UK national 10-Mile Champion Michael Hutchinson (In-Gear Quickvit RT) completed his preparation for next Sunday’s National 25-mile title race with a stunning victory in the Hitchin Nomads CC event at Tempsford, Bedfordshire.
The London-based multiple champion recorded the sixth fastest 25-mile time ever on the super-fast F1 course, clocking 47min 53sec to push Sam Barker (Planet X) into second spot by 3min 24sec.
Barker’s team-mate at Planet X, multiple British Best All-Rounder ace Ian Cammish, had to settle for third spot, his time of 52min 33sec being 4-40 slower than Hutchinson’s.
While the early starters enjoyed dry conditions, the later starters and faster riders all had to contend with rain and slippery conditions, but Hutchinson looked unaffected as he ploughed round the course in his customary smooth style.
Elsewhere, National 25 medal hopeful Ben Instone (Scientific Coaching) also secured a comfortable victory, winning by more than two minutes in the Bournemouth Arrow CC event at Lytchett Matravers, Dorset. Instone clocked 51min 19sec to win by 2.06 from Julian Jenkinson (UTAG Yamaha.com), while Paul Jones (Bournemouth Jubilee Wheelers) was third, another 21 seconds off the pace.
Reigning National 100-mile Champion Richard Prebble (GS Strada) also secured a win as he prepared for next Sunday’s title race in Cambridgeshire.
Prebble, who was diagnosed as diabetic last year, showed he is still a force to be reckoned with when he clocked 50min 2sec in the Cheltenham and County CC event at Ashton Keynes, Wiltshire. His time beat Echelon-Spiuk’s Gavin Poupart into second by 1-25, while Nik Gardiner (John’s Bikes RT) was third with 51-37.
Team Swift-Allsports rider Harry Walker won the Tyne Road Club 25-mile event at Cramlington, Northumberland, clocking 54min 48sec for the hilly course. Walker won by around two and a half minutes from Northumbria Police CC rider Mike Harris (57-23), while Wansbeck CC’s Jonathan Gavaghan took third with 58min 25sec.
The expected challenge from in-form Dominic Munnelly (KB Cycles) ended after around 10 miles when he climbed off, citing the torrential rain and cold conditions. Munnelly was estimated to be 30 seconds up on Walker after ten miles, but he pulled out, perhaps choosing not to risk picking up a cold ahead of next weekend’s National 25-Mile Championship.
Also in with a chance of a medal at the National 25 is Laurence Harding (Agiskoviner.com) and he won the South Eastern Road Club’s 25 at Horsham, West Sussex, on Sunday. His time of 51min 42sec gave him victory over Richard Legge (London Dynamo) who clocked 53min 17sec.
Nik Bowdler (Farnborough and Camberley CC) put in an impressive performance at the API Metrow 50-mile event at Six Mile Bottom, Cambridgeshire, on Saturday, winning with the fourth fastest time ever recorded. He clocked 1hr 39min 2sec to win by 1-24 from Ian Cammish (Planet X), while the promoting club’s Carl Ruebotham had to settle for third with 1hr 41min 40sec.
In the Sheffrec CC 10 mile event, Wayne Randle (Planet X) won in a time of 20min 23sec, beating Graham Briggs (Rapha Condor-Recycling) by 16 seconds with Adam Duggleby (Shorter Rochford RT) in third. Louise Day (Fat Birds CC) was the fastest woman home in 23min 48sec.
And there was a tie for victory in the Cleveland Wheelers 25-mile event at Crathorne, North Yorkshire, with Malton Wheelers’ Charles Goodway and Teesdale CRC’s Darren Gee both clocking 58min 15sec.