Banbury Star’s Hardriders Open Time Trial on Sunday, for the Broughton Cup, certainly lived up to its name, with rain and an increasing crosswind making this tough season opening event even more challenging. The 23 mile course, held entirely on the A422, starts and finishes in Wroxton with the turning point at Ettington roundabout. Sunrising Hill is the main challenge on this otherwise straightforward course with the long ascent coming towards the 19 mile mark, but the conditions meant that even the descent was far from easy.
The final 58 rider entry, which included a record number of Star riders started at 1 minute intervals. With a few of the early runners setting some fast times for the conditions, the wait was on to see if the favourite and current record holder Jack O’Neill (Team Jewson), starting last, would be able to retain his title. However, it soon became clear when he crossed the line, that having past many riders ahead of him, he was again on top form. This was confirmed by his winning time of 53.19, a healthy 49 seconds ahead of second placed Richard Jennings (Army Cycling). Paul Atkins (Kenilworth Wheelers) was third, a further 23 seconds behind, with junior Blaine Carpenter (Shutt Ridley) finishing an excellent fourth following a delay at the start with a loose wheel.
Winners Jack O’Neill and Suzy Patience ascend Sunrising Hill
Simon Bull was the first Star rider home in 13th place on 59.11, with fellow club members Suzy Patience winning the Women’s category and Naomi de Pennington finishing third. Along with Helen French, this result also earned them the Women’s Team prize with the Shutt Ridley team of Simon Smith, Jered Allcock and Blaine Carpenter winning the Men’s Team prize. Veteran’s category winners were, 1. Mark Wise (Team Jewson), 2. Roger Foster (BSCC), 3. Tim Davies (Luton CC)
Top 10 Overall. 1 .Jack O’Neill 53.19, 2. Richard Jennings 54.08, 3. Paul Atkins 54.31, 4. Blaine Carpenter 55.51, 5 Simon Smith 56.40, 6. Mark Wise 56.56, 7. Harry Kirby (Bicester Millennium) 58.11, 8. Jered Allcock 58.25, 9. Tim Davies 58.27, 10. Darren Alexander (Team Cherwell) 58.32
Women. 1. Suzy Patience 1.03.07, 2. Emma Bexson (Stratford CC) 1.03.31, 3. Naomi de Pennington 1.05.48