Fol­low­ing in the tracks of le­gends

Macclesfield Express - - SEARCH - CY­CLING DAVID HIGHAM

ONE of the great at­trac­tions of cy­cling is the abil­ity to tackle the same roads and chal­lenges as the le­gends of the sport and a se­ries of what are called Gran Fondo events en­able the am­a­teur to do this in the Alps, Pyre­nees and the Dolomites.

Five Mac­cles­field Wheel­ers took on the Gran Fondo Mar­motte: 110 miles of gru­elling Alpine climbs de­part­ing from Bourg d’Ois­sans and cul- mi­nat­ing on the revered Alpe d’Huez.

More than 15,000 feet of climb­ing greeted the riders this year on a course which fea­tured sev­eral other climbs made fa­mous by the Tour de France, in­clud­ing the Glan­don, the newly in­tro­duced Montvernier, and the Croix de Fer.

Con­di­tions were made much more dif­fi­cult by the sti­fling heat, which was in ex­cess of 40C. Top spot from the Wheel­ers went to Mike Knud­sen with a time of 7 hours 31 min­utes, with Sam Yar­wood putting in an ex­cel­lent re­sult, de­spite a lack of train­ing due to in­jury, to record a time of 7 hours 57 min­utes.

Both qual­i­fied for gold medals fin­ish­ing 289th and 512th re­spec­tively from a to­tal num­ber of fin­ish­ers of 4679 (some 3000 aban­doned be­cause of the heat and the tough­ness of the course) with Daniel O’Don­nell, Paul Dean and James Rus­sell record­ing sil­ver medal fin­ish­ing times.

Cather­ine Bur­ton and Paul Hart were in South Ty­rol in Italy, par­tic­i­pat­ing in Il Mara­tona dles Dolomites. Like La Mar­motte, this at­tracts en­trants from all over the world and is lim­ited to 9000 par­tic­i­pants over its three routes.

Hart com­pleted the long­est, 86 mile, route over seven ma­jor passes and 13000 feet of climb­ing, in 5 hours and 47 min­utes to fin­ish 26th in his age cat­e­gory and 217th over­all.

Bur­ton com­pleted the shorter 65 mile route – still with more than 9000 feet of climb­ing - in 6 hours and 28 min­utes for 66th place in her age cat­e­gory and 120th over­all.

On the do­mes­tic rac­ing scene, Will Ker­shaw won the latest round of the Club 10 mile Time Trial Cham­pi­onship held in cool, damp and windy con­di­tions on Wed­nes­day evening.

His time of 22.08 was over a minute faster than sec­ond placed Dave Hughes (23.22), with Oliver John­stone tak­ing third place (23.45). Ruth Gamwell was again the fastest woman with 25.17.

That re­sult means that Ker­shaw has won the over­all se­ries with three events still to come. John- stone was also in ac­tion over the week­end, record­ing 1.00.49, in the Nova CC 25 mile at Chelford.

Wayne March­bank also took part and showed just how much his time trail­ing has im­proved this sea­son by record­ing 1.09.46. Claire Lo­gan took an ex­cel­lent third place for The Wheel­ers in the Manch­ester and Dis­trict Ladies Cy­cling As­so­ci­a­tion event on the same course with 1.07.07.

Chris Quin con­tin­ued his run of ex­cel­lent road race re­sults this sea­son in the Ge­orge Dar­ling­ton Me­mo­rial Road Race on the chal­leng­ing Clieves Hill cir­cuit near Orn­skirk in West Lan­cashire.

Quin plays a ma­jor part in any event he rides and he in­fil­trated the race win­ning break to take third place in the up­hill sprint.

Vet­eran David Higham was not quite as suc­cess­ful but still took ninth place in the sec­ond race in the Audlem road race se­ries on Tues­day evening, and sev­enth in the cir­cuit race around Dar­ley Moor on Satur­day morn­ing.

Paul Best

●● Chris Quin in ac­tion at the Ge­orge Dar­ling­ton Me­mo­rial Road Race near Orm­skirk where he fin­ished third

●● Will Ker­shaw

●● Claire Lo­gan

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