After riding the SRAM Notts and Derby League for over a decade, Clay Cross RT’s Gareth Whittall secured his first win in the series at round four at Chetwynd Barracks in Chilwell, Nottingham, on Saturday.
The 30-year-old from Nottingham won a three-up sprint finish to a thrilling race to take his first win and go joint top of the League table with Andrew Stuart (Nottingham Clarion) who was just inches behind in second spot on Saturday.
“This is my first win in the Notts and Derby League, and I’ve been riding them since I was 17, so it’s a great feeling for me,” he said afterwards.
“It was a very difficult course, there were lots of hills and a lot of grassy areas. It was a course for a strong rider. There were three of us away today virtually straight from the off, and we stayed together for the whole race.
“We were literally sprinting for the line at the end, all battling for the win. And at every lap we were neck and neck, trying to get to the single track section first and really pushing it.
“I’ve got maximum points in the last three rounds, as the other riders who have won the races up to now haven’t been eligible for the league points, but it’s nice to be able to take the win. Even though we were sprinting, I still managed to get one hand in the air to celebrate!
“The Notts and Derby League is a great league, and I also ride some of the Lincolnshire and Yorkshire races too if I can get there.”
Second spot went to Nottingham Clarion’s Andrew Stuart, while Chris Metcalfe (Charge Bikes) settled for third.
Derwent Valley ATC rider Oliver Watson was the first under-23 rider home, while best of the veterans was Dave Ash (Nottingham Clarion).
Hargroves Cycles’ Joe Kirkham was top junior in 12th place overall and 2:11 off the pace set by Whittall, while in the women’s race Zepnat RT were celebrating a one-two with Diane Lee taking the win by more than three minutes from team-mate Melissa Mather. Matlock C’s Maz Heffron was third, another 28 seconds back.
1 Gareth Whittall (Clay Cross RT) 50:16
2 Andrew Stuart (Nottingham Clarion) @ 2sec
3 Chris Metcalfe (Charge Bikes) @ same time
4 Rob Parkin (Buzz Cycles) @ 50sec
5 Andrew Naylor (Fossa Racing) @ st
6 Oliver Watson (Derwent Valley ATC) @ 1:26
7 James Furniss (Zepnat) @ st
8 Jon Mozley (Cycle Premier-Kovert) @ st
9 Dave Ash (Nottingham Clarion) @ 1:54
10 Nathan Miller (Buzz Cycles) @ st
Under-23s: Oliver Watson. Veterans: Dave Ash. Juniors: Joe Kirkham (Hargroves Cycles).
1 Diane Lee (Zepnat) 50:14
2 Melissa Mather (Zepnat) @ 3:08
3 Maz Heffron (Matlock CC) @ 3:36
1 Tom Weeds (Derby Mercury RC) 26:17
2 William Gascoyne (Matlock CC) @ 35sec
3 Callum McBrearty (Nottingham Clarion) @ 1:45
4 Josh Waters (Mercia) @ 1:57
5 Ollie Peckover (Nottingham Clarion) @ 2:42
6 Gregg Booker (Matlock CC) @ 2:56
Under-14s: Cameron Orr (Matlock CC). Girls: Joni Wildman (Nottingham Clarion).
1 Jenson Young (Pedalsport CC) 14:37
2 Poppy Wildman (Nottingham Clarion) @ 12sec
3 Joshua Scales (Derby Mercury RC) @ 14sec
Girls: Ellie Smith (Matlock CC).
1 Sam Gould (Matlock CC)
2 Louis Swindell (Matlock CC) @ 37sec
3 Henry Pawson (Nottingham Clarion) @ 38sec
Girls: Harriet Limb (Matlock CC).
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