Wheelers toast smooth success at Fairthorne Manor

Action from the start of the veteran 40 race. Picture: Mick Young (151778-08)

Action from the start of the veteran 40 race. Picture: Mick Young (151778-08)

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  • Allen tops podium as bumper entry sign on for Fareham event
  • Chinn salutes support of volunteers and Solent Cycles
  • No complaints – apart from a lack of cake
  • Course change expected for January round
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Phill Chinn saluted his army of volunteers after Fareham Wheelers toasted another fine Wessex Cyclocross League meeting at Fairthorne Manor.

Sam Allen extended his lead at the top of the overall standings with the senior race win as action returned to the Curdridge venue last Sunday.

Fareham Wheelers riders, from left, Dave Dalton, Alex Johnson, Graham Hollidge, Chris Ewing and Darren Anderson. Picture: Mick Young (151778-07)

Fareham Wheelers riders, from left, Dave Dalton, Alex Johnson, Graham Hollidge, Chris Ewing and Darren Anderson. Picture: Mick Young (151778-07)

The Pedal On star completed seven laps of the muddy course in 56min 57sec to leave Zepnat’s Alex Forrester (58.39) in second and Eden Veranda’s Joe Hickerton (59.58) third.

Allen also clocked the fastest lap of 6.47 as 269 riders signed on for the 11th round of the regional championship.

And while the Wheelers lost some entries to the National Trophy Series event in Bradford on the same day, organiser Chinn was delighted by the turn out.

He said: ‘The whole event went really well and ran very smoothly.

The event ran very smoothly and that is down to the enormous amount of help you get from members of the club

Phill Chinn

‘And that is down to the enormous amount of help you get from members of the club.

‘You can’t put events like this on without the help of volunteers but that is the same in any sport and at any club.

‘The numbers were up slightly on previous years and it would have been even more had there not been a National Trophy round on the same day. That is very encouraging.’

Chinn admitted the course cut up a little more than he had hoped.

But there were no complaints – at least not about the racing.

He added: ‘It was a little muddier than I had hoped.

‘But it wasn’t really a problem as we are used to riding in those conditions.

‘There were a few mechanicals because it does tend to cause havoc with delicate bike gearing systems.

‘But there weren’t too many – maybe seven or eight across the whole day.

‘The help and support of Solent Cycles was once again fantastic.

‘Without their backing, like that of Fairthorne Manor, it wouldn’t happen.

‘Mike Paget, the owner, presents the prizes and dresses up as Santa Claus!

‘The only complaint we had was a lack of cake, which is such a cyclist thing!’

Chinn and his team will now enjoy the festive season before they start to plan round 13 of the league campaign – which they host on January 17.

But while the action will once again take place at Fairthorne Manor, Chinn has warned riders to expect a slightly different test.

‘We are pretty well versed in it now, so there is not too much to work on for the next one,’ he said.

‘The only thing I have to worry about is changing the course a little bit so it doesn’t impact too much on the ground at Fairthorne.

‘There are certain areas I have got to use again. It is unavoidable.

‘But I want to change the course a little bit. I may even run it in reverse.

‘There are certain courses you go to where you know exactly what you are going to do every time.

‘But a bit of variety is always welcome.’

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