THE ever-popular Combined Clubs 25-mile event was held on mainly country lanes in the Garstang area on Sunday morning, writes DAVE BROWN.

The North Lancs Time Trial Association (NLTTA) promotion caters both for the top riders as well as giving newer riders a chance to test themselves over a longer distance than the evening 10-mile events held during the summer.

There was no disputing the overall winner with Burnley’s Steve Irwin returning an impressive 52 minutes, 27 seconds which was a new course record, improving on the long-established 52mins 46secs of Preston’s Gethin Butler. It also gave him his North Lancashire Road Club’s 25-mile Championship Trophy for 2015.

From the 120 entered, the next fastest ride from our East Lancashire clubs was an excellent 56mins 56secs from Gary Smith of the Pendle Forest Cycling Club which gave him the 40-49 year award.

Others from our area receiving prizes included two Blackburn ladies taking second and third in their category with Hope Kerry clocking 1hr 9 mins 29secs just ahead of the Sue Cheetham 1hr 9mins 58secs.

Other East Lancs riders beating the hour barrier were Mark Haydock in 57mins 38secs, Fraser Snape in 58mins 46secs and Duncan Park in 59mins 13secs, all NLRC, while Paul Warrener was the fastest Rossendale Road Club member with 1hr 00m 44secs.

The Thursday evening autumn series at the Steven Burke Hub at Barrowford had Joseph Auty of Rossendale and a member of Cycle Sport Pendle (CSP) winning the Elite/1st/2nd/3rd category event ahead of Simon Wilson of Team Polypipe.

Paul Whatmough of Shepherds Cycles took third and Tim Jones of Padiham and CSP fourth.

The third and fourth category event was won by under-23 rider Ben Heywood with CSP’s Louis Hallerton-Place of Blackburn in second. Jamie Ridehalgh of Speedflex RT was third with Alex Auty of CSP fourth. The autumn series finishes tomorrow.

The Hill Climb Season is now under way with plenty of opportunities for riding or spectating over the next few weeks.

The Rossendale Road Club event on Crown Point near Burnley takes place on Saturday, October 3, with entries still open from organiser Paul Warrener.

The famous climb of The Rake in Ramsbottom will be held on Sunday, October 11, with entries due by Tuesday.