THE GROWTH of women’s cycling was there for all to see at the Walsall RC Open Time Trial where Leamington-based Mike Vaughan Cycles ladies team had three riders in action.
The event, which was held near Stafford on Saturday, doubles up as a qualifying race in the increasingly popular Midland Women’s Time Trial Series and it attracted women from across the Midlands and further afield.
Liz Powell, Series winner in 2014, took second place in a time of 23.47 which was an impressive time for the Kenilworth-based rider.
Fiona Nestfield also rode an excellent race to finish in 25.37 despite having just two gears to entire race after suffering technical difficulties.
And there was also good news for Corinna O’Connor who rode one of her quickest ten-mile time trials this season in 27.30 at the challenging and lumpy Staffordshire course.
The following day Powell took part in her second event of the weekend at the Stafford RC 23-mile Hilly Time Trial. Although there was a short women’s field, Suzy Patience (Banbury Star RC) laid down an early marker with a time of 57:20.
And despite the rain and difficult terrain, Powell put in a time of 56.32 which placed her as the fastest woman and 14th overall.
Powell races this weekend in the national vets 10-mile race on the very quick Hull course on which Sir Bradley Wiggins recently attempted to beat the ten-mile record.
Elsewhere, seven riders from Leamington Cycling and Athletics Club were in action at the ten-mile and 25-mile Time Trial event.
Richard Merrell led the team home in the longer distance racer in a time of 1.02:25, which proved to be 18 seconds too quick for second-placed Gavin Fowler.
Dave Bethell was the quickest over the line in the ten-mile race in 26.49, while Freddie Loveday’s younger brother Toby improved to 28:04, which was enough to put him 20 seconds ahead of Steve Walker.
Bob Lane, Helen Howells, Chris Walker and Tim Hall were the other riders who opted for the short distance.
Absent from the results were Pierre Guern and Anouk Molliex, both of whom were resting their legs prior to flying out to the Canary Islands to compete in an Ironman Triathlon over the weekend.