The Friction Hydraulics Series got off to a belated start two months late with Covid restrictions finally eased enough to allow competition, with The Nova Raiders 25 on the rolling Prees – Battlefield course. The event was bittersweet as it was unfortunately blighted by an accident still under investigation which resulted in the partial abandonment of the race, affecting later starters; but saw some terrific rides from those who finished. 

There was a rare appearance in a domestic race for professional continental team rider for AVC Aix En Provence George Mills-Keeling, here racing for his amateur UK team Bridgnorth CC. The 19 year-old was getting his first taste of the switchback Prees – Battlefield course and posted a great winning time of 51 minutes 56 seconds, 1:45 outside the 2019 course record of another professional, Steve Cummings, but this was a superb effort on a tricky course. Mills-Keeling had done his homework whilst coming to the event courtesy of dad Jonathan who registered a very handy 58:24 for 8th spot on a course where beating the hour is not easy. He stated: “It was a good day with very little wind. I was told it was a hilly course with a few short climbs – Dad and I drove the reverse on the way to the HQ and the rumours were correct. It was a hard race but interesting, and made a break from dual carriageways. I liked it, thanks to Nova Raiders for putting on the event”!

It was definitely youth to the fore as Mills-Keeling’s nearest challenge came from Kieran Morris, just a year older. Back racing for Oswestry Paragon CC, Morris stopped the watch on 52:29 and expressed the sentiments of many who find the nature of the course hard to judge. He was however satisfied with his race and full of praise for the winner: “George is class so no complaints. I felt I paced it well although I maybe had a bit too much in the tank at the end. It’s not really my type of course! All in all a good start, and I’m looking forward to the fast courses. I hope the rider injured is OK – thanks to Nova Raiders for putting on the event”.

Morris fought off a hard challenge from Holohan Coaching’s Kirk Vickers, who is taking more of an interest in time trialling with his preferred road racing still not back on the agenda. As a hill climbing specialist the seemingly never flat course suits his abilities well, as he finished in 53:05, 1:14 ahead of the promoting club’s Dean Callister. Vickers’ comments identify the issue for most riders more accustomed to non-sporting course: “A very hard course to pace with it being rolling. Some strong rides on the day, but it’s great to be racing again, thanks Nova Raiders”.

In the Veteran’s category Victor Chetta is a familiar name at the top of the standings, taking the win from Tim Beardmore by +2:31 with a superb Veteran’s Standard of +11:52. For many years Shropshire Best all Rounder, Chetta normally prefers the long-distance events, but set out a great benchmark performance for his first Shropshire Open of 2021 despite being held up at times as he explained: “The weather conditions seemed surprisingly quick going out, but heavy traffic with tailbacks impeded progress at times on the return leg. Some impressive times recorded by some of the young riders – thanks to Nova Raiders for running the event”.

In the Women’s event Market Drayton CC’s Alison Dockney was also making her season debut in an Open, and saw off a strong challenge from Oswestry Paragon’s Leonie Keeling to take the win by 3:01. Dockney stopped the watch on 1:02:47 for a course Personal Best in spite of being anxious before starting, as she revealed: “My first Open of the year, super happy with the result despite major pre-race nerves and a cold start on the day! It was a big course PB for me so my training is paying off – thanks to Nova Raiders for hosting; and best wishes to the injured rider for a speedy, full recovery”.

Full result:

1George Mills-KeelingBridgnorth Cycling Club51:56
2KieranMorrisOswestry Paragon CC52:29
3KirkVickersHolohan Coaching Race Team53:05
4PatrickHickeyRossendale RC53:21
5Benjamin GoodfellowFibrax Wrexham RC53:49
6NathanSmithGarden Shed UK-Scott-Verge Sport54:11
7DeanCallister Nova Raiders CC54:19
8BenLloydFibrax Wrexham RC54:20
9DavidParkinSalford Cycling Club54:22
10BenBrightTofauti Everyone Active54:31
11VictorChettaPirate juice cc54:40
12TobyWilliamsVelotik Racing Team54:42
13David JamesWilliamsVelotik Racing Team54:43
14ChrisQuinOnimpex Bioracer RT54:46
15MarkBensonChester Triathlon Club54:48
16AdamDarbyVelotik Racing Team55:27
17AndyWrightTotal Tri Training55:49
19JohnCrippsWarrington Road Club/Horton Light Engineering56:29
20AdrianHughesSeamons CC56:57
21GeoffreyMullettWeaver Valley CC57:03
22ThomasBillStafford Triathlon Club57:05
23DanielMathersSeamons CC57:08
24FrancesOwenFibrax Wrexham RC57:27
25DeanHanwellNorth Endurance57:31
26WillTurtonMersey Tri57:38
27TommyCorfieldTotal Tri Training58:00
28PaulGrindleyLiverpool Century RC58:02
29OliverRodwellWrekinsport CC58:04
30HarryBoscawenSerpentine Running Club58:16
31TimBeardmoreNova Raiders CC58:22
32JonathanMills-Keeling Bridgnorth Cycling Club58:24
33Daniel Chesters Preston CC58:32
34RichardShawSeamons CC58:47
35JonathanWeavellStafford Triathlon Club58:48
36BenLovePirate juice cc58:57
37SamShepherdTotal Tri Training58:57
38IanHolbrookStone Wheelers CC59:06
39AndrewLaconNova Raiders CC59:09
40GrahamNoblePirate juice cc59:13
41JamesMackiePort Sunlight Wheelers59:24
42AlanBroadbentGraham Weigh Racing-Deeside Olympic59:34
43AndrewStokesBuxton CC/Sett Valley Cycles59:41
44NeilBuckleyPort Sunlight Wheelers1:00:10
45JamesMeldrumLiverpool Phoenix CC (Aintree)1:00:46
46AndrewRoseNova Raiders CC1:00:54
47DavidWrightWarrington Road Club/Horton Light Engineering1:00:55
48ArthurWinstanleyLiverpool Phoenix CC (Aintree)1:00:57
49ColinHayesLiverpool Century RC1:01:01
50SimonTinklerTotal Tri Training1:01:08
51GraemeDonnellNova Raiders CC1:01:22
52NigelClementsonWigan Whs CC1:02:05
53RobJacksonWrekinsport CC1:02:08
54AlanOrmeFrodsham Wheelers1:02:28
55AlisonDockneyMarket Drayton Cycling Club1:02:47
56PeterGrindleyLiverpool Century RC1:02:59
57IanConnollyLudlow CC1:03:35
58GarethHughesPirate juice cc1:04:09
59DeanDoveyNova Raiders CC1:05:07
60BenDellicompagniStafford Triathlon Club1:05:31
61PhilipGardnerMid Shropshire Wheelers1:05:34
62LeonieKeelingOswestry Paragon CC1:05:48
63TomRichardsonOswestry Paragon CC1:06:21
64JessicaHaneyMersey Tri1:09:12
65JasonArnoldHafren CC1:09:17
66JennyNewtonNova Raiders CC1:09:37
67LesBougheyNorth Shropshire Wheelers1:10:46
68GeoffEdgertonNorth Shropshire Wheelers1:12:41
69LaurenTurleyNova Raiders CC1:14:29
70HelenTudorOswestry Paragon CC1:17:19
71SimonJonesHafren CC1:17:56


1George Mills-KeelingBridgnorth CCS51:5660
2KieranMorrisOswestry Paragon CCS52:2955
3KirkVickersHolohan Coaching RTS53:0550
4DeanCallister Nova Raiders S54:1945
5VictorChettaSCCA Private MemberV54:4040
6OliverRodwellWrekinsport CCV58:0435
7TimBeardmoreNova Raiders V58:2230
8JonathanMills-KeelingBridgnorth CCV58:2425
9AndrewLaconNova Raiders S59:0920
10AndrewRoseNova Raiders V1:00:5415
11GraemeDonnellNova Raiders V1:01:2210
12RobJacksonWrekinsport CCV1:02:085
13AlisonDockneyMarket Drayton CCW1:02:475
14IanConnollyLudlow CCV1:03:355
15DeanDoveyNova Raiders V1:05:075
16PhilipGardnerMid Shropshire WheelersV1:05:345
17LeonieKeelingOswestry Paragon CCWV1:05:485
18TomRichardsonOswestry Paragon CCS1:06:215
19JasonArnoldHafren CCV1:09:175
20JennyNewtonNova Raiders WV1:09:375
21LesBougheyNorth Shropshire WheelersV1:10:465
22GeoffEdgertonNorth Shropshire WheelersV1:12:415
23LaurenTurleyNova Raiders W1:14:295
24HelenTudorOswestry Paragon CCWV1:17:195
25SimonJonesHafren CCV1:17:565


Vets Pos’nForenameSurnameClubCatVet +/-Vets Points
1VictorChettaSCCA Private MemberV+11:5260
2TimBeardmoreNova Raiders V+9:2155
3JonathanMills-KeelingBridgnorth CCV+9:0750
4OliverRodwellWrekinsport CCV+8:0745
5GraemeDonnellNova Raiders V+7:4540
6AndrewRoseNova Raiders V+7:4335
7RobJacksonWrekinsport CCV+7:1530
8LeonieKeelingOswestry Paragon CCWV+6:2425
9JennyNewtonNova Raiders WV+5:0120
10IanConnollyLudlow CCV+4:4815
11DeanDoveyNova Raiders V+4:1610
12GeoffEdgertonNorth Shropshire WheelersV+3:145
13PhilipGardnerMid Shropshire WheelersV+3:035
14LesBougheyNorth Shropshire WheelersV-0:505
15JasonArnoldHafren CCV-1:345
16HelenTudorOswestry Paragon CCWV-2:265
17SimonJonesHafren CCV-11:015


Women’s Pos’nForenameSurnameClubCatTimeWomen’s Points
1AlisonDockneyMarket Drayton CCW1:02:4760
2LeonieKeelingOswestry Paragon CCWV1:05:4855
3JennyNewtonNova Raiders WV1:09:3750
4LaurenTurleyNova Raiders W1:14:2945
5HelenTudorOswestry Paragon CCWV1:17:1940

Top Club Award:

1Nova Raiders  135
2Bridgnorth CC 85
3Oswestry Paragon CC 70
4Holohan Coaching RT 50
5SCCA Private Member 40
5Wrekinsport CC 40
7Hafren CC 10
7North Shropshire Wheelers 10
9Ludlow CC 5
9Market Drayton CC 5
9Mid Shropshire Wheelers 5