Super six put Wheelers on the map

Fareham Wheelers riders, from left, Rick Garman, Kirsty McSeveney, Neil MacKley, Marianne Holt and Mark Herbert. Picture: Habibur Rahman (171049-38)

Kirsty McSeveney finished 20th in the Gran Fondo World Championship as Fareham Wheelers made their mark on the international scene.

The 36-year-old was part of a six-strong squad from the club that travelled to Albi in France at the end of August.

On the start line. From left, back: Rick Garman and Neil Mackley. Front: Kirsty McSeveney and Levienne Croft

Mark Herbert, Rick Garman, Neil Mackley, Marianne Holt and Levienne Holt also respresented Great Britain in the prestigious event after shining at the Tour of Cambridgeshire, one of 15 global qualifiers.

McSeveney revealed her pride at donning the national jersey and delivering a big result against some of the best riders in the world.

The Wheelers star, riding in the women’s 35-39 age group, said: ‘I had gone into the event prepared to do my best to win if the opportunity presented itself.

‘But realistically, 20th was the best possible outcome on the day.

‘As we started the longest climb, I could feel I was pushing slightly too hard to stay with the leaders.

‘Around half way up I realised I had to back off otherwise I would have nothing left.

‘But lasting 22 miles with such amazing cyclists from all over the world was a big achievement for me.

‘I would change nothing about the way I executed the race, so I’m happy.’

Having backed off, McSeveney joined a small chasing group.

And after conserving energy, she won the bunch sprint for 20th.

Holt was 37th in the same age group as McSeveney.

Levienne Croft was 30th in the 55-59 category.

Meanwhile, in the men’s action, Herbert was 128th in the 19-34 age group and Garman finished 236th at 45-49 level.

Mackley completed the super six, with 248th in the 50-54 age group.

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