Coaching Revolutions Shropshire Championship 4-Up.

Photos courtesy of Nigel "Biggles" Brunton Go to Full Gallery

The course and event record were both smashed in the highly anticipated Coaching Revolutions Shropshire Championship 4-Up as a strong RAF CA squad lopped a huge margin off both benchmarks at Edgmond. The squad, comprising Dan Watts, Matt Garthwaite, Ryan Morley and Antony Richardson stormed around a 50 kilometre course taking in Crudgington, Shawbirch and Hodnet in a fabulous 1 hour, 2 minutes and 30 seconds to beat the Course Record set in 2012 by Paramount CRT by 2:37 and Rhino Velo’s Event Record from 2016 by 1:10, averaging over 30mph in glorious conditions despite getting held up at three turning points.

Watts had made sure to carefully check the old records pre-race, indicating that an attempt to challenge those benchmarks was clearly in the team’s minds. With perfect conditions to assist the attempt the squad set about leap-frogging the teams starting ahead of them and had to dig dip on the final, rolling section between Crudgington to Edgmond. Watts stated: “I’m really pleased to take the record. The team worked well together with no skipped turns or miscommunication. We had a few hold-ups but stayed on target and pushed hard for the finish to get in at 30mph. A good event including a good post race social and plenty of sunshine made for an awesome day“.

Garthwaite had the distinction of beating his own Event Record after being part of a strong Rhino Velo squad who set that benchmark in 2016 on a different, flatter course due to Shawbirch roundabout being out of commission. He revealed how well the squad worked together and more details about the hold-ups: “It was a pleasure to ride with the RAF guys – a great bunch. We had the course and event record as a target but were really aiming for 30mph+ average. All was going well until we were held up at Crudgington and both roundabouts. The turns became shorter and shorter but we all held it together and didn’t miss a turn. Irrigation outside Edgmond was a pleasant cooler“!

Morley meanwhile had been afraid that the squad had overcooked things early on and would pay later in the event: “A brilliant event. When we entered we had an eye on the course record, but thought the event record could be a bit too much. But conditions on the day were very good and I think we all knew that it was going to be a hard, fast 50 kilometres. We set off hard and with a bit of a tailwind got the average speed to just below 30mph by the first junction. Despite thinking we’d gone off too hard we held that speed for the rest of the event. We worked really well as a team with everyone doing good length turns and the changes were super smooth. By the finish we were totally empty, and knew we had given everything. We were all mega-chuffed to break both records, and to take some big chunks of time out of some well known and respected riders is incredible“.

Despite beating their own time by 1:52 2017’s winners Liverpool Phoenix had to be content with the runner-up spot in 2018, but had no complaints about the epic effort that beat them. The squad, comprising Toby Williams, Arthur Winstanley, Christophe Moeri and Kevin Larmer stopped the watch on 1:07:59, with the 5:32 showing the gulf to the RAF squad. Williams commented: “I enjoyed the event, well run and on a good, safe course. We had a decent ride. Happy with second, the RAF team were a class act. Top ride from them“. Winstanley added: “It’s a great event. A perfect course – excepting the Peplow pavé of course! The course is one of few that lends itself to a 4-Up with nice wide roads“.

The County’s John Farr 4-Up Trophy was successfully retained by a strong Nova Raiders ‘A’ squad, with Ed Middleton, Scott Harris, Matt Gibbons and Andy Rose improving on their 2017 mark by 50 seconds to finish together in 1:09:18. They beat off a challenge from team mates Nova Raiders ‘1’ by 1:50 to take the County Championship for the second year running, with Rose revealing how well matched the squad were: “What a fantastic event! I’m so pleased to have retained the John Farr Trophy. We worked really hard as a team, and it was the team spirit that kept me going as I had to dig really deep from the start to the finish. Many thanks to all marshals and volunteers“. Gibbons meanwhile revealed that a Championship defence was a high priority: “It was our aim to keep the Trophy with The Nova Raiders, and despite some really good competition we are delighted to have it for another year after some strong riding from the boys“.

The fact that this is a  rarely seen format always brings an air of anticipation to this event, with several riders describing the pre-race atmosphere at The Lamb at Edgmond as ‘buzzing’ and many spectators out around the course cheering the riders on, with a fine field of 27 squads in competition. Middleton concurred with these sentiments, revealing: “The 4-Up is always the highlight of The Nova Raiders’ race season and having six teams racing helped us push for the County win. Well done to the RAF/Rhino team for smashing the course record. Thanks to everyone involved in making the race happen“. Harris however indicated that they encountered a few issues around the course: “A great race with a brilliant team. I’m glad we won the Trophy on an eventful ride – a bee sting on my hand, just three gears working and a tractor at the Crudgington junction causing a delay made it more eventful than planned. Thanks to everyone for making it such a good event“.

Nova Raiders’ high level of participation in the event was only beaten by Wrekinsport, who fielded a huge seven squads and had their own John Cotton Trophy as a spur. A robust ‘A’ squad featuring Chris Halford, Rich Smith, Alistair Hatton and Dave Gostelow took the bragging rights with a fine 1:13:01, 1:49 ahead of the ‘C’ squad.

One of the features of this event is the fine level of competition amongst female teams, with a prize given for the fastest team containing at least two Women. It was a successful morning out for 2017’s winners Market Drayton Combined, comprising Sarah Grant, Alison Dockney, Mark Milton and Paul Harper as they again took the win and improved by 3:11. Grant and Dockney have made a fine pairing in the Coaching Revolutions 2-Up Series and were ecstatic to record a time of 1:16:59, making the most noise of all teams crossing the finish line after finishing 1:21 ahead of a strong Nova Raiders Ladies squad. Grant stated: “I was thrilled with the win, many thanks to my awesome team mates for all their hard work! A great event with a fantastic atmosphere“. Dockney added: “What a super day – I really enjoyed the atmosphere at The Lamb and I’m very happy with our result.  Many thanks to all involved with organising, hosting and marshalling the event and to my fabulous Market Drayton CC combined team mates“!

For Harper and Milton this was their first time competing in the format after a team change around, with Harper pleased with the teamwork on show: “Thanks for arranging a great event. It was really well organised and marshalled, with the bonus of a refreshing field sprinkler for the final push to the finish line! From a race point of view, from our normal group of stray cats that form Market Drayton CC we pulled together a team of similar abilities and shared the pacing really well – who knew we could be organised”! Milton added: “Thanks for organising a fabulous time trial event. And thanks to those who helped. I had a fantastic time and look forward to participating in more events“.


Position Forename Surname Club Squad Time
1 Daniel Watts RAF CA RAF CA Combined 01:02:30
Ryan Morley RAF CA RAF CA Combined
Matt Garthwaite Rhino Velo RT RAF CA Combined
Antony Richardson RAF CA RAF CA Combined
2 Toby Williams Liverpool Phoenix Liverpool Phoenix Combined 01:07:59
Arthur Winstanley Liverpool Phoenix Liverpool Phoenix Combined
Christophe Moeri Liverpool Phoenix Liverpool Phoenix Combined
Kevin Larmer Port Sunlight Wheelers Liverpool Phoenix Combined
3 Ed Middleton Nova Raiders Nova Raiders A 01:09:18
Scott Harris Nova Raiders Nova Raiders A
Matt Gibbons Nova Raiders Nova Raiders A
Andy Rose Nova Raiders Nova Raiders A
4 Mike Anslow Stourbridge Velo Stourbridge Velo 01:10:16
Nigel Jones Stourbridge Velo Stourbridge Velo
Matthew Cooper Stourbridge Velo Stourbridge Velo
Darren Shaw Stourbridge Velo Stourbridge Velo
5 Andy Maxwell Nova Raiders Nova Raiders 1 01:11:08
Nick Long Nova Raiders Nova Raiders 1
Tim Beardmore Nova Raiders Nova Raiders 1
Dean Dovey Nova Raiders Nova Raiders 1
6 Graham Balshaw Team ASL Bolton Team ASL Bolton 01:11:30
Neil Higgins Team ASL Bolton Team ASL Bolton
Antony Lowe Team ASL Bolton Team ASL Bolton
Andy Greenhalgh Team ASL Bolton Team ASL Bolton
7 Andy Davies Revolutions Racing Revolutions Racing 01:11:34
Stuart Proctor Revolutions Racing Revolutions Racing
Tim O’Donnell Revolutions Racing Revolutions Racing
Christopher Wood Revolutions Racing Revolutions Racing
8 Chris Halford Wrekinsport CC Wrekinsport A 01:13:01
Dave Gostelow Wrekinsport CC Wrekinsport A
Alistair Hatton Wrekinsport CC Wrekinsport A
Richard Smith Wrekinsport CC Wrekinsport A
9 Andy Hazell Nova Raiders Raiders Reunited 01:14:34
Robin Guy Nova Raiders Raiders Reunited
Richard Guy Nova Raiders Raiders Reunited
Steve Chapman Nova Raiders Raiders Reunited
10 Mark Griffiths Wrekinsport CC Wrekinsport C 01:14:50
Allan Henderson Wrekinsport CC Wrekinsport C
Dave Moore Wrekinsport CC Wrekinsport C
Adam Mumford Wrekinsport CC Wrekinsport C
11 Chris Lawson Chester RC Chester RC 01:15:01
Paul Nelson Chester RC Chester RC
Phil Hill Chester RC Chester RC
Paul Robertshaw Chester RC Chester RC
12 Alison Dockney Market Drayton CC Market Drayton Combined 01:16:59
Sarah Grant Vision Racing Market Drayton Combined
Mark Milton Market Drayton CC Market Drayton Combined
Paul Harper Market Drayton CC Market Drayton Combined
13 Simon Burgess Marches CC Marches CC 01:17:29
Gil Bryan Marches CC Marches CC
Claire Bryan Marches CC Marches CC
Paddy Crisp Marches CC Marches CC
14 Deb Hutson-Lumb Nova Raiders Nova Ladies 01:18:20
Charlotte Chapman Nova Raiders Nova Ladies
Jane Chapman Nova Raiders Nova Ladies
Jenny Newton Nova Raiders Nova Ladies
15 Keith Bates Black Country Triathletes Evolve Men 01:19:00
Simon Gray Evolve Evolve Men
Steve Witty Evolve Evolve Men
George Coombes Evolve Evolve Men
16 Brett Eddas Nova Raiders New Inn Elite Team 01:21:22
Matthew Hutchins Nova Raiders New Inn Elite Team
Graham Pearce Nova Raiders New Inn Elite Team
Michael Smitherman Nova Raiders New Inn Elite Team
17 Tomos Hales Wrekinsport CC Wrekinsport B 01:21:53
Damian Jay Wrekinsport CC Wrekinsport B
Ian Bond Wrekinsport CC Wrekinsport B
Mark Hollinshead Wrekinsport CC Wrekinsport B
18 Darren Muffitt Nova Raiders Raiders Special Reserve 01:24:41
Steven Ford Nova Raiders Raiders Special Reserve
Dan Rogers Nova Raiders Raiders Special Reserve
Alan Sims Nova Raiders Raiders Special Reserve
19 Rhys Thomas North Shropshire Wheelers North Shropshire Wheelers 01:25:45
Mike Boyers North Shropshire Wheelers North Shropshire Wheelers
Jon Weblin North Shropshire Wheelers North Shropshire Wheelers
Jon Rooke North Shropshire Wheelers North Shropshire Wheelers
20 Robert Osborne Paramount CRT Paramount CRT 1 01:26:04
Andrew Jowett Paramount CRT Paramount CRT 1
Dominic Senior Paramount CRT Paramount CRT 1
Rowan McKittrick Paramount CRT Paramount CRT 1
21 Roger Hill-Harding Wrekinsport CC Wrekinsport E 01:26:15
Richard Banfield Wrekinsport CC Wrekinsport E
Michael Bigwood Wrekinsport CC Wrekinsport E
Daniel Donnelly Wrekinsport CC Wrekinsport E
22 Steven Joyce Paramount CRT Paramount CRT Combined 01:26:35
Phil Goddard Rhino Velo RT Paramount CRT Combined
Dave Northern Paramount CRT Paramount CRT Combined
Charlie Andrzejewski Paramount CRT Paramount CRT Combined
23 Mark Callaghan Wrekinsport CC Wrekinsport D 01:26:42
Steve Smith Wrekinsport CC Wrekinsport D
Peter Mulloy Wrekinsport CC Wrekinsport D
Tim Vernon Wrekinsport CC Wrekinsport D
24 Bob Elliott Wrekinsport CC Wrekinsport Chestcutters 01:26:50
Robin Shedden Wrekinsport CC Wrekinsport Chestcutters
Jim Percival Wrekinsport CC Wrekinsport Chestcutters
Dave Poulter Wrekinsport CC Wrekinsport Chestcutters
25 Sarah Mawhinney Mid Shropshire Wheelers MSW Calpe Chicks 01:31:08
Jenny York Mid Shropshire Wheelers MSW Calpe Chicks
Sarah Barton Mid Shropshire Wheelers MSW Calpe Chicks
Juliet Suddaby Mid Shropshire Wheelers MSW Calpe Chicks
26 Clare Cotterill Wrekinsport CC Wrekinsport Ladies 01:37:04
Helena Amos Wrekinsport CC Wrekinsport Ladies
Kirsti Wells Wrekinsport CC Wrekinsport Ladies
Antonia Lynam Wrekinsport CC Wrekinsport Ladies
27 Louise Steel Evolve Evolve Ladies 01:48:39
Emma Robinson Evolve Evolve Ladies
Charlotte Wellsbury Evolve Evolve Ladies
Jo Coombes Evolve Evolve Ladies
Photos courtesy of Nigel "Biggles" Brunton