Wheelers’ season off to a flying start

Adam Botteley at the Elveden Race Photo: Nigel Goodenough
Adam Botteley at the Elveden Race Photo: Nigel Goodenough

Bourne Wheelers got their season off to a sensational start, taking a first and third place in road races in Suffolk on Saturday.

The Wheelers were racing at Elvedon where father and son Mark and Adam Botteley were in the podium positions.

A team of seven endured horrible conditions with Adam’s victory in the U14 race the highlight.

Adam, 13, was part of a breakaway trio at the of the first 3.5 mile lap and he soon forced the pace, leaving one of the three riders trailing behind.

The flying duo were almost three minutes ahead of the pack by the fifth and final lap, when Adam opened up the sprint 400m from home, and won by five bike lengths.

In the seven-lap U16 race, Tim James and Campbell Pollock were Bourne’s two main hopes. However despite hanging in the bunch for five and a half laps, both succumbed to the freezing conditions and abandoned their races.

Dan Burton, Jamie Nation and new rider Robbie Ward were also in the U16 race. Jamie went out on the first lap but Robbie and Dan both finished and will have gained a lot from the experience.

In the senior race, the Wheelers picked up another podium finish.

Mark Botteley tried the same tactic as his son, breaking away from the bunch early on, but unlike Adam he was caught on the line and had to settle for third place.

Also at Elvedon, but racing for her new team Squadra Donne Shutt Velo, was ex-Wheeler Sian Botteley.

Riding against Olympian Annie Last and several national champions, Sian positioned herself in the lead group of 10 early on and only dropped away with four miles to go to finish 11th; first among the first year juniors.

l On Sunday, the Bourne club’s riders were racing against the clock on the 14-mile Folkingham-based Hardriders time trial course.

Jason Burrill showed the benefit of some excellent pre-season training and that he will be a force to be reckoned with this season, taking eighth in 37m06, more than 45 seconds ahead of last year’s champion James Gelsthorpe.

Another eye-catching performance came from new rider Jack Robinson who, with 37m38 was almost a minute ahead of his father, Mark, whose 39m29 was matched by Campbell Pollock.

Keith Munton clocked 40m09 with Simon Ayliff, on the comeback from injury, timed at 44m07.

Maddie Gammons was the lone representative for the club at the first qualifying event for East Midlands squad selection.

Racing at Darley Moor, Maddie led the other U14s around and despite starting two minutes behind the U16 girls almost caught them. However one other girl just pipped her in the sprint for the line.