Michael Hutchinson (men), Julia Shaw (women) and Joe Perrett (juniors) turned in strong performances to win the UK national 25 mile championships in Norfolk on Sunday. Two weeks previously, the trio had taken the top honours in the national 10 in Newbury.
On a windy and at times wet day, Hutch secured his third 25 mile title, clocking 48:23 to win by more than a minute. The In Gear-Quickvit RT ace defended the title in style with a performance which used every ounce of his recent form. He beat former title holder Chris Newton (Rapha Condor) into second by 1:08, while another track ace, Halfords Bikehut rider Andrew Tennant, was third with 49:53.
Averaging just over 31mph, Hutchinson said afterwards: "I was happy enough with the ride. In the end you come here to win and that's what I've done so no problems.
"It was a cold, windy and wet day which wasn't fantastic, but it only started to rain about halfway through my ride and I was already up by then. It didn't start to rain heavily until the last four or five miles, but there are a couple of turns and a roundabout towards the end which were very wet by then so I had to take it easy.
"I went out quite quickly [25'10 to the halfway point, mostly into a headwind] and I got to the turn and got some checks. I couldn't quite back off but I stopped going for every second. Then I got held up at the roundabout at Attleborough both times across it so I lost a little there."
The course started and finished near Attleborough and was mostly up and down the A11 dual carriageway. There were a couple of right hand turns and a roundabout that needed to be tackled four times. That caused a few hold ups for the racers, including Hutchinson.
Asked what he thought of this year's 25 course, he said: "I'm not, to be honest, a fan of running this kind of event on this kind of course. That said I appreciate that it's hard to find courses, especially in this area.
"I liked last year's 25 course better because it's a very quiet bit of single carriageway and it's much fairer. But the thing is the traffic build up - the guys who are off at eight o'clock in the morning, they've got a two minute disadvantage over me. They aren't going to win it but it's a national so everyone should be able to see where they fit."
Hutchinson, whose day job is a freelance journalist, seems to be faster now than he was as a full timer: "I kind of retired a few years ago after the Commonwealth Games and started focusing on other things. I'm sort of doing what everybody else is doing, I'm just doing it faster. I think it's smarter training and better recovery and not being so hung up on it. I think not being full time is helping me because I'm less worried about it."
He has written a very readable book on his failed attempt at the hour record in 2003. Is he thinking of having another go at it? "Hah! Don't be bloody daft. I'm going well but the hour record is too much!"
Julia Shaw, women's winner
Like Hutchinson, Utag-Yamaha's Julia Shaw took her second title of the season. Shaw was a convincing winner of both Sunday's 25-mile title race and the 10-mile version a fortnight ago.
Shaw clocked 55:18 to win by almost two minutes from VC St Raphael ace Sarah Storey, while Lynne Taylor (Walsall Roads CC) was third, 2'43 behind.
"It was a better ride in a way than I did in the ten," said Shaw afterwards. "Because I didn't win the 25 last year I really wanted it this time.
"Everything went to plan – I was getting some positive time checks throughout, and finished trouble free. Over the last few miles I was wary of puncturing or cramping up, but it went to plan and I was pleased.
"It's a shame that Wendy [Houvenaghel] or Sharon [Laws] didn't ride which would've made it better, but it was still a good field. That would've given me a good gauge of my form, because I think it's improved along with the bike and my kit."
The juniors race was also a repeat of the national 10 two weeks ago. Joe Perrett (Glendene CC) clocked 53'07 to beat his clubmate Tom Yeatman by 1'09, with Jack Green third at 3'06.
The only junior women's competitor was Emily Davis, who clocked 1hr29'04 to win her event.
Joe Perrett, best junior
Williams wins Alf Jones Memorial 25
Elsewhere, there was a poignant end to the Chester Road Club's Alf Jones Memorial 25 in Shropshire on Sunday, following Dave Williams' victory on the Prees course.
Some of the riders and organisers went back out onto the course after the event and – in line with his wishes – scattered some of Mr Jones' ashes on the A41.
In the event, Wrexham Road Club rider Williams clocked 56:43 to win by 45 seconds from Alf Jones Cycles rider Mark Staden.
Wind and showers greeted the riders on an overcast day, with Williams also leading Wrexham to the team prize alongside clubmates Darren White and Luke Vallance who were joint eighth.
Royle breaks juvenile 10 record
Stockport-based youngster Alex Royle rode his way into the history books in East Yorkshire on Saturday when he broke the juvenile 10-mile competition record in the Yorkshire Cycling Federation event at South Cave.
Royle, the 15-year-old Coveryourcar.co.uk rider, sliced 17 seconds off the previous record, which was set by Ceri Pritchard in the year Royle was born, 1993.
He had shown great promise earlier in the week when he clocked 20:14 in the East Bradford CC event at Tadcaster to go to within one second of the record, but finally grabbed his place in the record books in Saturday's event.
He was just four seconds faster than senior rival Jason Young (City RC Hull), while Pedalsport team-mates Andy Jackson and Paul Kaye shared third spot, both having clocked 20:03.
Bason wins two in four days
Wrekinsport CC's Andy Bason secured his second victory in four days when he won the Mercia HBM CC 25-mile event at Fradley in Staffordshire on Sunday.
Bason won the event with a time of 54:36, a good time given the bad conditions which led to 21 riders choosing not to start. But many riders got away with staying dry, until a thunderstorm soaked some of the later riders.
Earlier in the week Bason had won the Oswestry Paragon's mid-week 10 by just nine seconds from Paramount CRT rival Dave Griffiths with his time of 21:19.
Road racing: Downing scores double in Rydale GP and Smithfield Nocturne
Russell Downing notched up another win in the Premier Calendar Road Race Series on Sunday, taking victory in the Ryedale Grand Prix in North Yorkshire to extend his lead in the season-long competition.
The Candi TV-Marshall's Pasta rider was content to sit in the bunch for much of the race as a break went clear virtually from the start of the 180-kilometre race.
But he attacked with a lap and a half of the course to go, catching the tiring leaders and sprinting to victory ahead of Burnley rival Ian Wilkinson, while Doncaster's Kevin Dawson (Sportscover) was third after being part of the break and holding on to claim a podium spot.
It was Downing's second win in 24 hours, having won the Smithfield Nocturne criterium in London on Saturday evening before driving north to take part in the Ryedale event.
|National 25-Mile Championship (Attleborough, Norfolk):|
|1 Michael Hutchinson (In Gear-Quickvit RT)||0:48:23|
|2 Chris Newton (Rapha Condor)||0:49:32|
|3 Andrew Tennant (Halfords Bikehut)||0:49:53|
|4 Matt Bottrill (I-Ride RT)||0:50:06|
|5 Ben Instone (Scientific Coaching.com)||0:50:53|
|6 John Tuckett (AW Cycles)||0:51:21|
|7 Phill Sykes (VC St Raphael)||0:51:33|
|8 Danny Axford (Arctic Premier RT)||0:51:57|
|9 Pete Tadros (In Gear-Quickvit RT)||0:52:09|
|10 Nik Bowdler (Farnborough & Camberley CC)||0:52:29|
|Team: I-Ride RT (Matt Bottrill, Julian Ramsbottom, Geoff Platts)||2:37:50|
|1 Julia Shaw (Utag Yamaha)||0:55:18|
|2 Sarah Storey (VC St Raphael)||0:57:13|
|3 Lynne Taylor (Walsall Roads CC)||0:58:01|
|4 Ruth Eyles (Beacon Roads CC)||0:58:08|
|5 Lynn Hamel (Team NCA)||0:58:29|
|6 Michelle King (Wyre Forest CRC)||0:58:41|
|1 Joe Perrett (Glendene CC)||0:53:07|
|2 Tom Yeatman (Glendene CC)||0:54:16|
|3 Jack Green (Westmead Team 88)||0:56:13|
|Junior Women: Emily Davis (CC Breckland)||1:29:04|
|Chester Road Club Alf Jones Memorial 25:|
|1 Dave Williams (Wrexham RC)||0:56:43|
|2 Mark Staden (Alf Jones Cycles)||0:57:28|
|3 Alan Overson (VC Melyd)||0:57:35|
|4 John Williamson (Warrington RC)||0:58:20|
|5 Neil Higgins (Preston CC)||0:58:33|
|6 Bryan Cliff (North Shropshire Wheelers)||0:58:44|
|7 Tommy Murphy (Liverpool Century RC)||0:59:13|
|8 Darren White (Wrexham RC)||0:59:15|
|9 Luke Vallance (Wrexham RC)|
|10 Craig Lawless (Wrexham RC)||0:59:17|
|Team: Wrexham RC (David Williams, Darren White, Luke Vallance)||2:55:13|
|Veterans on std: Jim Gresty (North Shropshire Wheelers)||0:59:53|
|Women: Jill Hume (Port Sunlight Wheelers)||1:07:15|
|Juniors: Ben Hastings (Chester RC)||1:12:08|
|Yorkshire Cycling Federation 10 (South Cave, East Yorkshire):|
|1 Alex Royle (Coveryourcar.co.uk)||0:19:56|
|2 Jason Young (City RC Hull)||0:20:00|
|3 Andy Jackson (Pedalsport CC)||0:20:03|
|3 Paul Kaye (Pedalsport CC)|
|5 Joel Wainman (Team Swift)||0:20:07|
|6 Steve Gore-Brown (Team Swift)||0:20:11|
|7 Steve Smales (Boneshakers)||0:20:18|
|8 Doug Hart (Yorkshire Velo)||0:20:20|
|9 Tony Nash (Scunthorpe Poly CC)||0:20:22|
|10 Andy Askwith (Bridlington CC)||0:20:30|
|Team: Team Swift (Joel Wainman, Steve Gore-Brown, Simon Beldon)||1:00:54|
|Women: Trish Mellor (Holme Valley Wheelers)||0:24:59|
|Women on handicap: Madeleine Smith (Otley CC)||0:20:07|
|Handicap: Roy Connor (Seacroft Wheelers)||0:18:04|
|Tandems: Mark and Elizabeth Johnson (Team Swift)||0:20:03|
|Mercia HBC CC 25 (Fradley, Staffordshire):|
|1 Andrew Bason (Wrekinsport CC)||0:54:36|
|2 Nick Sparks (Sheffield Tri Club)||0:55:47|
|3 Andrew Moore (Mammoth Lifestyle RT)||0:57:28|
|4 Stuart Walker (Walsall Roads CC)||0:57:35|
|5 Stefan Harrison (Stourbridge CC)||0:57:36|
|6 Eddy Priddy (Solihull CC)||0:58:57|
|7 Jason Evans (Hinckley CRC)||1:00:37|
|8 Andrew Sparks (Hereford Wheelers)||1:01:28|
|9 Michael Deamon (Hinckley CRC)||1:01:51|
|10 Mark Wynn (Lyme RC)||1:02:19|
|Handicap: Andrew Sparks||0:49:28|
|Team: Hinckley CRC (Jason Evans, Michael Deamon, Dave Tedds)||3:05:01|
|Tandems: Jeff Bowler & Dave Bates (South Pennine RC)||0:56:14|
|Women: Lisa Jarvis (Stafford RC)||1:14:06|