The first leg of the Matlock Cycling Club v Derby Mercury Road Club interclub championships took part on Tuesday night.
Matlock hosted the first leg of the two round time-trial, along its popular A6 course between Darley Dale and Bakewell.
The event sees all riders score points depending on the number of riders and the position they finish in. The club with the highest number of points over the two legs wins.
Some 42 riders took to the start line, with a very impressive turnout from the away club with 16 riders.
With the exception of the super-human efforts of James Tucker, who does not ride for either club yet was comfortably the fastest rider on the night with a 21:11, Patrick Gould from Matlock was the highest points scorer as he finished ahead of the rest with an impressive time of 22 minutes and 42 seconds, given the blustery conditions.
Gould was then followed by no fewer than another five Matlock club members before the fastest Derby Mercury rider, with Richard Cordin, Kevin White, Gareth Ferguson, Dave Wallwin and Peter Colledge all riding strongly on the night.
Derby Mercury’s first placed rider was Jon O’Brien, who finished in eighth place overall with a time of 23 minutes and 25 seconds. O’Brien’s clubmate Matt Crouch also dipped under 24 minutes with 23:39 to finish in ninth spot.
The first round sees Matlock Cycling Club take a commanding lead going in to the second leg, held next Tuesday along Derby Mercury’s Long Lane course near Kirk Langley. The host club will be the favourites to win their home event, but it will have to be by quite a large margin as Matlock amassed 483 points versus Derby Mercury’s 337 from the first leg.
Thursday night saw Matlock Cycling Club host its annual 10.4-mile Long Hilly Championship Event. The notoriously tough course that runs from Cromford Station up the climb through Lea towards Dethick, before decending down through Tansley to finish at Starkholmes, is a real test of strength and power.
Chris Green has made the course his own in previous years, notching up a huge number of wins, but it was not to be on Championship night as he was outgunned by the awesome power of Patrick Gould.
Gould clocked his fastest time on the course to date, winning the Championship in a superb time of 27 minutes and 50 seconds – almost a minute ahead of Chris Green who came second in 28:41.
Third place went to Andrew Briggs who recorded a time of 31 minutes and 17 seconds.