AS a hail storm drove up the Ribble Valley on Saturday lunchtime the riders in the West Pennine Cycling Club 14.6 mile time trial between Longridge and Clitheroe certainly took a battering and non less than eventual winner Mark Haydock of Billington and the North Lancashire Road Club.

Haydock at 38 and in only his second season of bike racing has certainly come on in leaps and bounds and he took his first win in a time trial despite enduring the worst of the conditions.

His finishing time of 35 minutes 54 seconds put a clear gap of 38 seconds between himself and second placed David Williams of Fibrax Wrexham RT who led his squad to overall team award.

Of our East Lancashire-based riders Peter Greenwood of Burnley, now riding in his new Team Swift kit, took fifth in 37mins 3secs despite being the wrong side of 60.

Duncan Park (37mins 57secs) and Austin Foy (38mins 16secs) both of the NLRC took ninth and 10th respectively while Clitheroe Bike Club’s new recruit Rob Dickinson squeezed into the top dozen with his 38mins 19secs ride.

This performance puts Haydock clearly in the lead after the first six events from the 23 that will decide this year’s winner of the Lakes and Lancs Sporting Courses (SPOCO) competition.

SPOCO riders should note that the Kent Valley event on April 13, has been cancelled due to road works.

Elsewhere, Preston’s Hugh Carthy of the Rapha Condor JLT squad finished second to Matt Cronshaw (Belosure-Giordana) in the 72-mile Daffodil Road Race in the Lake District on Sunday.

Colne’s Sam Boast riding for Wheelbase-Altura MGD squad based in Kendal crossed the line eighth of 55 finishers.