In with the Old in with the New, the TT League begins!

he Beech House Dental practise Time Trial League got underway in cold and windy conditions on a rolling 9 mile course of Farnham to Staveley to Minskip to Staveley and back to Farnham. The speculation over the off season was that the Champion for the last four years might not have it so easy after being pipped by experienced new Harrogate Nova recruit, Glen Turnbull, in two early season open TTs and with the emergence of the much younger Pete Watson as perhaps the favorite for the title. However, the 48 year old put all that behind him to knock 18 seconds off his course record with 19:10 and 23 seconds ahead of Glen Turnbull in second with Jon Webber a further 12 seconds in arrears. There were only two women in the event but Champion Corinne Mitchell broke her own course record with 22:55, 2:30 ahead of experienced long distance TTer Gill Crane. Corinne also won the most improved rider competition. The road bike category was also won by the sitting Champion, Edwin Stokes, breaking the road record with 21:33, 28 seconds ahead of Stewart Newton with Simon Ketteringham a further 8 seconds back. Ride of the night went to 12 year old Joe Turnbull. Joe has been competing in road races and a few TTs already this season and put in an astonishing 25:31, in very testing conditions for someone so slight, to set the School Boy road bike and overall records. Given the age of the winner we could be hearing Joe’s name for decades to come! Next week’s event is the 10 mile out and back from Arkendale Lane end to Walshford. Harrogate Nova’s Steve Smales (55:48), Pete Watson (56:10 despite a little detour) and Craig Stephenson (56:54) won the team prize at the Birdwell Wheelers 25 in South Yorkshire at the weekend. Smales and Stephenson were returning to TTs after competing in triathlon, making their results all the more impressive.