This week saw the first leg of the annual inter-club time trials challenge between several of the top North West cycling clubs, held in memory of Malcolm Eccles, who was a long time member of Rossendale Road Club, and supporter of local cycling for many years. Held over two legs, the first on Tuesday evening was hosted by the valley club on the Hapton circuit and the warm and conditions resulted in some close and fast racing. Indeed, just 8 seconds covered the first 3 riders, with Francis Woodcock of Bury Clarion taking the honours in 22:23 for the 10 miles, Patrick Hickey of Rossendale 2nd in 22:30 and Andrew Bradbury of Paceline 3rd in 22:31. Mark Berry of Rossendale followed up with 4th spot in 23:40.
Steve Gregory was 10th in 24:40, with Roy Flanagan and Paul Warrener completing the Rossendale counters. Bury Clarion riders filled the intermediate placings with the final scores on the evening resulting in a lead for Rossendale with 158 points, Bury Clarion 2nd with 148, closely followed by Green Jersey of Clitheroe with 140. North Lancs lie in 4th, with East Lancs 5th.
The second leg of the Trophy was due to be run on the North Lancs Bashall Eaves circuit on Wednesday, and Rossendale will need to be on their guard to hold onto their slim advantage over the chasing groups.