Even when racing came back in between three lockdowns the 2-Up format remained off the table due to an inability to social distance, so it was fabulous to finally see permission granted to run a delayed Round 1 of The UKICT 2-Up Series, perhaps fittingly starting with the only event allowed in this format in 2020 before the March 23rd cancellation of all racing. Originally planned for March but cancelled due to the continuing general lockdown, the shoehorning of the North Shropshire Wheelers 2-Up into an available Sunday in a busy programme, combined with temperatures not much above freezing meant just five teams took the line at Prees – but that didn’t stop a battle for supremacy between two strong road men and some up and coming Juniors.
Taking the win by just 10 seconds former professional and now coach Liam Holohan partnered up with a team mate who holds multiple hill climb course records Kirk Vickers as the pair charged around the Mu-shaped course in 21 minutes 10 seconds. Whilst this is a largely flat course with the climb of Prees by-pass to negotiate Vickers was superbly adapted to keep the rhythm going, as Holohan alluded to: “It’s the first time Kirk and I have ridden together on time trial bikes, so we were a little rusty technically. However, Kirk was super strong and we just managed to do enough to take the win”. Vickers added: “It was nice to do a 2-Up time trial with the coach. Pretty cold conditions on the morning but all good fun”!
The major challenge was an audacious one from two 18 year-old Mid Shropshire Wheelers, James Satoor and Ben Pierce. The climb wouldn’t faze Satoor as the reigning Shropshire Hill Climb Champion and the pairing have competed in this format before so are well aware of each other’s abilities. That knowledge of each other’s strengths paid dividends as the pairing took the runners-up spot in 21:20. Satoor was pleased with the team’s efforts, stating: “A chilly start but its always good fun riding with Ben. We managed to do a decent ride, just a touch off the win. I look forward to doing rest of what should be a good Series – thanks to North Shropshire Wheelers for putting a great event on during difficult times”. Pierce added: “I’m happy with the result with James; it’s great to be racing again – thanks to the organisers in the current climate”.
Promoting club honours were taken by Gareth Brookes and Gino Trasatti who stopped the watch on 25:47, with Richard Cordova and Matt Harrison 15 seconds back and Mid Shropshire Wheelers’ Dave Mellor and Steve Lees ending the morning on 28:32.
|1||Kirk Vickers & Liam Holohan||Holohan Coaching RT||21:10||20|
|2||James Satoor & Ben Pierce||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||21:20||18|
|3||Gareth Brookes & Gino Trasatti||North Shropshire Wheelers||25:47||16|
|4||Richard Cordova & Matt Harrison||North Shropshire Wheelers & Market Drayton CC||26:02||14|
|5||Dave Mellor & Steve Lees||Mid Shropshire Wheelers||28:32||12|
- Round 2 of the UKICT 2-Up Series takes place on 25th May when Holohan Coaching RT promotes their 10 on the Westbury – Shoot Hill course.