Belper’s Bill moves to equal first place going into final race

Bill Cotton'Belper Bicycle Club
Bill Cotton'Belper Bicycle Club

Three Belper Bicycle Club vets were riding the penultimate race of the Percy Stallard Series in superb sunny but windy conditions on the east coast near Flamborough.

The EFG (60+) race over five laps of this testing circuit of 7.5 miles set off at an extremely fast pace for the first lap and several sorties were attempted and neutralised until starting the third lap when E-cat star, Alan Kemp (Weaver Valley CC) pushed hard and a gap opened.

Belper BC’s Mick Allen wisely decided that it was up to the E cats to chase and watched him go but no-one took up the challenge. On the climb, Alan just time-trialled away and gradually pulled out a huge gap.

At this stage, the three Belper men remained in the bunch until the headwind top section of the course for some chasing to be organised, assuming Alan would ease up in the headwind.

However, Alan does not give up like that and pressed on to a fine solo victory. For the rest of the bunch it was a case of riding for second place now, Alan being over two minutes ahead.

On the final lap in the headwind section, again there was another solo attack by Kev Shand (Oldham) and Derrick Woodings went across to him immediately, finally getting on but realising that there was a rider his wheel. It was no other than G rival John Ginley (Bradford) who will not allow him any freedom, so it was another failed attempt as the bunch came across.

Immediately there was an attack by Alistair Cameron Leeds), closely marked by Alan Ramsey (Preston) on the outside. Alan was unable to hold onto Alistair, who rode away, It now became very tactical as both Mick, Derrick and Bill Cotton (who were in the older categories) were now looking after their own interests.

So coming into the finale, approaching Burton Fleming for the last time, it was going to be a bunch sprint for third. Leaving the village, Mick Allen, who is highly respected in finishes like this, took control and the remaining field scrambled for his wheel.

Alan Ramsey was successful and guarded it with tenacity, the whole field spreading out, with Bill on Alan’s wheel. Mick started his sprint as soon as the finish line was in sight and Alan came off his wheel to win the sprint with Dave Maugham and Bill Cotton following. Derrick, not contesting the sprint, finished at the rear of the group, satisfied with high-speed training for the track championships.

Result: 1, Alan Kemp, 2 Alistair Cameron, 3 Alan Ramsey. E cats: 1 Alan Kemp, 2 Alistair Cameron, 3 Dave Maugham. F cats: 1 Alan Ramsey, 2 Mike Allen, 3 Bill Cotton

Both Derrick and Mick are only riding three of this series and so are not in with a chance of winning. However, Bill is now in equal first in his category and, with one more event to come, is virtually assured of victory if he finishes in front of Roger McGlynn (London).