Cotton reels in a fine second place spot at Harworth

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Belper Bicycle Club memberBill Cotton represented the club with flying colours in the Tom Simpson Memorial Road Race in South Yorkshire on Sunday.

The start was from Harworth, which is 1965 World Champion Tom Simpson’s home town .

Cotton continued his recent good form by finishing a very good second place in his 65+ age category.

Meanwhile, Derrick Woodings and Mike Allen competed in the LVRC National Road Race championships in Oxfordshire.

It was a race extremely well organised by Wayne Thomas and his team and was a six-lap, 46-mile course with decent weather allowing for wearing of shorts for a change.

The course, based on the side of a ridge in the Chiltern hills just north west of Henley-on-Thames, was a true championship course; hilly but not extremely so, with a tough 300 metre climb, where the finish line was sited.

The field of around 40-plus riders set off at a rapid pace once the lead car dropped the flag, and they were soon doing 30+ mph down towards Stoke Row.

Derrick found himself at the rear of end of the bunch as they plunged down the descent towards the completion of the first lap. As soon as they hit the climb the fuse was lit with a fierce attack from his fellow age category rider Tony Woodcock.

The race literally blew apart as a result. Derrick recovered his composure and started to settle down to climb back up the field, and could see that the front of the race was composed of a fairly large compact group followed by several small groups.

Derrick was eventually caught by another fellow age category rider, Bob Richards, and they worked together to catch more riders, until there were around a dozen of them chasing the front group that contained Mike Allen.

This was the race to the finish with Derrick’s chasing group not being able to bridge the gap.

Mike Allen in the lead group was in the race for the finish line.

Geoff Wiles attacking hard before the final right-hand bend, expertly negotiating this bend at speed and putting ten lengths into the group.

Mike managed to regain Geoff’s wheel by the start of the finish climb, but Wiles had another gear and appeared to leave Mike standing to win the race, with Mike finishing second and Andy Hicks taking third spot.