NATIONAL 100km TTT Championship
DESPITE a lumpier course, a stiff wind and a partial change of personnel, Manchester Wheelers-Trumanns Steel were still able to produce another 30mph ride to win the BCF national 100-kilometre team time trial championship at Harlow in 2-4-33.
Just nine seconds slower than their RTTC championship win the previous week it was Chris Boardman and Peter Longbottom again, partnered this time by Paul Curran and Scott O'Brien now recovered from his stomach ailment.
It was the typically well-drilled exhibition to be expected of a quartet with considerable road racing experience and they led comfortably all the way, steadily increasing their lead over the nearest challengers, the BCF composite team who finished the better part of four minutes slower.
This was still a grand effort as Gary Dighton, Matthew Illingworth and Richard Prebble lost the support of Colin Roshier after only five miles and did well with their 2-8-12 to hold off a well-knit Welsh CU squad of Richard Hughes, Matthew Postle, Alun Owen, and Richard Wooles.
The Welshmen had fought a race-long battle with Team Haverhill's Simon Lillistone, Adrian Allen, Spencer Wingrave and Bryan Steel, leading them by a bare second most of the way until Haverhill lost Steel in the last quarter, clocking 2-8-48 to the Welsh 2-8-44.
Ironically, neither the BCF composite team nor the Welsh CU team were eligible for awards and this let Team Haverhill in for the silver medals with Dinnington RCs Wayne Randle, John Tanner, Neil Martin and Julian Ramsbottom taking the bronze in 2-9-5. This led a few to question the point of allowing composite teams to compete in a club team championship in the first place.
This was not the only talking point. Boardman had nothing but praise for the BP-sponsored, Harlow CC organisation but was less enthusiastic about the several roundabout turns on the T-shaped course. 'It was OK on the dual-carriageway but there was an awful lot of traffic at the turns and riders are bound to take chances to save seconds in a championship.'
Numerous other riders and observers cast doubt on the wisdom of holding such an event on such a course on a Saturday afternoon. Longbottom was apprehensive before the start, and afterwards Dighton pronounced it as plain dangerous.
Indeed this reporter himself saw two separate instances of motorists being forced to circle a roundabout twice to avoid ploughing into teams trying to overtake on the outside, which cannot have enhanced the image of cycle racing in the minds of those particular drivers.
1. MANCHESTER WHEELERS-TRUMANNS STEEL (Chris Boardman,
Paul Curran, Peter Longbottom, Scott O'Brien) 100km in 2-4-33
2. BCF Composite (G. Dighton, R. Prebble, C. Roshier, M. Illingworth) 2-8-12
3. Welsh CU (R. Hughes, M. Postle, A. Owen, R. Wooles) 2-8-44
4. Team Haverhill (S. Lillistone, S. Wingrave, A. Allen, B. Steel) 2-8-48
5. Din-nington RC (W. Randle, J. Tanner, N. Martin, J. Ramsbottom) 2-9-5
6. Invicta RC (D. Sweeney, I. Wright, J, Harrison, S. Bray) 2-13-15
7. Alpha RC (D. & P. Spencer, G. Gimson, C. Allcock) 2-14-12
8. Royal Sutton CC (A. Collis, R. Chamberlain, M. Jones, P. Bayton) 2-14-51
9. VC St. Raphael (M. Charity, P. Keen, P. Rogers, N. Simpson) 2-14-53
10. Anglia S port (G. Brooks, B. Paton, N. Salmon, P. Wickens) 2-17-7
11. Norwood Paragon CC (G. Butler, M. Dodgson, N. Pearson, J. Jennings) 2-17-14
12. Solihull CC (P. Evans, M. Norman, M. Downs, B. Jones) 2-17-17
13. Rennrad (R. Parkin, G. Holmes, A. Shaw, C. Guy) 2-17-37
14. Kirkby C C (N. Giles, A. Mills, G. Arnold, N. Heyes) 2-18-12
15. VC Elan (M. McGregor, N. Brazier, P. Edwards, J. Salter) 2-24-24
16. Southend & Co Wh (B) (B. Barber, B. Barry, G. Bowes, J. White) 2-26-6
=17. Bath CC (R. Pears, P. Marshall, N. Toone, W. Bundy), Choughs RC (A) (J. McNamara, S. Quick, J. Payne, M. Venner) 2-26-22
19. Calleva CRC (M. Calver, M. Harper, J. Clarke, A. Olley) 2-26-35
20. E Grinstead CC (S. Dennis, S. Walder, S. Black-more, R. Taylor) 2-26-40
21. Twickenham CC (G. Macnamee, J. Baird, D. Peck, A. Olby) 2-28-16
22. Shaftesbury CC (E) (K. Yovell, J. Gren, K. Topple, J. Williams) 2-28-32
23. BCF N London (P. Roberts, D. Oakley, P. Ruffhead, K. Langton) 2-29-5
24. Manchester Wh (B)(P. Leigh, A. Walsh, R. Clayton, J. Stafford) 2-29-25
25. VC Meudon (R. Rondeau, C. Addison, R. Cheetam, M. Haylett) 2-30-16
26. Finsbury Park CC (M. Beiseigel, K. Megan, G. Andrews, J. Barbour) 2-34-5
27. Choughs RC (B) (D. Penn, S. Pickering, P. Hill, I. Warren) 2-35-17
28. Marlboro AC (J. Kavanagh, A. Buddle, T. Davis, P. Southern) 2-36-53
29. Welland Valley Wh (R. Freeman, D. Palmer, L. Cox, A. King) 2-37-15
30. Birmingham CC (N. Seli-bas, R. Todd, S. Haines , D.Smith) 2-37-29
31. Concorde RCC (D. Donnelly, A. Feasley, L. Carroll, P. Wilde) 2-51-4.