Cycling: Gullen on top in Nelson Wheelers Circuit

First published in Sport by , Cycling correspondent

IT was a usual wild and windy day for the 150 entrants in the Nelson Wheelers’ Circuit of the Dales time trial on Sunday.

The last rider to start James Gullen – who last year rode for the now defunct Barnoldswick based Hope Factory Racing road team – took the overall honours in two hours two minutes 37 seconds in the colours of his new Velosure - Giordana squad.

Tejvan Pettinger of the Sri Chinmoy Cycling Team second in 2hrs 3mins 33secs and Peter Williams of Haribo Beacon third in 2hrs 5mins 19secs. Pettinger is the reigning National Hill Climb Champion having reversed the placings on Gullen – who took second on the long climb of The Stang on the Yorkshire/ Durham border last October.

Best of the East Lancashire clubs was Ian Cox of the North Lancs. Road Club who clocked 2hrs 11mins 33secs for an excellent ninth place on his deubt in the event.

Only Mark Haydock, also NLRC, with 2hrs 25mins 23secs, Chris Lee of Clitheroe Bike Club in 2hrs 26mins 32secs and Ian Wilcock of the promoting club with 2hrs 32mins 6secs could got in the top 50 such was the strength of the field.

Blackburn’s Sue Cheetham (NLRC) took second fastest lady rider with 3hrs 3mins 53secs. And despite now being a Vet50 she beat more than a dozen male finishers.

Haydock now leads the ongoing Sporting Courses (SPOCO) Series after nine of the 23 qualifying events but five of our local clubs – North Lancashire Road Club, Clitheroe Bike Club, Rossendale Road Club, Nelson Wheelers and Clayton Velo dominate the team placings heading the leaderboard in that order.

The SPOCO action continues on Saturday at 2pm in the 20 mile Barrow Central Wheelers counter that takes in the long, punishing ascent of Grizebeck Hill in south Lakes.

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