FOR 13 years on the trot the Blackburn and District Cyclists Touring Club have won the coveted Beard Cup with their latest success coming on the fierce one mile hill climb at Diggle near Oldham.

The CTC member-restricted event has a glorious history going back as long as anyone can remember but the Blackburn-based section of the CTC once again came up trumps with Carl Helliwell overall fastest with his time of 5m02.9 seconds.

Backed up by Chris Edmondson’s 5m 20.7s ride for second place and the 6m 08.8 of previous winner Dave Collinge the Blackburn section once again took the Trophy.

Not content with the men taking the honours the women members produced some excellent rides, particularly Sarah Hartley who was fastest with a very good time of 7m00.1s followed by Jenny Spurrett (8m 46.6s) and Caroline Palmer (10m 05.2s).

Staying with hill climbs the Rossendale Road Club event from Burnley to the top of Deerplay Moor was a close affair resulting in 16 seconds covering the top four on the climb.

Their top rider of the year Paul Warrener took the honours with a 10 minute 44 second performance beating John Hartley of Rossendale with 10m 53 s, Pendle Forest’s Paul Targett third in 10m 58s and Roy Flanagan of Rossendale fourth in 11 minutes exactly.

Several East Lancashire Club members clocked up some impressive performances on the very fast Levens-based 10 mile course.

Out of an incredible start card of 268 riders it was a sign of the times that the veteran’s event had faster times than the senior one.

Michael Ellerton of Burnley took third in the Vets race with a super 19m 54 sec ride.

After the announcement that East Lancs professionals Steven Burke and Ian Wilkinson would be in their respective teams for the on-going Tour of Britain for varying reasons neither were in the final selection for the race.