The latest round of the league was held at Prospect Park to the west of Reading town centre, the course was partly park land and a large orchard which is now one tree less, but more of that to follow soon. Reading CC were the event organisers and the event was the 51st running of the Bill Higson Memorial trophy race.
Race Results are available on the Reading CC website HERE
Photo Gallery by Graham Robins HERE
Race Report by Graham Robins
After a string of four successive second places Michael Cotty (Col Collective) finally saw the chequered flag first after a tough race on a testing course which in places cut up quickly due to overnight and early morning rain in the Reading area.
Soon after the start Sam Allen (PedalOn) led a group of four which included Cotty, Tom Sewell (Cotswold Veldrijden) and Alex Forrester (Zepnat.com) with another small group less than ten seconds back. The course was soon taking its toll on riders as large gaps quickly emerged and soon the lead groups were clear. The only rider to try and challenge the leaders was Joe Hickerton (Eden Veranda) but he was running nearly 30secs down.
As the laps ticked away Cotty made a move and quickly put Allen under pressure and a gap of 10secs was soon established. As Allen had trouble keeping pace with the leader he was caught and passed by Sewell and Forrester. This race was to have more twists as on lap five and with Cotty clear Sewell, Allen and Forrester looked set for a last lap fight. However when Sewell started to cramp first Forrester and then Allen managed to get pass.
So at the finish it was Cotty taking his maiden win, Forrester put in a last lap effort to hold off Allen and Sewell just missing out on the podium.
Earlier in the day the vet+40’s and juniors had a race they could not have expected, because just after the whole field had passed through the orchard on the first lap a large tree collapsed and fell across the course. Quickly people ran to the scene but thankfully there was nobody in that area and the organisers and commissaries set about changing the course whilst the race passed by with any rider being delayed. The course builders were able to divert the route on some heavy duty gardening had been carried out.
In the race it was Dan Guest (Cotswold Veldrijden) who soon had a lead of a minute from Callum Macleod (Palmer Park) and Erin Baker (Team MK). Next up and closing in quickly was Archie Scott (Cotswold Veldrijden) and team mate Graham Rogerson. The race order looked like remaining static until Scott passed Baker in the last lap the take to third step on the podium. So with three juniors trailing in behind Guest it was William McDonald (Take3 Tri) to take the third Vet position.
below: Dan Guest
The combined Vet50+ and Women’s races saw a lot of action in the opening laps in both races. The vet50+ race saw Keith Sheridan (Cotswold Veldrijden) and the GS Vecchi pair of Tim Costello and Kevin Holloway pull away from Gary Barlow (Reading CC) and Mitch Purvis (Rides on Air). By mid distance Sheridan’s lead was19secs over Costello and 31secs to Holloway with Barlow close to a minute down on the leader. In the closing stages the only change at the front was the swapping of positions between Holloway and Costello.
In the Women’s race Helen Pattinson (Solent Pirates) very quickly built up a lead from Kara Perryman (Team Montezuma’s Hargroves) and Sarah Barber (NHRC) with Susan Parker not too far behind this leading trio. Harriet Guest (Cotswold Veldrijden) was close by and also having a strong race was Carly Hughes (Fareham Wheelers) and these two would feature in the results within their own category. At the bell Pattinson led by nearly a minute with Perryman and Barber very close together. As the line approached and with Pattinson already across Barber kept on pulling Perryman back and her efforts were rewarded with a second place whilst Parker finished fourth but second women Harriet Guest and Cam Powell (PedalOn) closed out the vet women’s podium.
1st Michael Cotty Col Collective 1hr 00mins 55secs
2nd Alex Forrester Zepnat.com @44secs
3rd Sam Allen PedalOn @1min
4th Tom Sewell Cotswold Veldrijden @1min 25secs
5th Joe Hickerton Eden Veranda
6th Christopher Minter PedalOn
7th Matthew Noble Specialized
8th Tom Budden Sotonia CC
9th Jamie Norfolk PedalOn
10th Ryan Smith HR Owens
Vet 40+/ Junior
1st Dan Guest 36mins 12secs
2nd Callum Macleod Palmer Park @1min 28secs 1st Junior
3rd Archie Scott Cotswold Veldrijden 2nd Junior
4th Erin Baker Team MK 3rd Junior
5th Graham Rogerson Cotswold Veldrijden
6th William McDonald Take3 Tri
1st Keith Sheridan Cotswold Veldrijden 38mins 28secs
2nd Kevin Holloway GS Vecchi @29secs
3rd Tim Costello GS Vecchi @39secs
4th Gary Barlow Reading CC
5th Phil Boarer GS Vecchi
1st Helen Pattinson Solent Pirates 44mins 06secs 1st Vet
2nd Sarah Barber North Hants RC @1min 11secs 1st Senior
3rd Kara Perryman Team Montezuma’s Hargroves 1st Junior
4th Susan Parker North Hants RC senior
5th Harriet Guest Cotswold Veldrijden vet
6th Cam Powell PedalOn vet
7th Carly Hughes Fareham Wheelers senior