Fareham Wheelers reassure contenders ahead of Fairthorne Manor battle

Phill Chinn in action

Phill Chinn in action

The Tandem Men George Agate, left, and John Whybrow greeted by friends, family and members of Portsmouth North End Cycle Club just outside the city's ferry port. 
Picture: Habibur Rahman

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  • Chinn has ‘no concerns’ over weather ahead of round 11
  • Pedal On star Sam Allen heads the standings
  • Raft of local riders gunning for glory in popular race
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Phill Chinn has no concerns about the weather ruining a second consecutive round of the Wessex Cyclocross League.

Fareham Wheelers are all set to host round 11 of the competition at Fairthorne Manor on Sunday (from 10am).

Flooding and concerns over damage to the course saw the previous race day at Gang Warily on Sunday, November 27 cancelled.

But Chinn has no such fears over this weekend’s event – despite the recent heavy rain.

‘We don’t have any concerns about the weather,’ he said.

‘The course recovers really well. If you went back a week later you wouldn’t know it had even been raced on.

Some people prefer the mud and thrive when it is wet, windy and muddy. They seem to race better than when it is dry and warm

Phill Chinn

‘I’m hoping it will be dry, though. I don’t mind if it’s cold but as long as it isn’t wet and windy because then it can be very miserable.

‘If it is just cold, you can wrap up and get on with it. Cyclocross riders are a pretty hardy bunch, though.

‘Some people prefer the mud and thrive when it is wet, windy and muddy. They seem to race better than when it is dry and warm.’

Pedal On rider Sam Allen, who won round three in Swindon, currently heads the series on 445 points – with 60 awarded for a race victory.

Paul Morris (57th, 84pts) and Graham Hollidge (66th, 63pts) are the best-placed Wheelers riders, although they have only competed in three rounds.

Alan Collins, from Portsmouth North End (PNE) is ninth in the veteran men (40-49) category, which is headed by Take 3 Tri’s William McDonald.

Organiser Chinn is 23rd in the veteran men (50-plus) rankings, with club-mates Mike Williams and Martin Hughes 27th and 30th respectively.

That category is being led by VC 10’s Kevin Holloway, with VC Venta’s Malcolm Cross and Blazing Saddles rider Philip Boarer hot on his wheel.

In the women’s standings, Solent Pirates star Helen Pattinson is second having raced one round less than leader Sarah Barber of North Hants RC.

Pattinson also qualifies for the veteran category, which she leads by a considerable margin.

Carly Hughes, of Fareham Wheelers, is eighth in the women’s standings and Pirates starlet Kara Perryman is 14th.

Although, Perryman’s effort have seen her climb to fourth in the junior age group, which is headed by Natasha Reddy of RP Racing.

The junior boys’ rankings are headed by Charlie Coope, of Eden Veranda, with Cotswold Veldrijden rider Tom Sewell on his tail.

Will Cooper, who rides for Portsmouth-based i-Team/KSL/InTandem, is third in the youth table – just nine points behind leader Barney Clacy, from Chapel Tri.

After claiming success in round two, Cooper missed the sixth race and will be absent again on Sunday as he races the latest National Trophy Series event in Bradford on Sunday.

Harry Dridge leads the Solent Pirates’ charge in sixth spot, while his team-mate Amy Perryman is fourth in the girls’ rankings – led by Cotswold Veldrijden’s Katie Scott – and 22nd overall.

In the under-12 championship, Hillingdon’s Jed Smithson has a perfect record of nine race wins to his name.

Adam Potter, of i-Team/KSL/InTandem, is third in the standings after a consistent season so far.

Jamie Whitcher, from Solent Pirates, is fifth and under-10 talent Ollie Boarer, who is a team-mate of Potter, is flying the flag for the youngest generation.

Boarer is eighth in his age group, which is led by Palmer Park’s James Brown, and 22nd overall.

Chinn reassured all the contenders they will receive the same great hospitality for which the competition is renowned.

He added: ‘I’ve had an entry from someone in Oxford, people in Cirencester are racing. The league really does capture a vast area.

‘And because it is a good league, with good numbers, we do tend to get riders who could race in the Western League, the Central League or the London League but they quite like coming down here.

‘They like the event, the fact there are lots of riders and it is well organised.

‘All the rounds are different. Some are on quite flat fields, that have lots of twists and turns.

‘Some are really quite technical, with lots of climbing and lots of descents and some have lots of woodland.

‘That’s what is so great about cyclocross. It varies so much.’

Click here to read Phill Chinn’s preview of Sunday’ racing.

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