The shutters came down belatedly on the Shropshire time trialling season as a delayed eighth and final round of The SB Sports Injuries Series was robbed of a head-to-head battle for the Championship but still saw plenty of drama. Postponed by three weeks due to Storm Alex, the weather was almost as bleak for the 3rd SCCA Autumn 10 as just 10 starters, less than half the expected field endured rain, cold, wind and mud in the latest time trial the SCCA has run. With Dan Watts sitting in pole position that delay meant he couldn’t defend his SB Series lead due to being posted to The Falklands, and he faced an anxious wait to see if Henri Bedford could usurp him.
The presence of two strong riders in the shape of Ben Pierce and David Griffiths braved conditions, and in the process beat Bedford into third spot. Tying on points at the end of the Series, Watts and Bedford could only be spilt on the second count back rule, leaving Watts to add another trophy to a collection that already contains The Shropshire Championship Shield for winning The Friction Hydraulics Series – the first time this double has been achieved. From nearly 8,000 miles away a relieved Watts commented: “I’ve really enjoyed the close battle with Henri this year, shame I couldn’t race the last round and try and win outright and make it a fair victory. Another Series win closes out a successful short season for me where I’ve won more than I expected”.
Bedford knew what he had to do and battled hard against the grim conditions, with significant mud at Hodnet corner and along Tiddly lane adding an extra dimension. Despite posting a very fine 21 minutes 34 second effort he couldn’t beat off the challenge from another Junior Ben Pierce, who made it three wins from three events from a belated start in the Series to slot into the Junior Silver position thanks to his fabulous 20:43 ride. Already having won Junior Gold, Bedford added Overall Silver to his haul in a fine end to his very active season. He stated: “I’m happy to get second Overall even though I came so close to the overall win. It was a deserving Series win by Dan, who is currently enjoying his time in the Falklands – thanks to the SCCA and all of the clubs that hosted the events in this strange time”.
Pierce has made a huge impact in the events he has ridden but had been beaten by Griffiths in a Wrekinsport club event a fortnight earlier, so victory was far from assured in an intriguing head-to-head that saw him push Griffiths out by 15 seconds on this occasion. The 17 year-old was shocked to hear he had won a medal at the last gasp, revealing: “I’m surprised I got Junior Silver but I’m very happy. It was great to be able to take part in the time trials; hopefully next year will be a better year for us all – thanks to everyone who took the time to help the events happen”.
Griffiths had an even more belated start to his season than many thanks to being busy in his role as a Junior Doctor, but has enjoyed his first foray on the County scene after moving from Scotland. He added: “Thanks to Shropshire CCA for making the Series happen socially distanced despite the Coronavirus crisis. Congratulations for the win to Ben. Unfortunately the legs didn’t feel as good as two weeks prior. I will try to come back next year all guns blazing”!
With eight medals to be decided on the day unusually Deb Hutson-Lumb didn’t get things all her own way thanks to a strong ride from Leonie Keeling. The Oswestry Paragon rider took a fabulous win in the Women’s SB Championship having finished third in the previous round behind Hutson-Lumb and Alison Dockney, both of whom she beat at the final throw of the dice with a great effort of 25:41, with Hutson Lumb runner-up in 26:46 and Dockney 3rd in 27 minutes exactly. Hutson-Lumb had already sealed the SB Women’s Series, but Keeling’s effort did enough to elevate her into the Women’s Silver position ahead of Hafren CC’s Emma Serjeant.
Keeling was pleased with her ride and showed graphically what riders had to put up with in her comments: “A very cold wet, windy and muddy race made for very tough conditions for both competitors and marshals. A very enjoyable Series, thank you very much for efforts to enable us to race, I’ve really enjoyed it – I’m already looking forward to 2021”! Serjeant added: “I’m very pleased to have gained a medal in what has been a very strange year. A big thank you to Shropshire CCA for hard work making racing possible – I’m looking forward to the 2021 season and what should be another great Women’s Championship”.
Hutson-Lumb didn’t go home empty-handed however as she beat Keeling into runner-up spot in the Veteran’s competition. When times were converted to Veteran’s Standards Hutson-Lumb took victory in +2:46, 13 seconds ahead of Keeling, which gave her SB Veteran’s Silver to add to her groaning trophy cabinet. She was pleased to have been pushed hard by a rider new to the sport, as evidenced by her post-race comments: “Well done to Leonie for a very strong ride in horrible conditions. It was too grotty for my time trial bike and kit, so my slightly grubby road gear came out and I was glad of the more grippy tyres even though the ride was tough and slow. It was good to do the final race of the Series; and thanks to organisers and marshals for turning out on a wet and windy day”.
That left the two final medals to go to Wrekinsport’s Chris Halford, who captured Veteran’s Bronze’ and 12 year-old Hafren CC rider Fred Mredith, who gained Junior Bronze. Halford as usual was succinct with his comments: “A big thanks to you and all the people that made racing possible this year, much appreciated”. Meredith was more effusive, adding: “As my ‘Youth A’ road season was cancelled this year I am really grateful to the organisers and helpers at the SCCA SB Series time trials making it possible to get some enjoyable racing in. I’m really happy with my Bronze and will hope to improve on it next year”.
|1||Ben Pierce||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||J||20:43||20|
|2||David Griffiths||SCCA Private Member||S||20:58||18|
|3||Henri Bedford||Revolutions Racing||J||21:34||16|
|4||Tomos Hales||Wrekinsport CC||S||22:49||14|
|5||Leoni Keeling||Oswestry Paragon CC||WV||25:41||12|
|6||Harry Corney||Market Drayton CC||J||25:49||10|
|7||DJ Fanning||Ruthin CC||V||26:37||.|
|8||Deb Hutson-Lumb||Nova Raiders||WV||26:46||8|
|9||Alison Dockney||Market Drayton CC||W||27:00||6|
|10||Helen Tudor||Oswestry Paragon CC||WV||29:08||4|
|Vets Pos’n||Name||Club||Cat||Vet +/-||Vets Points|
|1||Deb Hutson-Lumb||Nova Raiders||WV||+2:46||20|
|2||Leonie Keeling||Oswestry Paragon CC||WV||+2:33||18|
|3||David Fanning||Ruthin CC||V||+0:35||.|
|4||Helen Tudor||Oswestry Paragon CC||WV||+0:03||16|
|Women’ s Pos’n||Name||Club||Cat||Time||Women’s Points|
|1||Leoni Keeling||Oswestry Paragon CC||WV||25:41||20|
|2||Deb Hutson-Lumb||Nova Raiders||WV||26:46||18|
|3||Alison Dockney||Market Drayton CC||W||27:00||16|
|4||Helen Tudor||Oswestry Paragon CC||WV||29:08||14|
|Junior Pos’n||Name||Club||Cat||Time||Junior Points|
|1||Ben Pierce||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||J||20:43||20|
|2||Henri Bedford||Revolutions Racing||J||21:34||18|
|3||Harry Corney||Market Drayton CC||J||25:49||16|
FINAL Cumulative Standings after eight rounds:
|1||Dan Watts||SCCA Private Member||S||108|
|2||Henri Bedford||Revolutions Racing||J||108|
|3||Tim Beardmore||Nova Raiders||V||72|
|4||Ben Pierce||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||J||60|
|5||Tomos Hales||Wrekinsport CC||S||58|
|6||David Griffiths||SCCA Private Member||S||48|
|7||Chris Halford||Wrekinsport CC||V||44|
|7||Dean Callister||Nova Raiders||S||44|
|9||Bryn Davies||Hafren CC||V||30|
|9||Josh Whitehead||CC Bridgnorth RWG||S||30|
|Dan Watts and Henri Bedford split on 2nd count back (R4)|
|1||Tim Beardmore||Nova Raiders||V||100|
|2||Deb Hutson-Lumb||Nova Raiders||WV||96|
|3||Chris Halford||Wrekinsport CC||V||72|
|4||Andy Rose||Nova Raiders||V||52|
|5||Rich Smith||Wrekinsport CC||V||40|
|6||Bryn Davies||Hafren CC||V||38|
|6||Graeme Donnell||Nova Raiders||V||38|
|8||Ian Connolly||Ludlow CC||V||36|
|9||Emma Serjeant||Hafren CC||WV||34|
|9||Jonathan Mills-Keeling||CC Bridgnorth RWG||V||34|
|1||Deb Hutson-Lumb||Nova Raiders||WV||98|
|2||Leonie Keeling||Oswestry Paragon CC||W||70|
|3||Emma Serjeant||Hafren CC||WV||54|
|4||Helen Blake||Wrekinsport CC||W||54|
|5||Alison Dockney||Market Drayton CC||W||52|
|6||Helen Tudor||Oswestry Paragon CC||WV||50|
|7||Liz White||Wrekinsport CC||WV||24|
|8||Jenny York||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||WV||22|
|9||Bethan Till||Wrekinsport CC||W||18|
|9||Jenny Newton||Nova Raiders||WV||18|
|Emma Serjeant and Helen Blake split on 1st count back (least counting events to score cumulative points tally)|
|1||Henri Bedford||Revolutions Racing||J||124|
|2||Ben Pierce||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||J||60|
|3||Fred Meredith||Hafren CC||J||32|
|4||Harry Corney||Market Drayton CC||J||30|
|5||Max Bufton||Hafren CC||J||24|
|6||Carys Blowers||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||WJ||12|
|7||Rebecca Woodvine||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||WJ||8|