Narrow margins settled the destination of the final medals in The Coaching Revolutions 2-Up Series with last gasp efforts affecting the tables in Round 9, The Hafren CC 10 at Berriew. With Gold and Silver already settled in the Overall standings it was a straight head-to-head for Bronze between Hafren CC’s Pete Thomas and Mark Hill, and Nova Raiders’ Andy Maxwell and Andy Rose. Thomas and Hill did their uppermost, winning the event on home territory in a strong 21 minutes 44 seconds, but needed Maxwell and Rose to finish third or lower to tie on points in this best 5 from 9 Series and win on the time-based count back.
In the end Maxwell and Rose took those Bronze medals to make it a clean sweep in the Overall standings for Nova Raiders after finishing runners-up on the evening in 21:56 – but by a vital solitary second which saw them gain the two additional points they required.
Thomas had no complaints after a fabulous season-long battle between the pairs and was delighted with a home win, as well as being full of praise for team mate Hill: “We worked really well together. We pushed hard on the out leg, hopefully having something left for return leg. It was great to get top spot especially on home turf, a pity the Series has finished“.
Maxwell and Rose knew the task lying ahead of them pre-race and with a strong new pairing of Andy Hellowell and Chris Staples in competition were under no illusions that a personal best effort would probably be required. Maxwell explained: “Andy and I hoped to go under 22 minutes for a Personal Best before the start and managed it. It turned out vitally important to seal the Bronze for the Championship. We couldn’t touch the Hafren lads on the night who deserved the win. I was pleased to get Bronze, it’s nice to have something from a long season. I has been great to ride the 2-Ups with Andy, he has been really strong this year. Nice to back up the rest of the Nova teams in first and second, and the Congratulations to the ladies on retaining their trophies“.
Rose meanwhile was incredulous at the margin that saw them take those medals, adding: “We couldn’t believe how the race panned out. Mark and Pete pushed us all the way in the Series and had a tremendous ride to clinch first place on the night. I am delighted to have won Bronze in the Series with Andy who has been immense throughout. Thanks all the volunteers“.
Just how fate played it’s part in gaining the vital two points required was revealed by Staples as he and Hellowell took third spot on the night in 21:57: “It’s only the second time I’ve ridden with Andy but we’ve already found the right way to ride together. I was very happy with the time, however we were delayed on the turnaround island by a very slow moving hay lorry, but I’m not making excuses. Conditions were good and we rode as hard as we could“. Hellowell hinted at more to come from the pair adding: “Only my second 2-Up with Chris and nearly one minute quicker than the last one a couple of weeks ago. We are still learning how to ride together and had to stop at the island for traffic so there is more to come yet. Our best case was sub-22 minutes, so third is a bonus“.
As Maxwell had alluded to reigning Women’s Champions Jenny Newton and Jane Chapman successfully held onto their Championship for another year – though it took a critical intervention from a first time pairing to settle this most open of competitions. Going into the race it was a distinct possibility that three teams could finish on 96 points and have to be split on time count back; but with Chapman’s daughter Charlotte teaming up with Mixed Team Silver medallist Deb Hutson-Lumb, who would have otherwise been sidelined due to an injured team mate, a winning partnership was formed.
Chapman had got an inkling of Hutson-Lumb’s strength three days earlier in the Coaching Revolutions Shropshire Championship 4-Up as part of Nova Raiders’ Ladies squad that also included the Women’s 2-Up Champions and having been lacking a partner for much of the Series was eager to finally put herself to the test, with the pair crossing the line in 23:28. Chapman commented: “I was excited to race with Deb after seeing how strong she was on the 4-Up and knew we’d be well matched. I struggled to keep up with her at times! I just want to do it again now as I’m sure we could go much faster with practice. Well done to all the other ladies teams, and of course to team mates Jenny and my Mum on the well deserved win“!
Hutson-Lumb was also delighted with a first outing producing a win, and revealed how the new pairing worked together: “I’m very pleased with the win! Conditions on the course were good with minimal breeze on the return leg and we had a clear run through both roundabouts. We didn’t have much of a plan but clearly what we did have worked well, with Charlotte taking the lead on the more draggy sections where she is much stronger than me. I really enjoyed it, and well done to everyone who rode“.
Newton meanwhile was relieved to take the Women’s title again, but had an anxious wait for the result after being unavailable to compete in the final round. With a narrow two point advantage banked from previous rounds retained as the chasing teams could not better their points tallies she was delighted they had hit a winning streak early in the competition: “I’m really chuffed to win the 2-Up again. I love racing with Jane, we work so well together. We were lucky to have had an early winning streak as work and family commitments stopped us from being able to compete in the last few races. Fabulous to have such great competition from Sarah, Alison, Emma and Louise this year, congratulations to them for Bronze and Silver. I’m really looking forward to a hard slog next year“!
With Chapman and Hutson-Lumb ensuring their team mates took Gold it was down to the wire for Silver and Bronze with Sarah Grant and Alison Dockney overhauling Emma Serjeant and Louise Downward at the last gasp. Grant and Dockney entered the Series late but took runner-up spot on the night with a personal best 24:10, tying the pairs on 94 points. Grant and Dockney’s improvement was a huge 29 seconds, and until this final race they had been 18 seconds off Serjeant and Downward’s best of the year, but reversed the medal positions with an 11 second advantage on time count back to take Silver.
Grant commented: “I’m incredibly pleased with our performance this season. We ended on a high with a huge PB which we are thrilled with. Thanks Aly for being totally awesome! The 2-Up Series has really been a big highlight for us, and we’ve enjoyed all the banter, encouragement and competition from our fellow women’s riders and all the other teams. Congratulations to Jenny and Jane“! Dockney meanwhile was buzzing from the achievement and was already looking forward to 2019: “I’m really pleased with the Silver medal position. The Women’s competition has been fierce and definitely pushed us to improve towards the end of the Series. I was really happy with our performance and a big PB in the final race at Berriew – our first one on time trial bikes. Congratulations to Jenny and Jane on winning the Gold, and thanks to Emma and Louise for some incredibly close races in the past few weeks. I’m really excited for next year’s competition“!
The Hafren CC pairing gave their all to finish in 24:28 and enjoyed the nearness of the competition, with teams well matched. Serjeant stated: “The Women’s 2-Up Series has been so much fun and so competitive right to the last race. I’ve loved racing with Louise this season and made some lovely new time trialling friends. Thank you to all the marshals, volunteers and everyone involved with the SCCA who make these events happen“. Downward concurred, adding: “It was great conditions for racing. The overall Women’s competition was so close and it really could have gone either way. I’ve really enjoyed the Series and will happily take the Bronze again and look forward to next season“.
That left one final pair of Bronze medals to be decided with Jenny York and John Robertson sealing them after finishing second on the night behind Lucy Davies and Rob Finch. The Mid Shropshire Wheelers pairing ended their evening on 25:07 and are getting used to each others’ style, with York stating: “I was really pleased as this was our best race so far, we are starting to get the hang of these events. Thanks John, good team work to get us the Bronze medal! Thanks Hafren CC too, a great event and well marshalled and with cake“! Robertson added: “I was really pleased to do my bit for ‘the team’. Thanks to all the volunteers for making the Series possible. Hopefully we’ll be back next year to try and do better“!
|1||Mark Hill & Pete Thomas||Hafren CC||21:44||20|
|2||Andy Rose & Andy Maxwell||Nova Raiders||21:56||18|
|3||Chris Staples & Andy Hellowell||Revolutions Racing||21:57||16|
|4||Steve Chapman & Andy Hazell||Nova Raiders||22:56||14|
|5||Lucy Davies & Rob Finch||Arctic Tacx||23:12|
|6||Conrad Taylor & Elwyn Turner||Hafren CC||23:21||12|
|7||Charlotte Chapman & Deb Hutson-Lumb||Nova Raiders||23:28||10|
|8||Sarah Grant & Alison Dockney||SCCA Private Members||24:10||8|
|9||Louise Downward & Emma Serjeant||Hafren CC||24:28||6|
|10||Alun Roberts & Mike Williams||Hafren CC||24:52||4|
|11||John Robertson & Jenny York||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||25:07||2|
|12||Tony Harvey & Robin Shedden||Mid Shropshire Wheelers & Wrekinsport CC||25:18||2|
|13||John Hall & Jeremy Hall||Hafren CC||28:32||2|
|Women’s Pos’n||Names||Club(s)||Time||Women’s Points|
|1||Charlotte Chapman & Deb Hutson-Lumb||Nova Raiders||23:28||20|
|2||Sarah Grant & Alison Dockney||SCCA Private Members||24:10||18|
|3||Louise Downward & Emma Serjeant||Hafren CC||24:28||16|
|Mixed Pos’n||Names||Club(s)||Time||Mixed Points|
|1||Lucy Davies & Rob Finch||Arctic Tacx||23:12|
|2||John Robertson & Jenny York||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||25:07||20|
Final Cumulative Standings after nine rounds
|1||Matt Gibbons & Scott Harris||Nova Raiders||100|
|2||Nick Long & Ed Middleton||Nova Raiders||90|
|3||Andy Rose & Andy Maxwell||Nova Raiders||86|
|4||Pete Thomas & Mark Hill||Hafren CC||84|
|5||Steve Chapman & Steve Ford||Nova Raiders||60|
|6||Andy Collins & Lucy Hart||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||44|
|7||Andy Hellowell & Chris Staples||Revolutions Racing||28|
|=8||Bernard & Deb Hutson-Lumb||Nova Raiders||24|
|=8||Sarah Grant & Alison Dockney||SCCA Private Members||24|
|=10||Chris Halford & Rich Smith||Wrekinsport CC||20|
|=10||Jack Young & Ben Pierce||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||20|
|=10||Louise Downward & Emma Serjeant||Hafren CC||20|
|=10||Steve Minton & Gareth Leek||Ludlow Brewery RT||20|
|1||Jane Chapman & Jenny Newton||Nova Raiders||96|
|2||Sarah Grant & Alison Dockney||SCCA Private Members||94|
|3||Louise Downward & Emma Serjeant||Hafren CC||94|
|4||Charlotte Chapman & Deb Hutson-Lumb||Nova Raiders||20|
|5||Jo Coombes & Charlotte Wellsbury||Evolve||18|
|6||Helena Amos & Clare Cotterill||Wrekinsport CC||16|
|1||Andy Collins & Lucy Hart||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||98|
|2||Bernard & Deb Hutson-Lumb||Nova Raiders||94|
|3||Jenny York & John Robertson||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||38|
|4||Charlotte Chapman & Richard Guy||Nova Raiders||20|
|4||Emily Hinton & Grant Womack||Ludlow CC||20|
|6||Jenny Newton & Andy Hazell||Nova Raiders||16|
|6||Stuart Proctor & Louise Woodvine||Revolutions Racing||16|
|8||Caroline Lloyd & Terry Price||North Shropshire Wheelers||14|
|9||Geoff Edgerton & Linda Beckett||North Shropshire Wheelers||12|
|10||Phil Guy & Elaine Langley||North Shropshire Wheelers||10|