By Bob Jolliffe
WITH a yell of delight New Forest Cycling Club’s Morgan Williams crossed the line ahead of the rest in the final round of UK-Biking’s Moreton Race Series road race in Dorset.
It was Williams’ first race back after a season spent gradually building up fitness after suffering a knee injury last September which resulted in a cartilage operation in February.
Considering that at one point he was wondering if he would ever be able to race again, he hit the ground running, passing the winning post with a clear lead over Gillingham & District Wheelers’ James Chant.
“I was over the moon with it really,” he said.
“It was a last minute decision to ride. My friend Jason Eastwood said ‘Go on, give it a go and see where you are’.
“So glad just to be back on the bike as there was a time this winter when I thought I would not ride again. Nice to come back with a win!”
He is now looking forward to continuing to build on his fitness with some late criteriums at Portsmouth, the possibility of some track racing and some time trials next year.
Reporting on the Moreton handicap event, Bournemouth Jubilee Wheelers’ president Eamonn Deane said: “Fast fading light saw a shortened race and the 45 minutes plus a lap was never going to be long enough for the scratch group to make the catch.
“The yellow group of Williams however spent the race attacking each other before calling it a truce for the last lap.
“Williams took the initiative, leading out the sprint and crossing the line with a shout, he clearly wanted it more.
“Jason Eastwood (Primera-Specialized) led the fast boys in, out of the points, but the overall was his for the third consecutive year.”
30mph-plus for Julia
New Forest multi-national champion Julia Shaw became the only the second woman to beat 30mph in a British time trial at the weekend when she won the Bridlington CC 10 in a competition record time of 19-47.
The 47-year-old Drag2Zero rider, who lives in Bramshaw, took advantage of good conditions and clipped three seconds off the previous national best set by Olympian Wendy Houvenaghel in 2007.
Shaw beat Ilkley CC’s Katherine Pimlott, her nearest rival in the Bridlington event, by a full 2min and 51secs. Third place went to Andy Cults of Birdwell Whlrs a further 19 seconds in arrears with 22-57.
She can add her new competition record to the others in her collection: 50-01 for 25 miles set in South Wales last year, her 2010 50 national best of 1-46-46 and her 3-45-22 100, also set in 2010.
First place in the accompanying men’s race went to former British Best All-Rounder Jeff Jones, also of Drag2Zero, who clocked a rapid 18-29 to beat Andy Jackson of Team Swift by 29 seconds. Third went to Sri Chinmoy’s Tejvan Pettinger with 19-07. A total of 77 riders in the field beat 22 minutes.
Shaw and Jones will be among the stars of New Forest Cycling Club’s Rudy Project promotion on a lengthened version of the Bull Hill circuit on August Bank Holiday Monday.
Also down to ride are this season’s 100-mile champion Matt Bottrill, former 25-mile comp- record holder Gary Dighton (48-07 in 1997) of Poole Whlrs, his ace veteran clubmate Terry Icke, Blair Buss of Pedalsport RT and Isle of Wight’s Dave Dent (Wightlink Offshore RT).
New Forest CC is fielding six riders – first man off at 8.01am Chris Grant, Stewart Ward, James Bannister, Martin Balk, John Heffernan and Stuart Peckham; plus second claim members Martin Beale and Rob Ellis (who has just clocked a PB 58-minute 25) both of VC St Raphael.
Event headquarters is Boldre War Memorial Hall, just a few yards east of the picturesque thatched Fleur de Lys, the New Forest’s oldest pub.
NFCC 83rd Annual Dinner 2017
There will be a memorial service for Joan Smith, wife of Geoff club life member. This will be held on Thursday 7th December at 2.00 at St Margaret’s Church, Old Christchurh Road, Everton