The opening round of the newly renamed UK ICT 2-Up Series saw a mightily close finish in the North Shropshire Wheelers 10 as the top two were split by just eight seconds – although the winners were kicking themselves that they hadn’t affiliated to the SCCA in time to gain points. Oswestry-based David Griffiths made it two wins in two days as he partnered with Junior rider Kieran Morris who hales from the same neck of the woods – and the pair put in an ominous time of 21 minutes 41 seconds after meeting for the first time half an hour before the event.
With both now registered as SCCA Private Members post-event they will be looking to make up lost ground in future rounds, with Morris speaking for the team and revealing that he was looking forward to a season-long battle against the day’s runners-up – although he had heavy legs from competing in the Eddie Soens Memorial Road Race the day before: “That was close! It was a great course – and my first time riding with Dave. Apologies to my partner for forgetting to pack my legs, he towed me around as I was tired from the Eddie Soens. Well done everyone who rode, I look forward to a good battle with Dan and Henri over the Series. Thank you to North Shropshire Wheelers for organising”.
Henri Bedford is another promising Junior and has already posted some impressive times in 2020, and had partnered Dan Watts just once at the tail end of the 2019 Series, but here the pair were making a determined play for the Series title right from the off after finding their abilities suited one another, stopping the watch on 21:49 to take the maximum 20 points on offer. With Watts almost immediately whisked off on RAF duties it was left to Bedford to talk for the team, with the early start a little bit onerous after a winter of lie-ins: “A bit of a shock to get back into Sunday morning rides – and in the rain too! I was pleased with the time and performance of the first outing of the season with Dan, well done to all who rode and to North Shropshire Wheelers for hosting”.
Two of Nova Raiders’ newer members were also racing the 2-Up format together for only the second time with Graeme Donnell and Andrew Lacon taking 18 points for their third-placed slot in a fine 23:42. Donnell was pleased with that effort, and was full of praise for his team mate, stating: “I always enjoy this competition and it was great to achieve a Top 3 finish with my phenomenal partner Andrew. Superbly marshalled, and chapeau to the sub-22 boys”.
2019’s Mixed Team Champions Emma Serjeant and Mark Hill set out a sterling defence of their title to take a strong win in this category by well over a minute despite concerns about the fitness of Hill following an operation. Serjeant had 18 tough miles in her legs from the previous day’s opening round of the Friction Hydraulics Series, but the pair beat off the concerns about their fitness after beating their 2019 effort on the same course by 25 seconds in an excellent time of 24:34 – good enough to take 4th spot overall amongst a field of 16 teams. Serjeant explained: “Mark was coming back from injury and I was suffering from 18 hilly miles the day before, so I had no expectations for the first 2-Up. However, we soon got back into the flow and I was very happy with the win and a faster time than last year”. Hill added: “Pre event any worries of my ability after shoulder surgery soon disappeared when last season form came through from us both. Better weather than last year gave us a faster time too”.
There was a new Nova Raiders partnership in the Women’s event as Deb Hutson-Lumb looks to add new trophies to the supreme haul of eight major County trophies she won in 2019. Teaming with Great Britain triathlete Hannah Dodwell, the pair posted a fine time of 27:08 who was gaining her first experience in the format – and she was buzzing post-race: “A race of firsts: my first 2-Up ever, first time partnering with Deb and a first time trial in a long time, so for me it was mostly about enjoying it! It was an intense and great experience, I’ve gone on group training rides with Deb, but this was our first time partnering together so I want to say a big thanks to her for giving me the opportunity. I am looking forward to the next one, but hopefully there will be a few more women racing”! Hutson-Lumb echoed Dodwell’s sentiments, adding: “My first time racing with Hannah and I really enjoyed it. We worked well together and, if we can fit a few more of these around her triathlon commitments, I reckon we can lop a few minutes off our time (no pressure!). It would be good to see a few more women’s teams out at the next one”.
|1||David Griffiths & Kieran Morris||Bioracer & Team Bottrill||21:41|
|2||Henri Bedford & Dan Watts||Revolutions Racing & SCCA Private Member||21:49||20|
|3||Graeme Donnell & Andrew Lacon||Nova Raiders||23:42||18|
|4||Emma Serjeant & Mark Hill||Hafren CC||24:34||16|
|5||Dave Saunders & Matthew Barrett||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||24:47||14|
|6||Gareth Brooks & Gino Trasatti||North Shropshire Wheelers||25:10||12|
|7||Dave Moore & Richard Howes||Wrekinsport CC||25:22||10|
|8||Richard Cordova & Matthew Harrison||North Shropshire Wheelers & Mule CC||25:41|
|9||Amanda Bailey & Richard Elmitt||Fibrax Wrexham RC||25:43|
|10||Keith Bate & Georges Coombes||Black Country Triathletes & Come and Try It||25:53|
|11||Deb Hutson-Lumb & Hannah Dodwell||Nova Raiders||27:08||8|
|12||Adam Riley & Vikki Jones||Oswestry Paragon CC||27:54||6|
|13||Phil Guy & Geoff Edgerton||North Shropshire Wheelers||27:59||4|
|14||Jonathan Fairhurst & Dan Thompson||Total Transition Tri **||29:33|
|15||Terry Price & Elaine Langley||North Shropshire Wheelers||33:10||2|
|Harry Franklin & Morlan Jones||North Shropshire Wheelers & Come and Try It||DNF|
|** LS penalty 4:02|
|Mixed Pos’n||Names||Club||Time||Mixed Points|
|1||Emma Serjeant & Mark Hill||Hafren CC||24:34||20|
|2||Amanda Bailey & Richard Elmitt||Fibrax Wrexham RC||25:43|
|3||Adam Riley & Vikki Jones||Oswestry Paragon CC||27:54||18|
|4||Terry Price & Elaine Langley||North Shropshire Wheelers||33:10||16|
|Women’s Pos’n||Names||Club||Time||Women’s Points|
|1||Deb Hutson-Lumb & Hannah Dodwell||Nova Raiders||27:08||20|
- Time trialling is now suspended until at least 31st May due to Coronavirus. The SCCA will be looking to reschedule affected events if possible when the crisis passes.