Commonwealth Games hopeful Michael Hutchinson secured a convincing victory in the third national round of the Rudy Project Time Trial Series in Cumbria on Sunday, winning by almost two minutes from his nearest rival over two laps of the Bassenthwaite Lake circuit.
The In Gear-Quickvit RT rider, who is aiming for selection for the Northern Ireland team in the Commonwealth Games in Delhi later this year, clocked 1:05:03 to win by 1:47 from series leader Matt Bottrill (I Ride RT), while Chippenham & District Wheelers' Jeff Jones took third, another 1:20 off the pace.
"I was happy with how my ride went - it was according to plan more or less," said Hutchinson afterwards. "It was a cold morning and there was a strong headwind as you headed round the A66, but nothing to really complain about."
After several days of dry weather, heavy overnight rain had left debris on the course in patches, which caused several riders to puncture - including one of the favourites in the Disability category, Simon Richardson, who punctured just before and just after the start to end his hopes of challenging for the win.
Off the four DNFs in the senior event, defending Rudy Project Series champion Dean Robson (Somerset RC) was the highest profile, although it was not a puncture which ended his hopes, with a gearing problem causing him to pull out after just one of the two laps.
With five rounds needed to qualify and five rounds left, Hutchinson could still challenge Bottrill for the overall title he last won in 2005. However, Hutchinson added: "I'm not going for the series, I'm just going to pick and choose my races. I'm doing the next round in Doncaster, but probably nothing after that. It's a lot of travelling, and I have other priorities."
Michelle King showing excellent form to win the women's race
Elsewhere in the event Cult Racing's Michelle King won the women's event by 1:02 from Reading CC veteran Trudi Sammons, while another Cult Racing rider, Jane Kilmartin, took third, another 29 seconds off the pace.
Cult Racing didn't quite have the numbers to win the team prize, however. Their best three riders finished on equal points with the best three from the I Ride team. But I Ride had a fourth rider, which decided the team prize in their favour.
Alex Royle en route to winning the juniors
There was a strong performance in the junior category from I Ride RT's 16-year-old Alex Royle, whose time of 33:55 gave him a convincing victory and may well have put him in the top ten of the seniors had he completed another lap.
Ian Cooke won the vets on actual time category
Carol Gandy won the vets on target time
And while Team Swift's Ian Cooke was actual fastest of the veterans with 33:49, the best on target time was former British Best All-Rounder Carole Gandy who recorded a plus of 8:10 to win by nine seconds from VC Meudon's prolific winner, John Woodburn.
Birch pips Boyman in Bath Road Club hilly
Chris Birch (East Street Cycles) pipped defending champion James Boyman (In Gear-Quickvit RT) to victory in the Bath Road Club hilly 31-mile event near Reading in Berkshire on Sunday.
Birch clocked 1:17:35, and although that was more than three minutes shy of Craig Hughes' course record it was good enough for victory by four seconds.
Heavy rain again blighted the course and left it dotted with hazards, and although the rain stopped shortly before the start, the course was also generally cloudy, making for a challenging ride.
Reading CC's Nicholas English took third spot, and despite not placing a rider in the top ten the team prize went to West Drayton MBC with bad luck hitting the GS Stella squad.
With four riders entered the smart money was on GS Stella to take the team prize, but one rider pulled out with a knee injury and was a non-start, and David Shepherd suffered two punctures. The remaining two GS Stella riders finished sixth and seventh respectively, but were powerless to stop West Drayton MBC taking the win.
Wheeler wins San Fairy Ann 25
There was also a close finish in the battle for the team prize in the San Fairy Ann CC 25-mile event in Kent on Sunday.
Datateam Allstars took the win with two riders in the top ten and one just outside, but just 35 seconds further back was the promoting club San Fairy Ann CC, who also had two riders in the top ten but just missed out.
In the solo event, David Wheeler (Rye and District Wheelers) took the honours with 53:59 for the Q25/12 course at Old Romney, while Datateam Allstars' first counting rider was Kevin Tye in second spot, 21 seconds behind Wheeler.
The promoting club's Mike Piper took third, another 15 seconds back, while San Fairy Ann also won the women's prize with Kate Bosley clocking 1:08:25.
Doyle wins Scottish 10 mile championship
Arthur Doyle (Dooley Cycles RT) was crowned Scottish 10-mile Champion after racing to victory in the Jason Macintyre Memorial event at Corpach near Fort William on Saturday.
Doyle was 33 seconds faster than Shetland Wheelers' Carlos Riise, while Alistair Robinson (Leslie Bike Shop) completed the podium in third, another three seconds off the pace.
Mari Todd (Sandy Wallace Cycles) took the women's title, beating Shetland Wheelers' Christine McLean by 26 seconds.
|Rudy Project Time Trial Series Round 3 (Bassenthwaite, Cumbria, 31/15 miles):|
|Senior Men (31.2 miles):|
|1 Michael Hutchinson (In Gear-Quickvit RT)||1:05:03|
|2 Matt Bottrill (I Ride RT)||1:06:50|
|3 Jeff Jones (Chippenham & District Wheelers)||1:08:10|
|4 Julian Ramsbottom (I Ride RT)||1:08:33|
|5 Colin Robertson (Velo Ecosse)||1:09:07|
|6 Scott Walker (I Ride RT)||1:09:54|
|Women (15 miles):|
|1 Michelle King (Cult Racing)||36:12|
|2 Trudi Sammons (Reading CC)||37:14|
|3 Jane Kilmartin (Cult Racing)||37:43|
|Juniors (15 miles):|
|1 Alex Royle (I Ride RT)||33:55|
|2 Jack Green (VC St Raphael)||34:36|
|3 Joshua Teasdale (Team Endura)||35:00|
|Veterans on actual time:|
|1 Ian Cooke (Team Swift-Allsports)||33:49|
|2 Ian Dalton (Cherry Valley RT)||34:18|
|3 Paul Grindley (Liverpool Century RC)||34:20|
|4 Dave Dent (Wightlink Offshore)||34:25|
|5 Carlo Berton (Border City Wheelers)||35:15|
|6 Daniel Thorogood (Ystwyth CC)||36:01|
|Veterans on target time:|
|1 Carole Gandy (Born 2 Bike)||+8:10|
|2 John Woodburn (VC Meudon)||+8:01|
|3 Mike Westmorland (Border City Wheelers)||+6:28|
|4 Paul Grindley (Liverpool Century RC)||+5:08|
|5 Ian Cooke (Team Swift)||+4:48|
|6 Dave Dent (Wightlink Offshore)||+4:46|
|Disabled: Rebecca Rimmington & Lora Turnham (Melton Olympic)||37:54|
|Bath Road Club hilly (Bradford Southend, near Reading, Berkshire):|
|1 Chris Birch (East Street Cycles)||1:17:35|
|2 James Boyman (In Gear-Quickvit RT)||1:17:39|
|3 Nicholas English (Reading CC)||1:20:30|
|4 Stephen Richards (Cycle Kingdom RT)||1:22:43|
|5 Ian White (Farnham RC)||1:23:36|
|6 Mark Jones (GS Stella)||1:23:55|
|7 Tony Reeves (GS Stella)||1:24:21|
|8 Ian Lakey (Newbury RC)||1:25:40|
|9 Robert Watson (North Hampshire RC)||1:25:54|
|10 Roderick MacFadyen (Reading CC)||1:27:17|
|Team: West Drayton MBC (Jonathan Greaves, Tom Beetham, Carl Beetham)||4:59:50|
|Veterans on std: Mark Jones||+1:25|
|San Fairy Ann CC (Old Romney, Kent, 25 miles):|
|1 David Wheeler (Rye & District Wh)||53:59|
|2 Kevin Tye (Datateam Allstars)||54:20|
|3 Mike Piper (San Fairy Ann CC)||54:35|
|4 Will Manger (Team Larkfield Cycles)||54:52|
|5 Malcolm Davies (Kent Cycles RC)||55:18|
|6 Steve Berry (San Fairy Ann CC)||55:20|
|7 Paul Burrows (Kent Cycles RC)||56:36|
|8 Andrew Meilak (Datateam Allstars)||56:39|
|9 Carl Chapman (GS Invicta)||57:19|
|10 Neal O'Grady (Greenwich Tri Club)||57:41|
|Team: Datateam Allstars (Kevin Tye, Andrew Meilak, Seth Kay)||2:49:00|
|Veterans: Tony Meilak (West Kent RC)||(1:05:33) +16:57|
|Women: Kate Bosley (San Fairy Ann CC)||1:08:25|
|Juniors: Michael Barnes (Team Larkfield Cycles)||59:37|
|Scottish National 10-Mile Championship (Kilmalie Hall, Corpach, Fort William):|
|Jason Macintyre Memorial:|
|1 Arthur Doyle (Dooleys Cycles RT)||20:37|
|2 Carlos Riise (Shetland Wheelers)||21:10|
|3 Alistair Robinson (Leslie Bike Shop)||21:13|
|4 Evan Oliphant (Endura Racing)||21:32|
|4 Gary Robson (Peebles CC)||21:32|
|6 Michael Nicholson (Dooleys Cycles RT)||21:34|
|7 Philip Kelman (Deeside Thistle CC)||21:39|
|8 Silas Goldsworthy (Sandy Wallace Cycles)||21:46|
|9 Steve Nutley (Fife Cycling 2000)||21:49|
|10 Chris Smart (GB Fire Service RT)||21:50|
|Women: Mari Todd (Sandy Wallace Cycles)||23:12|
|Addiscombe CC (Broadbridge Heath, West Sussex, 25 miles):|
|1 Steve Dennis (East Grinstead CC)||52:14|
|2 Rupert Burbridge (Redhill CC)||53:59|
|3 Lee Turner (Sigma Sport RT)||54:51|
|4 Brian Molloy (34 Nomads)||55:12|
|5 Iain Brogden (Eastbourne Rovers CC)||55:28|
|6 Keith Coffey (Bec CC)||55:43|
|7 Niall Digby (Sigma Sport RT)||55:56|
|8 George Brent (Addiscombe CC)||56:09|
|9 Philip Watkins (Purley CRT)||56:39|
|10 Jon Archdeacon (De Laune CC)||56:51|
|Veterans on std: Roger Sewell (Ross-shire Roads CC)||+16:31|
|Women: Rebecca Slack (London Dynamo)||59:08|
|Team: 34 Nomads (Brian Molloy, Tim Stevens, Stuart Hourigan)||2:51:04|
|Kingston Phoenix (North Holmwood, Surrey, 10 miles):|
|1 Richard Prebble (Motorpoint-Marshalls Pasta)||21:22|
|2 Chris Birch (East Street Cycles.com)||21:27|
|3 Don Milliken (London Dynamo)||21:48|
|4 Lee Chaplin (RT316)||21:49|
|5 Rupert Burbidge (Redhill CC)||21:49|
|6 Nic Stagg (Hounslow & District Wh)||21:54|
|7 Keith Coffey (Bec CC)||21:57|
|8 Mick Deen (Redmon CC)||22:11|
|9 Jon Masters (Norwood Paragon CC)||22:22|
|9 Steve Legg (RT 316)||22:22|
|Team: RT 316 (Lee Chaplin, Steve Legg, Mark Griffiths)||1:07:03|
|Veterans: Richard Prebble|
|Veterans on std: Jack Brown (a3crg)||(25:52) +7:42|
|Women: Ella Yates (In Gear Quickvit RT)||26:41|
|Juniors: Ewen Tuohy (Seeds Cycling)||26:28|