Puncture ends Slater’s hopes

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Bourne teenager Ali Slater saw his quest for victory in the 88 mile National Junior Road Race Champs in County Durham dashed by a rear wheel puncture 10 miles from the finish.

Having ridden vigilantly while chasing down various breaks and always riding near the front, Ali took off with 20 miles to go as the field started 3 laps of a small finishing circuit with three other riders.

The strength of the quartet became apparent as they rapidly pulled a minute clear and as they started the second lap, disaster struck, as his back wheel punctured.

Ali had to wait for a service vehicle to get a change of wheel, and as he waited the other three riders rode away to take the medals. Ali managed to get back into the bunch and placed just outside the top 20.

Mark Botteley won the club 10-mile Championship last Wednesday, held on the notoriously difficult Greatford course, in a time of 24:32 on a very windy evening. Second was James Gelsthorpe with 24:56 and Andy Preston took third in a time of 26:08.

Club chairman Gerald Bone took the veteran’s title posting a time of 28:49.