The opening round of the Mower Mec 2-Up Series for 2023 saw competitors battle with frequent showers, cold temperatures and a troubling, gusty wind as North Shropshire Wheelers promoted their 10 mile event at Prees. Won by Paramount CRT’s Chris Riley and Simon Romei in a first ever pairing with a great time of 24 minutes 37 seconds, reigning Series Champion Riley admitted that the cold and wet got the better of him despite a fine win with a different partner. A late substitution was called for due to Riley’s usual partner Rob McGregor falling ill, and with Romei seemingly determined to make fast progress in spite of the foul conditions Riley suffered from ‘heavy’ legs: “Thanks to all of the North Shropshire Wheelers club for running the race under such miserable conditions. My team mate smashed me to pieces, and my wet legs could do no more than hurt. The win was all Simon Romei. Next year it will be sunny”!

This was Romei’s introduction to the format, and he took like it like a duck to water – which was fortunate given the appalling weather. Experience showed in his comments, taking the foot off the gas on the worst parts of the slippery course: “Firstly thank you to North Shropshire Wheelers for organising the race, the marshals and signing on team were first class in such dreadful weather. Chris Riley and I were the second team out. We rode pretty hard in what were terrible weather conditions, we were also very cautious on the fast descents and on the roundabout as these were pretty slick. We were happy to get the win, but didn’t ride as well as we could have done due to the weather”.

Taking the runner-up spot and the honours for the promoting club were James Powell and James Neale, who crossed the line on their home course in 25:04, exactly two minutes ahead of George Coombes and Joe Marsh. Speaking for the team, Neale was pleased with the effort despite taking the same caution as the Paramount pairing and posting a very good time despite using road bikes: “The weather reports promised sunshine and 15 degrees… we got heavy showers and a bitterly cold wind that seemed to come from all directions. We also had a reduced field – albeit slightly better than last year’s. All riders approached the course tentatively and this reflected in the slower times. The two James’s were on road-bikes, and we did well to keep close to the Paramount riders’ time. For me it was a tough morning – I managed to put down some good power, but the conditions were not conducive to good times. Thanks to all the volunteers who helped run a great event”.

Another first time pairing took the honours in the Mixed Team Championship with Hafren CC’s Jan Davies and Mark Hill teaming up to set a solid effort of 27:35. Speaking for the team, Davies revealed this was her first sight of the course which she looked forward to attempting again in more conducive conditions: “A morning of firsts! My first race of the season, the first time as a 2-up with Mark, and first time I’ve ridden the course. A good course, even better I’m sure when there’s no rain and wind to contend with. Thank you to all the marshals who stood out in it for us”.

Full result:

1Simon Romei & Chris RileyParamount CRT24:3720
2James Powell & James NealeNorth Shropshire Wheelers25:0418
3George Coombes & Joe MarshSCCA Private Member & Unattached27:04.
4Mark Hill & Jan DaviesHafren CC27:3516
5Dave Drew & Geoff EdgertonNorth Shropshire Wheelers28:3014
6Les Boughey & Linda BeckettNorth Shropshire Wheelers29:2312
7Elaine Beckett & Terry PriceNorth Shropshire Wheelers33:1410

Mixed Teams:

Mixed Pos’nNamesClub(s)TimeMixed Points
1Mark Hill & Jan DaviesHafren CC27:3520
2Les Boughey & Linda BeckettNorth Shropshire Wheelers29:2318
3Elaine Beckett & Terry PriceNorth Shropshire Wheelers33:1416