Patrick Hickey second to Mark Holton at Garstang.

Top Rossendale Road Club member Patrick Hickey continued his fine season of time trials at the North Lancs 10 mile championship on Saturday. He won with a superb time of 20:18m, an average speed of 29.6 mph. He adds this to his 25 mile crown which he won just a few weeks ago. In the Garstang event’s overall results, Hickey ran top national rider Mark Holton of the sponsored Drag2Zero team close, losing out by a mere 15 seconds.

Other valley club members were Roy Flanagan, continuing his come back after illness in 39th place in a time of 23:42, Chris Thomas, slightly disappointed with his 24:54 (59th) and super-vet John Leach in 28:37 (68th).

On the road racing scene, RRC’s club secretary Tony Bowler continued his progression in the ‘Crit’ series. He gained promotion to Category 2 in the British Cycling standings at the latest round at the Steve Burke centre in Barrowford.

There should be a good contest at the club’s weekly time trial at Hapton next Tuesday, when the Bury Clarion club will be challenging the valley club on their home circuit. Racing starts at 7pm and all are welcome, sign on from 6:30pm.

Whalley – Settle and Bolton by Bowland Time trials.

Last Tuesday, Rossendale Road Club hosted the President’s Cup. This is an annual 21 mile cycling time trial from Whalley to Settle. On a perfect summer evening, Bury Clarion brought along a strong squad to challenge the valley club. However they couldn’t match the outstanding performance from Patrick Hickey who not only won the event in a time of 44:01 min, but also set a new course record. Joe Cadwalleder was the best BC rider and pushed Rossendale’s Mark Berry back into 3rd place by just 10 seconds, 46:18 to Berry’s 46:28. Other valley member’s results were Tony Bowler 5th (48:21) and Roy Flanagan 9th (51:44).

In a recent new addition to the club’s activities, several members are now taking an interest in midweek ‘crit’ racing, run at Salt Ayre and the Steven Burke Hub at Barrowford. ‘Crit’, or criterium, racing is mass start road racing, generally held on short, traffic free circuits.These are ideal for novices and juniors, and there are plenty of options available in the North West. At the latest event at Barrowford, Tony Bowler finished a strong 8th in the 3rd/4th category race, with Mark Berry 19th and Iain Hazell 12th. Visit British Cycling website for more details.

On the social scene, club members and friends had a very pleasant ride through West Lancashire, taking in the dam top of Belmont Reservoir. All are welcome on these rides which take place every Thursday, leaving Kay St car park at 6:15pm . Rides take around 2 hours and the pace is set to suit everyone, with 2 groups being the norm, and all are welcome to join in.

Next Tuesday sees the return to Hapton for the evening 10 mile time trial. As before, all are welcome, enter on the line from 6:30pm with first rider off at 7pm.

Bolton by Bowland SPOCO

After 2 previous cancellations, Rossendale Road club’s time trial at Bolton by Bowland finally took place on Saturday afternoon, but only just – heavy rain in the morning stopped just before the 2pm start, allowing the event to go ahead safely. There were quite a few non-starters, due to Covid and the threatening weather, but the overall standard remained high, the overall winner being notable hill climber Dave Huck of Barrow Central Wheelers, posting a time of 24:28 for the 11 mile circuit.

On unfamiliar hilly ground, Patrick Hickey of the valley club couldn’t reproduce his NLTTA championship form of the previous week finishing in 18th place with 27:06, although he was riding on a standard road bike. Club colleague Tony Bowler had a storming ride to 11th in 26:47, and it was a welcome return to racing for Roy Flanagan after a long break through injury, recording 28:43 for his 25th spot.

On Tuesday next, 13th July, the club will be hosting the annual Whalley – Settle time trial, with sign-on from 6:30pm for a 7pm start at the lay-by on Clitheroe bypass. All welcome for this 21 mile event.

Mountain Bike Madness and Time Trialling news

On Wednesday last, the 2nd round of the 2021 Mountain Bike Madness mid-week series was held at Lee Quarry, hosted by Rossendale Road Club. The event attracted more than 100 MTB competitors from around the North West and West Yorkshire and the recent dry weather produced some fast and exciting racing, only slowed by the amount of climbing involved on the course set by organiser Dave Haygarth.

A single race is arranged with category groups setting off at timed intervals – the Senior Male racers off first, and the ‘Enthusiasts’ off last. In over an hour’s racing, the Elite men’s event was won by Paul Oldham of Hope Factory Racing, better known for his cyclo-cross prowess, but he was pushed close by Ramsbottom’s Lewis Craven, just over a minute behind. Other local riders included Phil Simcock, also from Ramsbottom, in 13th, Stacksteads Gaz Pemberton 29th and Helmshore’s Carl Nelson in 33rd.

Elsie Haygarth of Helmshore finished 3rd in the Juvenile Women’s category, with Iona Simcock 5th. The next event at Lee Quarry is on Wednesday 7th July.

RRC members have also been busy on the road, and club secretary Tony Bowler took his best result of the year with a fine 3rd place in the Category 3 road race on the Steven Burke circuit at Barrowford last Thursday.

On the time trial scene, Chris Thomas posted another 25 mph+ race for this year, with a time of 23:43 for the 10 mile charity event at Levens on Saturday, with John Leach finishing with 27:18.

At the same venue on Sunday, but this time extended to 25 miles, Patrick Hickey scored his first open event win of the year for the Eddie Howson Memorial Trophy, with a very fast time of 51:59, an average of almost 29 mph and a new PB for himself. Dave Haygarth showed he can also perform away from his normal off-road success in 23rd place, and dipped under the ‘hour’ with a time of 58:43

Patrick sets new 100 mile time trial club record.

Rossendale Road Club’s Patrick Hickey continued his stunning form at the weekend breaking Billy Rogers’ old club record for a 100 mile time trial, posting an impressive time of 3:47:20 for this demanding distance. Hickey smashed the record by some 5 minutes, finishing 4th overall in the NLTTA’s event on the A66 between Keswick and Cockermouth in Cumbria. This is just his 3rd season riding in time trials, shortened of course by the Covid pandemic, and more honours must surely be due when full racing returns in earnest.

Nearer to home, Paul Warrener was the leading local rider in the club’s 10 mile TT event at Hapton on Tuesday, finishing 3rd overall in a time of 26:48. The impressive winner was 15 year old Patrick Casey, posting a time of 24:30 on a standard road bike.

The series continues next Tuesday at Hapton, and all are welcome to come and give time trialling a go, sign on from 6:30pm at the entrance to Network 65.

Time trial news Preston Wheelers 25 and Hapton 10

Patrick Hickey of Rossendale Road Club is fast becoming one of the most respected riders in the North West and that elusive victory in an Open time trial must be just around the corner. After four second placings in this shortened season, the overall win eluded Hickey again on Sunday morning, this time by just 5 seconds behind the winner David Crawley of Velotik Racing, in the Preston Wheelers 25 mile event on the 2 lap Cockerham sands circuit near Garstang. Crawley finished in 54:18 with Hickey in 54:23, an average time of just over 27.5 mph.

Back on home ground, it was Mark Berry who took the win in the club’s own 10 mile TT on Tuesday evening at Hapton. The strong tail wind helped riders take the hill and Berry posted a quick time of 24:03, with Carl Moore having a good first ride in his new club colours, coming in 4th with 25:54.

The series continues next Tuesday, all welcome, enter on the night.


Mark Berry on his way to a win

Lancashire Road Club 10m TT and shortened Festival of Britain Trophy.

On a dry, but blustery Saturday evening, six Rossendale RC members ventured over to Garstang to ride in the Lancashire RC’s 10 mile time trial open event along the A6. As in other events in this shortened season, the entry list posted a full field of top North West riders and Patrick Hickey was close to taking his first major win of 2021 with another second place, just 28 seconds behind the winning time of 20:13 set by David Crawley of Velotik Racing. Hickey’s ride should not be underestimated in the blustery conditions, resulting in an average speed of just over 29 mph over the 10 mile circuit.

Tony Bowler also finished with an average speed over 25 mph, his time of 23:38 earning him 35th place. V60 Derek Schofield is finally showing some improvement to finish 47th overall, 28 seconds in front of team mate Chris Thomas, with Craig Howarth 71st and John Leach 75th, still achieving a time under 30 minutes.

The unseasonal wet weather returned again on Tuesday, which caused the traditional 22 mile Festival of Britain Trophy event to be cut to a single lap of the 11 mile Bolton by Bowland circuit. This was welcomed by the majority of the field but the conditions didn’t appear to deter the ultimate winner, Francis Woodcock, from setting a reasonably quick time of 24:40. Mark Berry was best local rider in 6th place with a time of 26:27, with Derek Schofield 13th in 33:03.

Action next Tuesday returns to Hapton and all are welcome, with sign-on from 6:30 pm at the Network 65 industrial estate.

Latest news from Rossendale RC

After several weeks of event cancellations due to heavy rain showers, Rossendale Road Club were pleased to get their summer evening time trial series underway on Tuesday, with a 10 mile event at Hapton.

The clear winner was David Ashton of Army Cycling, taking advantage of some home leave to post a very quick time of 23:36 for the hilly circuit. Mark Berry of the valley club also had a good ride to come home 2nd in 24:12. Paul Warrener came in 6th with 27:03 and Derek Schofield 7th in 27:38.

In the road bike category, Ian Greenwood took the win in his new (Rossendale) club colours with a time of 29:20, followed by Richie Watts in 30:18.

The action moves to Bolton-by-Bowland next Tuesday for a 2 lap circuit of 21 miles, start and finish in the lay-by above Forest Becks. Start time is 7pm and all are welcome to this picturesque, but challenging, circuit.

Skipton Cyclocross and Tebay Timetrial.

Last Saturday saw the 5th and final round of the ‘Live in Hope’ cyclo-cross series at Broughton Hall, Skipton, and local off-road riders were heavily involved, either through assisting or taking part in the event.

The recent dry weather resulted in a very fast course with many riders able to fully ride their way out of the previously impassable ‘bomb hole’.

In the morning’s racing, Elsie Haygarth slipped a little in her chase for the final standings and came in 7th in the U14 girls class.

The following V50 event turned out to be a cracker of a race with Steve Henshall of Port Sunlight Wheelers sprinting off in an early lead. However, Rossendale’s Dave Haygarth was steadily pulling him back and finally took the lead on the penultimate lap to take a superb win, his first for almost 3 years. Elsewhere in the same event, Ramsbottom’s JMC club came in strength with Andy Burgess 25th, Carl Nelson 39th and Barry Downing 51st. Rossendale’s Mick Taylor was 54th and Graham Wright completed his series V70 win in 70th place.

JMC also did well in the V40 event with Phil Simcock taking a fine 5th placing, Green Jersey’s Matt Toman taking 40th in the men’s Senior race.

The weekend’s time trial was a 10 mile event at Tebay, and just 2 Rossendale riders took the long way North with Tony Bowler finishing 39th in a time of 23:25m and 76 year old John Leach completing the course in 29:23m.

The club’s own evening 10 mile TT series starts next Tuesday at Hapton, sign on from 6:30pm with 1st rider off at 7pm. Entry fee is £5 on the line and all classes of bikes are catered for, especially welcome are non-members and newcomers wishing to post a time.

Charity ride and ELRC Timetrial

Rossendale Road Club members took a break from competition on Sunday to take in a social ride to raise awareness and a donation to the Lagans Charity Foundation. The ride took in a loop around Littleborough and Todmorden with a final climb over Sharneyford where the group rested up for a photo opportunity before the return descent into Rossendale.

The day previous, 4 members had taken part in the East Lancs RC time trial on the fast Levens circuit in Cumbria. The event was won overall by U23 rider George Peden of Team PB Performance in a very quick 18:41m for his 10 mile. Although not a PB, RRC member Patrick Hickey came in a superb 2nd place in 19:41m. Other RRC riders also scored well, with Roy Flanagan overcoming his early season bad run of punctures with 22:42, closely followed by Tony Bowler in 22:50 and Chris Thomas also finishing under the target ‘24’