and still no ‘pusher off’. The weather seemed slightly more favourable from the previous event with Adrian Fox bettering his road bike time with a 28min 4s but beaten to 2nd place by David Farrington with a 24:26 setting a new personal best (pb). Lucy and Philip wrapped up their 4th wins on TT bikes and Kerry Gleave breaking 20mph to finish with a 29:46. The fastest time of the evening went to in form Alex Royle with a fantastic 30+mph ride setting an unofficial course record with 19min 57s.

Moving up the TT distances just last weekend Congleton CC riders were participating in a local 25miles TT organized by Alex Royle of Manchester Bicycle Club and Ben Norbury took on the best in the CTT National 12hr.

In the Jodrell Bank loop course Alex Royle took the top spot in 50min 28s in horrible wet conditions. First CCC rider was Mick Hutchins with a new pb and first time under the one barrier in 59min 47s. Stephen Sladin almost  three minutes behind with 1:02:42 and Andrew Jenkins bringing home the male riders with 1:06:17. Representing the ladies were Lynsey Astles, Alison Stephenson and Alice Taylor, and they set off in that order a minute apart but it was an amazing effort by Alice to take the fastest time of 1:08:51 and fastest road bike over Lynsey (1:08:58) on a TT bike with Alison setting a local course pb with 1:16:02.

On Sunday morning whilst most people were tucked up in bed Ben Norbury set off on his bike for 12 hours of aerodynamic riding in probably the worst conditions we have had since lockdown. Torrential rain on and off all day with riders completing multiple day loops in Shropshire and finishing off with 8-miles loops in Wrexham, Wales. Last years winner Ben set a superb early pace of 24mph and looked comfortable throughout afternoon. The marshals switched over to the finishing circuit earlier than planned leaving the static support crews in limbo and some riders potentially without vital nutrition and drinks. Ben normally picks up the pace for the finishing circuits and was making gains on some of the top riders in a difficult to judge but a fully loaded field but hunger knocks in the final few loops forced a drop in power output resulting in loss of pace. Ben Finished the race in a provisional 12th completing 278.45 miles with last week’s CTT 100 miles champion Adam Wild just beating Brian Fogarty by a quarter of a mile with 294.90miles.

The season is almost over as quick as it started. We still have the Congleton CC Ganney Bank hill climb on 11th October and the National 50 miles TT on the 4th October.

If you would like to get involved with cycling, social or racing, please check out our website or Facebook pages.

Ben Norbury making aero look easy. Photo by Mat Stephenson
Ben Norbury taking on lunch in the National 12hr TT Championships. Photo by Mat Stephenson
Left to right Mick Hutchins, Alice Taylor, Alison Stephenson and Lynsey Astles waiting to start the MBC 25 TT. Photo by Mat Stephenson
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