A fine turnout of 14 teams took the line for Round 7 of the UK ICT 2-Up Championship as riders faced a lumpy test on Wrekinsport’s Shawbirch – Cotwell Bank circuit on a scorching evening. The promoting club took top billing as Tomos Hales and Phil Roberts teamed up for the first time to take victory by 10 seconds with a fine effort of 21 minutes 36 seconds, pushing out the pair who have been leading the Series for some time – Nova Raiders’ Graeme Donnell and Andrew Lacon. Hales’ tongue-in-cheek comments referred to the size difference between the pairing, which is significant: “I was very happy to take the win. Phil was a great partner and an even better wind block! We work well together and I believe we could go even quicker. Thanks for everyone helping out on a very hot night”.
Roberts meanwhile revealed that this race had been a long-term target, and having finished third or fourth amongst his team mates in solo efforts most of the season a maiden win was a feather in the cap after seeing Ian Bond and Chris Halford take third just a second off Donnell and Lacon’s pace: “Tomos was on great form and it was nice to help contribute to a win. We having been eyeing up this event for a while, so it was great to deliver as a team – a great feeling to take my first win in a Wrekinsport event. Credit to Ian, Chris and the Nova lads for such a close event, I’m looking forwards to teaming up with Tomos again”.
Missing out on that win was on Donnell and Lacon’s minds, but they were delighted to finally seal the Overall Championship with a round to spare having raced and won the previous evening at Ludlow in pursuit of this goal. Their 21:46 mark was enough to put them in an unassailable lead with the vast majority of medals all to play for in the final round. Donnell stated: “This is only second time we’ve raced this course and we managed to knock 30 seconds plus off our previous time. A slightly more technical course, and valuable seconds were lost by me on the turns which led us to being well beaten into second by Tomos and Phil: chapeaux. As always in sport and life, the silver lining is that we managed to grab the Series Gold. In truth I was dragged round the course 95% of the time; and all credit to my partner: one hell of a bike rider. A fantastic competition and well organised by all the teams”.
Lacon meanwhile had hoped to seal Gold with a win, but it was not to be. Nevertheless he was pleased to finally put the destination of the 2-Up Trophies in no doubt: “We were hoping for a win to seal the Series but that was taken with a strong performance by Tomos and Phil on their home course. We had a good ride, but the over 90kg club wasn’t in our favour this evening! I was still happy to pick up points, and another strong ride by Graeme. We are really happy with the Series win, it was a target for us this year and we worked well as a team to put in some good rides against strong competition. Consistency was our friend for the overall! Graeme has been a strong partner and besides, it’s always good to inflict a bit of pain on the father-in-law! Also, a big thank you to all of the clubs and volunteers who come out each week to enable us to race and support the sport we all love. It wouldn’t be possible without them and every evening racing has been well organised and most importantly friendly and inclusive. We look forward to the last round and hope to go out on a high”!
Halford and Bond made it a Wrekinsport sandwich for the podium positions, agonisingly missing out on runner-up spot by a single second in another new pairing. Speaking on behalf of the team Bond commented: “I really enjoyed the event and a great experience to ride with Chris. Thankfully my legs felt good. Chris paced us really well and did the majority of work, and the plan was for me to set the pace up Cotwall Bank. Unfortunately I pushed too hard as I was riding without my power meter and gapped Chris for a short period, which also emptied my legs for the finish, so I couldn’t help Chris out much in the final couple of miles. A great event though, and we hope to do a few more 2-Ups together next year”.
In the Mixed Team Championship the Series winners were also looking for a victory lap after realising very late that the event was on and arriving almost last minute – never a good plan, reducing warm-up opportunities. The win wasn’t to be thanks to another first-time pairing, with Market Drayton CC pair Sarah Grant and Mark Milton storming around the course in 22:22 – good enough for 4th spot Overall. Speaking for the team, Grant was delighted with the win, commenting: “A great night all round, I really enjoyed it and so pleased with the result! Brilliant team work and full gas to the finish, thanks to my awesome team mate”!
Serjeant and Hill also had the Ludlow event from the previous evening in their legs but despite the last minute arrival still posted a fine time to take the runners-up spot in 23:39, with Serjeant stating: “Another boiling hot evening, and tired legs from Ludlow the previous evening, but a great course and good banter with the other teams. We finished on exactly the same time as we did on same course in 2019”! Hill added: “It’s just great to be competing with Emma on the 2-Ups. We are well matched, and everyone is so friendly and helpful. It’s a shame that there aren’t many more events in the Series. Thanks Emma, and thanks to all clubs entering the Series and the timekeepers”.
Wrekinsport were running their club 2-Up Championship on handicap within the event, with Angela Boycott and Barry Parsons taking a clear win by 13 seconds in an adjusted 19:34 from Halford and Bond.
|1||Tomos Hales & Phil Roberts||Wrekinsport CC||21:36||20|
|2||Graeme Donnell & Andrew Lacon||Nova Raiders||21:46||18|
|3||Chris Halford & Ian Bond||Wrekinsport CC||21:47||16|
|4||Sarah Grant & Mark Milton||Market Drayton CC||22:22||14|
|5||Darren Shaw & Mark Hammond||SCCA Private Member & Stourbridge Velo||22:33||.|
|6||Allan Henderson & Rich Smith||Wrekinsport CC||22:54||12|
|7||Mark Hill & Emma Serjeant||Hafren CC||23:39||10|
|8||Dave Moore & Mike Bigwood||Wrekinsport CC||23:51||8|
|9||Harry Corney & Chester Romei||Market Drayton CC||24:21||6|
|10||Elliott Wills & Ben Southgate||Wrekinsport CC||24:48||4|
|11||Jenny Newton & Andy Hazell||Nova Raiders||25:53||2|
|12||Victoria Doran & Ashley Kirkham||Wrekinsport CC & Black Country Tri||28:31||.|
|13||Angela Boycott & Barry Parsons||Wrekinsport CC||29:04||2|
|.||Rob Jones & Steve Elcocks||Nova Raiders & Revolutions Racing||DNF-P||.|
|Mixed Pos’n||Names||Club(s)||Time||Mixed Points|
|1||Sarah Grant & Mark Milton||Market Drayton CC||22:22||20|
|2||Mark Hill & Emma Serjeant||Hafren CC||23:39||18|
|3||Jenny Newton & Andy Hazell||Nova Raiders||25:53||16|
|4||Victoria Doran & Ashley Kirkham||Wrekinsport CC & Black Country Tri||28:31||.|
|5||Angela Boycott & Barry Parsons||Wrekinsport CC||29:04||14|
Wrekinsport CC 2-Up Handicap Championship
|Pos’n||Names||Actual Time||H/C 1||H/C 2||Average||H/C Time|
|1||Angela Boycott & Barry Parsons||29:04||10:00||09:00||09:30||19:34|
|2||Chris Halford & Ian Bond||21:47||00:00||04:00||02:00||19:47|
|3||Elliott Wills & Ben Southgate||24:48||03:30||05:30||04:30||20:18|
|4||Tomos Hales & Phil Roberts||21:36||00:30||01:30||01:00||20:36|
|5||Allan Henderson & Rich Smith||22:54||02:30||02:00||02:15||20:39|
|6||Dave Moore & Mike Bigwood||23:51||03:00||02:30||02:45||21:06|
Cumulative Standings after seven rounds
|1||Graeme Donnell & Andrew Lacon||Nova Raiders||92|
|2||Mark Hill & Emma Serjeant||Hafren CC||62|
|3||James Satoor & Ben Pierce||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||58|
|4||Henri Bedford & David Griffiths||Revolutions Racing & Oswestry Paragon CC||38|
|5||Ben Gilpin & Rob Jones||Nova Raiders||30|
|=6||Charlotte Chapman & Steve Chapman||Nova Raiders||20|
|=6||Dave Mellor & Steve Leese||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||20|
|=6||Kirk Vickers & Liam Holohan||Holohan Coaching RT||20|
|=6||Matt Davies & Chris Pook||Holohan Coaching RT||20|
|=6||Tomos Hales & Phil Roberts||Wrekinsport CC||20|
|1||Mark Hill & Emma Serjeant||Hafren CC||98|
|2||Charlotte Chapman & Steve Chapman||Nova Raiders||38|
|3||Sarah Grant & Mark Milton||Market Drayton CC||20|
|4||Jenny Newton & Andy Hazell||Nova Raiders||16|
|4||Rebecca Woodvine & Dave Woodvine||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||16|
|6||Angela Boycott & Barry Parsons||Wrekinsport CC||14|
|1||Jenny Newton & Jane Chapman||Nova Raiders||40|
|2||Vikki Jones & Helen Tudor||Oswestry Paragon CC||20|