Both the overall and women’s course records were broken as county riders battled it out for glory in the Coaching Revolutions Shropshire Championship 10.
With limited open events available countrywide, Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling professional Dan Bigham joined the field, annihilating the Waters Upton-Hodnet course record by one minute 11 seconds.
Bigham became only the third rider to beat the 20-minute/30mph mark, battling through a tough headwind to stop the watch on 18 minutes 27 seconds – an average of more than 32.5mph.
“It was nice to be back racing on British soil after a stint abroad, especially as the course is local to where I grew up,” said Bigham, who is originally from Stone and has recently been racing in Denmark. “I think, despite the headwind out, the weather were pretty good and I think I paced it well for the conditions – kudos to Nova Raiders for the super smooth running event given all the restrictions at the moment”.
Overall it was a one-two for Ribble, with Bridgnorth-based George Mills-Keeling taking the runner-up spot in 20:16.
Just two seconds further back, Shropshire Cycling Clubs Association (SCCA) private member Kieran Morris took the Gordon Davies Trophy and Shropshire Championship gold with a fabulous 20:18.
The 19 year-old pushed Dan Watts into county runner-up spot by 29 seconds, with Nova Raider Dean Callister taking bronze.
Callister, though, did lead the home club to team gold with solid back-up from Tim Beardmore and Andy Rose, to push out Wrekinsport.
Beardmore added veterans’ bronze to that team gold – finishing third behind team-mates Deb Hutson-Lumb and Chris Halford, who took veterans’ gold and silver, respectively. Hutson-Lumb also doubled up with a win in the Shropshire women’s championship in 23:57, retaining two of her 2019 titles in style.
But Hutson-Lumb didn’t have an answer for the overall women’s winner Jessica Rhodes-Jones, who broke Hetty Nibblett’s long-standing women’s course record by 28 seconds in a fabulous time of 22:26.
Hutson-Lumb wasn’t the only female to take home a brace of medals, with 13 year-old Rebecca Woodvine helping herself to women’s silver and junior bronze thanks to her 25:48 ride, pushing out Mid Shropshire Wheelers’ team-mate Jenny York into the bronze position by six seconds in the former.
A delighted Woodvine said: “I really didn’t know what to expect. I hoped to get around the 26-minute mark, but to be under was really pleasing.
“I was surprised to finish second female as it’s only my second year of time trialling among such a quality field of ladies.
“A lot of thanks go to Mid Shropshire Wheelers as all three junior medallists started as youths at the Shrewsbury-based club.
“It has given me confidence ahead of the National time trial final planned for September.”
Sixteen-year-old Henri Bedford captured the Alan Roberts Junior Trophy in 21:19 with a personal best by the narrowest of margins.
He stated: “I was happy to get a new PB by a second despite being held up by a rider causing traffic to slow me down.
“Well done to Dan Bigham for smashing the course record and to the Nova Raiders for hosting such a great event”.
That left the final word to James Satoor, posting a fine 21:42 for junior silver.
He commented: “It was a good time trial, although it was really tough into the headwind going out.
“I just thought my legs were dead, but I managed to come back from the roundabout a lot quicker.
“Fairly happy with the time though, and well done to Henri winning the juniors! Thanks again to Nova Raiders for putting on such a well-organised event.”