NINETY-TWO cyclists braved Saturday’s potential downpours to ride the Warwickshire RC ten-mile open individual time trial (TT) out of Salford Priors and this number included four Stratford Cycling Club members who regularly compete in the numerous TT races around the Midlands.
Thankfully a two-and-a-half-hour weather window presented itself as the car park filled up with riders signing on and warming up. At 3pm on the dot the first rider was sent on his way before four minutes later Stratford CC’s own chairman Gerard ‘Wedge’ Adams teed up for his first open TT of the year.
After the usual ten miles of pain, which is to be expected with a TT, Wedge put in strong performance to cross the line in a 26:10, followed by Nigel Jones at 25:54, some 45 minutes later.
Conditions were still holding as a further four riders started, with strong headwinds to the Alcester roundabout on the A46 and damp road conditions on the turns.
Next up for Stratford was Stephen Eggleton chasing a personal best and season target of below 25 minutes. He put in a storming effort to surpass this by 11 seconds to record a time of 24:49 minutes. He now has a new aim of going below 24 minutes.
Finally Keith Fitzgerald set off in strong form to complete Stratford CC’s entries and finished in a season’s best of 25:47 – a time of below 25:30 cannot be far away.
Ex-Stratford riders Rosie Armitage and Peter Ward – both of Echelon Cycles based in Pershore – set times of 25:33 and 25:34 respectively and Ian Hemming, also of Echelon Cycles, finished within the top ten in 21:34.
Kenilworth’s Matt Clinton (Mike Vaughan Cycles) posted 19:05 to win the event – a testament to his current form following his effort at the national time trial.
Once all riders made it back to headquarters safely, the heavens finally opened to close a successful event.