Belper Bicycle Club riders are equal to the tough task in latest road race

Derrick Woodings of Belper Bicycle Club
Derrick Woodings of Belper Bicycle Club

The Andy Hardy Memorial Road Race, promoted by North Bucks Road Club, saw Belper Bicycle Club in action.

Two of the Belper Vets were contesting this event in Northamptonshire, namely Derrick Woodings and Bill Cotton. Mick Allen had opted to try and set a club record for ten miles in a time trial in South Yorkshire, which he finally abandoned, deciding against making a round trip of 150 miles, due to adverse weather.

The 60+ (EFG event) was over five laps and 38 miles. The race with 30 riders, mainly E cats with 3 F cats, 6 G cats, was very fast, as usual with these relatively short events.

Several early attacks by local men Don Parry, Ralph Keeler (Wheels in Wheels) and Chris Gunter (Team Virgin Active) were all nullified, the pace was relentless and all the damage was by attrition at the rear of the bunch. Halfway round lap four, there were approximately 15 left in a compact group and a bunch sprint was now on the cards.

Approaching the uphill finish for the bell lap, there was almost a disaster for Derrick, when Tasmanian Wayne Thomas was forced onto the grass and had to stop, bringing Derrick to a halt to avoid a collision.

Bill was now biding his time in the much-depleted bunch and was waiting for the sprint, won by Don Parry with Bill taking a superb fourth place to win his age category. Derrick, finally ridding himself of the other delayed riders, came in solo 30 seconds down. There were still two G cat riders left in the bunch so Derrick had to be satisfied with third in his age category.

Meanwhile, Dave Wallwin produced a cracking ride with a superb 21.18 on the Cuckney(North Notts) course. He was fastest on the night out of a field of 25.

The course, not a particularly fast one, runs from Cuckney to Worksop and back on the A60, which demonstrates he is rapidly improving in this field of competition.