Danny Axford made a stylish return to form with a course record-breaking performance in the Banbury Star Hardriders 23-mile event in Oxfordshire on Sunday.
Arctic Premier RT rider Axford sliced more than a minute off Stuart Dangerfield’s 1993 mark when he clocked 52min 5sec for a testing course which took the riders to Ettington and back and included the tough 16 per cent gradient of Sun Rising Hill on the return leg.
“I was pleased to win, but surprised to take the course record,” said the 33-year-old from Oxford. “To take a record off someone like Stuart Dangerfield is no mean feat, so I’m pleased. It’s given my confidence a boost after a disappointing North Road Hardriders last weekend.”
Ideal conditions led to many good times, and it proved to be an expensive day for the event organisers who had promised £50 for anyone breaking the course record.
Second-placed Chris Birch (East Street Cycles) earned himself a bonus when he broke the record with a time of 53min 3sec, but his mark stood for a matter of minutes with Axford coming home almost a minute quicker.
Reigning national hill-climb champion Matt Clinton (Mike Vaughan Cycles) took third with a time of 53min 28sec, which was only five seconds off Dangerfield’s old record.
Phill Sykes breaks course record in Hampshire
Also breaking a course record this weekend was VC St Raphael ace Phill Sykes, who won the A3CRG 10-mile event at Liphook in Hampshire.
Sykes, the 2007 British Masters Time Trial Champion and a former Royal Marine, clocked 22min 3sec to beat Ben Instone’s three-year-old record by 26 seconds.
The 34-year-old from Petersfield won by 16 seconds from Sigma Sport RT’s Wouter Sybrandy, who had also broken the course record just minutes earlier.
Third-placed Aaron Stanton was top veteran, and also linked up with Sykes and Mick St Leger in the winning team.
Pete Tadros wins in Kent
In-form In Gear rider Pete Tadros sliced almost a minute-and-a-half off Gary Birch’s year-old course record in the VC Elan Hilly 20-mile event at Charing, Kent, on Sunday, when he clocked 50min 2sec.
With Birch a non-starter due to illness, Tadros was left to win the event by more than two minutes from Kent Cycles rival Malcolm Davies (52:06), while 53-year-old Phil Bull of the promoting club completed the podium with 53:10.
Dean Lubin takes victory in Essex
Cold but clear conditions greeted a field of 59 riders for the Maldon and District Hilly 20-mile event at Purleigh, Essex, on Sunday where Walthamstow’s Dean Lubin took victory by more than a minute.
While the course record was safe this time, Lubin’s performance was worthy of victory, even though scratch man Mark Solley was a non-starter.
PCA Ciclos Uno rider Lubin clocked 48min 42sec to win by 1min 4sec from API Metrow rival Paul Arnold, while Finsbury Park CC’s veteran Hugh Vivian was third fastest, another 49 seconds off the pace.
MarkLovatt and Mike Cuming win two-up in Cheshire
Former Premier Calendar Road Race Series and National Hill-Climb Champion MarkLovatt (Planet X) teamed up with Mike Cuming (Raleigh Avanti RT) to take victory in the Nova CC two-up 25-mile event in Cheshire on Saturday.
The duo clocked 54min 31sec to win by 22 seconds from Maxgear RT pair Tony Greenhalgh and Richard Handley, while the next best team were three-and-a-half minutes further back.
The rolling course took the riders around two laps of a circuit north from Gawsworth and then across minor – and muddy – roads to the A34 to Congleton and back again.
Banbury Star CC Hardriders (Banbury, Oxon, 23 miles):
|1 Danny Axford (Arctic Premier RT)
|| 52min 5sec (course record)
|2 Chris Birch (East Street Cycles)
|3 Matt Clinton (Mike Vaughan Cycles)
|4 James Wall (Stratford on Avon CC)
|5 Richard Bradley (Shorter Rochford RT)
|6 Will Fox (Cycling Bargains.com)
|7 Tim Ashton (Royal Sutton CC)
|8 Rob Weare (Team Midland)
|9 Richard Howells (Coventry RC)
|10 Jamie Burrell (Echelon-SPIUK)
Juniors: Rob Yeatman (Glendene CC) 1:00:03.
Women: Nicky Xandora (Banbury Star CC) 1:06:17.
A3CRG (Liphook, Hampshire, 10 miles):
|1 Phill Sykes (VC St Raphael)
|| 22:03 (course record)
|2 Wouter Sybrandy (Sigma Sport RT)
|3 Aaron Stanton (VC St Raphael)
|4 Steve Walkling (Velocity Bikes)
|5 Simon Tout (Velocity Bikes)
|5 Dave Pickering (Bournemouth Jubilee Wheelers)
|7 Mick St Leger (VC St Raphael)
|8 Jonathan Hepper (A3CRG)
|8 Nicholas English (Reading CC)
|10 Matt Melville (AW Cycles)
Team: VC St Raphael (Phill Sykes, Aaron Stanton, Mick St Leger) 1:08:10.
Women: Trudi Sammons (Reading CC) 26:15.
Veterans on standard: Michael O’Sullivan (Kingston Wheelers) (25:51) +4:40.
Veterans: 40-44: Aaron Stanton. 45-50: Mick St Leger. 51-59: Jeremy Bromyard (RNRMCA) 25:17.
Over-60s: John Woodburn (VC Meudon) 26:38.
VC Elan Hilly (Charing, Kent, 22 miles):
|1 Pete Tadros (In Gear-Quickvit RT)
|| 50min 2sec (course record)
|2 Malcolm Davies (Kent Cycles RC)
|3 Phil Bull (VC Elan)
|4 Reg Smith (DCB Kent) 53:24
|5 Mike Piper (San Fairy Ann CC) 53:28
|6 Dave Wheeler (Rye and District CC) 53:58
|7 Jamie Beecham (VC Elan) 54:02
|8 Gary Banfield (Kent Cycles RC) 54:22
|9 Steve Castle (GS Invicta) 54:42
|10 Anthony Bee (Kent Cycles RC) 56:15
Team: Kent Cycles RC (Malcolm Davies, Gary Banfield, Anthony Bee) 2:42:43.
Women: Tracey Horne (Wildside 707 RT) 1:05:22.
Juniors: Joe Tucker (Medway Velo) 59:40.
Veterans on standard: Reg Smith +24:21.
Maldon & District Hilly (Purleigh, Essex, 20 miles):
|1 Dean Lubin (PCA Ciclos Uno)
|| 48min 42sec
|2 Paul Arnold (API Metrow)
|3 Hugh Vivian (Finsbury Park CC)
|4 Ian Short (Hainault RC)
|5 Colin Wilgress (Essex Roads CC)
|6 Neil Hornet (Chelmer CC)
|7 Gary Poole (API Metrow)
|8 Clive Harrison (Ford CC)
|9 Colin Lewin (Wildside Tri Team)
|10 Mark Donald (Ford CC)
Team: API Metrow (Paul Arnold, Gary Poole, Stuart Clark 53:40) 2:35:23.
Veterans: Hugh Vivian.
Women: Gwen Cook (Essex Roads CC) 58:04.
Juniors: Hamish Hore (Maldon & District CC) 54:13.
Nova CC Two-Up (Gawsworth, Cheshire, 25 miles):
|1 Mike Cuming (Raleigh-Avanti) & Mark Lovatt (Planet X)
|| 54min 31sec
|2 Tony Greenhalgh & Richard Handley (Maxgear RT)
|3 Martin Harney & Gerry Cross (Manchester Wheelers)
|4 Laurie Brooking (Buxton CC) & Jack Green (Westmead Team 88)
|5 Graham Trevena & Adam Bailey (Macclesfield Wheelers)
|6 Jody Warrington & Rick Warrington (ABC Centreville)
Composite team: Cuming & Lovatt.
Team with a junior: Brooking & Green.
Team with a woman: Carlton and Natalie Gower (Stafford RC) 1:06:51.
Veterans team on standard: Harney & Cross +10:32.
Chester Road Club (Broxton, Cheshire, 14 miles):
|1 John Morgan (Preston Wheelers)
|| 32min 2sec
|2 Ian Cooke (Calder Clarion)
|3 Phil Ellison (Ashurst BC)
|4 Paul Grindley (Liverpool Century RC)
|5 Dave Crawley (Fibrax Wrexham RC)
|6 Nick Giles (Warrington RC)
|7 Darren White (Fibrax-Wrexham RC)
|8 David Williams (Fibrax-Wrexham RC)
|9 David Jones (Rhos on Sea CC)
|10 John Murphy (Liverpool Century CC)
Veterans on standard: Jeff Bowler (South Pennine RC) (35:23) +6:21.
Juniors: Chris Wilkinson (North Shropshire Wheelers) 38:53.
Women: Rebecca Leaper (North Shropshire Wheelers) 39:42.
Team: Fibrax-Wrexham RC (Dave Crawley, Darren White, David Williams) 1:42:06.