The 2019 season started off in the usual fashion with our own event, the Hilly 14. A fantastic turn out of 17 CRC riders taking the line on a relatively mild February afternoon. Club TT superstar Jill Wilkinson rode to a conclusive win in the women’s category, just over 2 minutes ahead of the next fastest lady, whilst in the overall I managed a top 5 position.
(Pic caption: Team CRC ahead of the first event of the series, L-R Louise Tobias, Jill Wilkinson, Phil Hill, Tim Williams, Brian Woods, Andy Tibbett, Paul Robertshaw, Ian Cook, Michael Hill, Jeff Mace, Gerry Robinson, Geoff and Sandra Chaplin)
Good Friday saw round 2 and another local course, the Birkenhead NE 22, a challenging course with plenty of undulations and some ‘interesting’ pave, after a frustrating time with injury a fully fit Mike Booker was the fastest CRC rider and another of the Clubs National TTT winning Ladies – Rebecca Holland finishing as 3rd fastest Lady on the day great to see her back on the TT scene.
Round 3 and 7 club riders headed to Ellerdine for the WCTTCA 30 with the Henshall Cup up for grabs. The resurfacing of the infamous peplow pave made the course far more enjoyable than in previous years, and despite a very frustrating ride I just about managed to come in as the fastest CRC rider, closely followed by Phil Hill and an energy gel covered Ian Cook, with Louise Tobias the fastest of the ladies.
(Pic caption: Paul Robertson and Ian Cook)
A damp afternoon in Rainford was the setting for the 4th round, only 6 riders from the club made the start line, and the inclement weather coupled with some resurfacing works taking place during the later part of the race meant it wasn’t the quickest of days. It didn’t stop Jeff Mace from clocking up a new course best though!
The A55 was the venue for the 5th round of the points series, on its day a very fast course, and despite the weather not being the best both Phil Hill and Paul Robertshaw managed to improve there 10 mile PBs. A total of 13 riders from the club really helped consolidate our position in the club standings.
(Pic caption: Jeff Mace and Mike Booker)
The familiar Farndon course was the venue for the 7th round. Only 19 seconds separated the 2 young guns Mike Booker and Ian Cook who both made it into the top 10 overall.
A new course for this year and a fast weather day made for a great 9th round 9, the North Shropshire Wheelers 25. Phil Hill was quickest CRC rider, and both Brian Woods & Louise Tobias making the most of the conditions to clock PB times.
(Pic caption: Phil Hill and Brian Woods)
Winter is coming! Or it certainly felt like it when riding to the start line for round 10, the WCTTCA 25 with 3 degrees showing on the garmin! As a result it was a much slower day all round for the riders, myself being the best placed CRC rider in 10th overall, and the ever consistent Jill Wilkinson the fastest Lady on the day.
After a burst water main earlier in the year, the rescheduled WCTTCA 50 was now the penultimate event in the calendar, with the water on the course coming from the tail end of storm Dorian rather than a burst water pipe! The weather certainly put a lot of people off, but 4 CRC riders braved the conditions. Brian Woods & Louise Tobias both making their debut at the distance and Andy Large finishing with a new PB time in far from ideal conditions. After several impressive rides over the course of the Year Louise Tobias Secured her position at the top of the Bikeline trophy table, topping off an outstanding debut season. My 6th position was enough to retain the Cayzer cup.
(Pic caption: Michael Hill)
The final round of the WCTTCA is the Wrexham RC Hill Climb on the Horseshoe Pass Hill. A windy day did little to make the steep gradients any easier, but it didn’t seem to effect Nathan James ascent as he flow up in a fantastic time of 12:01, taking the CRC Hill Climb Shield in the process. Fantastic improvements from Paul Modern & Karl Southern both over a minute faster than last season.
(Pic caption: Nathan James)
Not included as part of the points series, but organised by the association clubs are the 2 longer distance events, the 100 mile and the 12hr. Again it was former national champion Jilko who was the best CRC rider, the 2 outstanding rides securing the clubs BAR bowl for another 12 months after stopping the clock at 4:31:05 for the 100 and completing an incredible 240.95 miles in the 12 hour.
An absolutely bumper year for Chester TT riders, winning the best club, 3 riders in the top 10 overall, Brian Woods 4th in the O40’s category, Phil Hill 1st in the O50’s & Louise Tobias winning the ladies Bikeline trophy. 23 riders lined up on the start line representing the club throughout the series – Michael Hill, Phil Hill, Brian Woods, Jeff Mace, Paul Robertshaw, Mike Booker, Louise Tobias, Andy Large, Ian Cook, Paul Modern, Karl Southern, Tim Williams, Jill Wilkinson, Stephen Armstrong, Harry Cowley, Nathan James, Joe Robson, Sam Marshall, Steve Aston, Melvin Swallow, Rebecca Holland, Dave Newton & Gary Maoudis. A big thanks to Sandra and Geoff who not only organise the club 10’s, they also organise the Hilly 14 events and do a fantastic job with the results board and marshalling for each of the other WCTTCA events.
Great to see some new faces having a go against the clock, and also some great riders making a return to the local scene. Let’s hope 2020 proves to be another successful year for the club.
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