Outstanding Wheelers dominate league race

Mark Botteley, pictured earlier this year, leads the Hereward League

Mark Botteley, pictured earlier this year, leads the Hereward League

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BOURNE Wheelers raced to a hat-trick of wins to open up a commanding lead in the Hereward League.

The third round of the handicap-based league was hosted by the Fenland Clarion cycling club and on paper should have proved the toughest yet for the Wheelers with a course that few of the Bourne riders had ever raced before.

However, the Wheelers continued their stunning form from the first two races, filling ten of the top 12 places, and with an especially strong race from youth contingent of the club.

Bourne riders claimed the top In the end they filled 10 out of the top 12 places, including the first three on the day.

First rider home was new member Jamie Nation, whose personnel best time of 36.20 for the 10 mile event, with a handicap of 18.47, was almost 90 seconds ahead of the second place finisher, teammate Adam Botteley, who again recorded a personnel best, this time cutting his record to 28.04.

Personnel bests ran through the team with the majority of the club’s riders posting top times. Tim James wrapped up the podium places for the club with 26.02 while Dan Burton (30.08) and Campbell Pollock (24.57) were fifth and seventh, again recording best ever times.

It wasn’t just the youths though who broke individual records. Cliff Hilless with 26.40 and Antony Gough 24:47, both got in the act, with Jemma Empson also improving her best time with 28:25. Sian Botteley’s time of 26.19 was good enough for second best female on the day.

Overall, with just the Spalding race in three weeks time to go, former Hereward League winner Mark Botteley holds a commanding lead thanks to his best time for five years of 22.30 placing him 11th, to add to his win in the Bourne event and seventh place in the Peterborough round.

But with the competition decided by taking riders’ best three races, it could be that Tim James is in the best position to take the overall title as he has two top three places to his name, and a similar result over the fen course next month, could see him secure the title.

* YOUTH rider Tim James came within a whisker of his first ever road race victory at the weekend.

Riding at the Milton Keynes Bowl in the U14 boys 12 mile event, Tim got off to a flyer. He was joined by four other riders out of the 20 man field and the quintet worked well together throughout the race.

Entering the final mile, the group had a three minute lead over the rest of the field, and going into the final 200m uphill stretch Tim made his move, sprinting up the outside. Unfortunately he couldn’t quite get past the leading rider and had to settle for second, just half a bike length behind.

PHOTO

Mark Botteley, pictured racing earlier this year, leads the Hereward League with one race to go.