Nova Raiders 2-Up 10
The old adage of “Flaming June” took on a quite different meaning as atrocious weather almost put paid to another County cycling event, with Round 5 of The Coaching Revolutions 2-Up Series, Nova Raiders 10 taking place on the rolling Cherrington – Newport course graced by just three pairs of riders. All three teams were keen to compete, each leading their respective Series, and their courage in enduring a thorough drenching on a heavily puddled surface paid huge dividends as all extended their leads by 20 points – with one team even settling a course personal best.
Leading the Overall standings Ed Middleton and Nick Long stretched that lead to 12 points after taking first place in an excellent time of 24 minutes 14 seconds to beat former Series leaders Emma Serjeant and Mark Hill into runner-up spot. 2018’s Silver medallists took advantage of local knowledge to dig deep on the return up the 10% gradient of Cheney Bank which soon finds any weakness – and helped warm competitors up. Long had plenty of praise for his team mates who ensured the race could proceed safely, commenting: “Nothing like an yellow Met Office flood warning to get you in the mood for racing! Massive applause to all the Nova Raiders marshals who still came out in force. The course was as challenging as always, and we couldn’t take anything for granted. I’m now looking forward to some sunny weather for the rest of the Series“! Middleton concurred with Long’s sentiments, but also had some kind words for the competition, adding: “All the applause and praise needs to be directed towards the Nova Raiders’ marshals who braved the weather to make the race happen. Kudos to the girls for getting a Personal Best, and to the Hafren CC pair for making the long trip over“.
That the Hafren CC team of Emma Serjeant and Mark Hill nearly didn’t make the race coupled with a variety of equipment issues shows their determination to make the most of this normally popular nine round Series, taking in all points of the County compass. Being the only Mixed Team in competition saw them extend their lead in the Mixed Team standings to a huge 48 points thanks to their 25:02 effort in a highly successful season as a pair, with Serjeant revealing just how much had gone wrong: “Childcare issues meant I made us late, but we also had a broken front wheel, a power meter failure and a loose shoe! On the plus side the weather wasn’t actually that bad when racing! Thank you to the Nova Raiders crew, and well done to the other riders for braving the conditions“. Hill meanwhile overcame illness to ride, and braved making things worse due to the sopping conditions. He also informed just how close the team had cut the dash to the start line: “Having been unwell all week the rain was unwelcome. Signing on was a rush, with a rushed warm up to the line with one minute to spare. Winds and drizzle spurred us to push on the undulating course. The turnaround at the roundabout was tricky in rain and the hill was hard for me. Emma stepping up the pace to pull us back to the finish. Thanks to the organisers and marshals on what was a horrible evening“.
As Middleton had commented the Women’s team set a fabulous Personal Best, taking advantage of low barometric pressure giving easy passage through the air following heavy rain. Alison Dockney and Sarah Grant sliced a giant 54 seconds off their 2018 effort to stop the watch on 25:36, the second Round in a row they have beaten their previous benchmark. This put them into a huge 40 point lead in the Women’s Series, with Grant commenting: “Not to be deterred by the horrendous forecast we joined another two hardy teams for racing – we got an awesome PB for the course so we were very pleased! A massive thank you to the marshals, time keepers and organisers for putting on the race for us“. Dockney meanwhile was another rider to single out the endurance of the marshals, adding: “Yet another June race in poor conditions, however the weather was a little kinder than the forecast had suggested and positively balmy when compared to the last Round! I’m very happy to have taken one minute off our time on this course last year. A shame not to have more competition on the night – I think marshals outnumbered the riders, so a big thank you to Nova for hosting and enabling us to race“.
Dockney and Grant had further comments to add, looking to encourage more female teams to join in the format with reigning Women’s Champion Jane Chapman sidelined due to injury, with Dockney commenting: “I think some ladies are put off by the ‘race’ element of it, but although it’s competitive I do think it’s friendly competition and I’ve found it to be a very supportive environment“. Grant meanwhile emphasised the fun element of the format, adding: “The 2-Ups really are the highlight and most fun racing of my season, the Shropshire lot are brilliant. Such a shame the weather has been so autumnal“.
|1||Nick Long & Ed Middleton||Nova Raiders||24:14||20|
|2||Emma Serjeant & Mark Hill||Hafren CC||25:02||18|
|3||Sarah Grant & Alison Dockney||SCCA Private Members||25:36||16|
|Women’s Pos’n||Names||Club(s)||Time||Women’s Points|
|1||Sarah Grant & Alison Dockney||SCCA Private Members||25:36||20|
|Mixed Pos’n||Names||Club(s)||Time||Mixed Points|
|1||Emma Serjeant & Mark Hill||Hafren CC||25:02||20|
Cumulative Standings after five rounds
|1||Ed Middleton & Nick Long||Nova Raiders||66|
|2||Mark Hill & Emma Serjeant||Hafren CC||54|
|=3||Alison Dockney & Sarah Grant||SCCA Private Members||34|
|=3||Jack Young & Jack Morris||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||34|
|5||Andy Maxwell & Andy Rose||Nova Raiders||30|
|=6||Ben Pierce & James Satoor||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||20|
|=6||Chris Halford & Tomos Hales||Wrekinsport CC||20|
|=6||James Satoor & Sam Holwill||Mid Shropshire Wheelers & Hafren CC||20|
|=6||Tim Beardmore & Dean Dovey||Nova Raiders||20|
|=10||Ollie Atkin & Phil Birch||SCCA Private Members||18|
|=10||Steve Minton & Jack Wilson||Ludlow Brewery RT||18|
|1||Alison Dockney & Sarah Grant||SCCA Private Members||60|
|2||Jenny Newton & Jane Chapman||Nova Raiders||20|
|1||Mark Hill & Emma Serjeant||Hafren CC||80|
|2||Jenny York & John Robertson||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||32|
|=3||Adam Riley & Vikki Jones||Oswestry Paragon CC||18|
|=3||Andy Collins & Lucy Hart||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||18|
|=3||Elaine Langley & Terry Price||North Shropshire Wheelers||18|
- Rounds 6 and 7 of the Coaching Revolutions 2-Up Series take place on consecutive nights, with Ludlow CC’s event on 23rd July utilising the fast Brimfield – Ludlow by-pass course. The following evening Wrekinsport CC host Round 7 on their Shawbirch – Cotwall Bank circuit. Both events commence at 7pm.