Shropshire Star

Romei hits the gold trail with a hat-trick of wins

Simon Romei set the gold standard in the first championship event of the cycling season.


Romei claimed an impressive treble as Mid Shropshire Wheelers presented the SB Sports Injuries Shropshire Championship 50, round six of the Friction Hydraulics Series.

The first Championship event of 2024 saw a new course brought into action as Mid Shropshire Wheelers presented the SB Sports Injuries Shropshire Championship 50, round six of the Friction Hydraulics Series on a glorious sunny morning.

Held over two laps of Prees-

Battlefield course new names were engraved on the 50-mile Trophy, the Jim Heath Trophy and the Women’s 50-mile Trophy.

And Paramount rider Romei’s name was on two of those as he struck gold by winning the Overall race with a superb time of one hour, 54 minutes 33 seconds, more than five minutes ahead of the nearest challenge from Hafren CC’s Bryn Davies – while beating the same rider by 3:47 in the age-adjusted Veterans’ competition with +21:54.

Romei wasn’t finished there either on a fabulous morning, as he led Paramount to team gold, with help from third-placed Rob McGregor and fifth-placed Alvydas ‘AJ’ Janusauskas.

That added 240 points on the club’s tally at the head of the Top Club Award, while Romei moved top of the Friction Hydraulics Series standings, too.

“Really pleased to take the Overall, Veteran and Team gold wins,” said Romei.

“I set out to ride the 50 hard knowing that the weather was on our side with very little wind about. I had a 1.58 in my head, but to get 1:54:33 made my day.

“Paramount also taking Team gold was another great achievement. Me, Rob and AJ all had great times, and we were all happy with our race performance on the day. To take this win and the points was fantastic.”

Davies had to be content with a brace of silver medals as he was frustratingly affected by a slowly deflating tyre that caused him to stop at one point, but he still managed to get around at over 25mph average with a fine 1:59:40 actual and +18:07 Veterans’ Standard.

McGregor added Overall bronze to his Team gold success with a solid effort of 2:04:16 – just edging out an incredible ride by female winner Hayley Wells by 1:52.

Wells’ superb ride saw her take the Women’s 50-mile Trophy for the first time with a personal best 2:06:08 in a season that is already shaping up to be a memorable one.

Pre-planning for the race certainly appeared to have been the order of the day, as she explained: “My plan was to set out at a sensible pace, attack the hills then build across the distance. This worked a dream, picking up a personal best as well as nailing my nutrition strategy.”

Female silver went to Oswestry Paragon’s Helen Tudor, who recorded 2:31:19.

The final medal of the morning came as a bit of a shock to Ludlow’s Ian Connolly, who was delighted to take Veterans’ bronze with +8:56.

Mark Fenn added a further 70 points to his Road Bike Series lead, registering an adjusted 2:13:36.

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Tomos Hales extended his overall lead in the Decathlon Evening 10 Series by Wrekinsport after claiming victory in round five.

With virtually no wind to speak of and warm conditions, times were fast, with a tight battle at the head of the standings with the top three split by just 12 seconds.

Second and third riders Mark Pritchard and Oli Freeman had come across the finish line the first time on the Long Lane circuit both a second ahead of Hales, but the Series leader wound things up with a negative split tactic to be clearly ahead after six-and-a-quarter miles to lead Pritchard by six seconds and Freeman by 16.

Freeman managed to pull four seconds back on the final circuit however, finishing strong.

Hales’ effort of 22 minutes, 26 seconds was 29 seconds off his best from round three, but was enough to extend his Series lead over Freeman.

In the Women’s Series, Hayley Wells (23:27) made it another six-point tally for the maximum possible 30 points from five rounds, and now holds a commanding 20-point lead.

In the Road Bike Series, Peter Jukes took a fine win in 25:36, two seconds ahead of a personal best for Newport junior Ben Bramford-Hale and 12 seconds ahead of Davis Seager, who moved into the sole lead at the head of the standings.