TT and race round up – more records and a Star of the future

 The club’s 2023 season is now well underway and following the 2-Up TT on our regular K4/20 course on 5th April, we had our first solo TT on the course on Wednesday 12th. The weather however, yet again, was not kind and the forecast in particular was dire all day, with only six brave riders making an appearance. In the end though, conditions weren’t quite as bad as predicted and some good times were set on a course that was slightly reduced in length due to road works. Josh Lovell was again fastest on the night with a time of 24.13, with Lydia Watts first lady home on 26.15.

This Wednesday at last, it was dry and sunny, although a fresh chilly breeze, again meant the conditions weren’t ideal for quick times. Numbers increased significantly though, with 22 riders taking the start, including riders from visiting clubs, in addition to our good friends at Drag2Zero and Team Cherwell.

Whilst the conditions might not have been that favourable, it didn’t stop two riders breaking course records. The one that got everyone talking about was young 14-year-old Sam Martin, who not only broke the U16 record, but the U18 as well, with an amazing sub-30-minute time of 29.11. That’s 1.05 quicker than Reuben Trotter’s 2017 U18 record.


Fast Sam Martin    (photo Paul Dean)

Naomi de Pennington, now riding for Drag2Zero, but still a second claim club member, was also on top form lowering the outright women’s course record set in 2015 by 25 seconds, with a time of 29.16.

Yet another course record for Naomi de Pennington   (photo Paul Dean)

Fastest rider on the night was new member Max Belcher, riding in his first Star TT, who stopped the clocks at a very respectable 27.00. Despite a puncture, Simon Smart (Drag2Zero) was second on 27.43, with Josh Lovell third on 28.12. Fastest club lady, was junior Peggy Simpkins on 32.05.

He might be a new member, but clearly Max Belcher has done this before  (photo Paul Dean)

Finally, a bit more about Sam Martin, he raced at Oulton Park motor racing circuit in Cheshire at the weekend in the 3rd round of the British Cycling National Youth Circuit Series, which is a series of 8 events around the country for U14 and U16 youths. They attract the largest fields of any youth races in the UK, with 92 riders starting in the U16 race. Sam finished safely in the main bunch, which was whittled down to around 60 riders by the finish, and with no successful breaks, the winner sprinted from this big group. He also raced at Mallory Park in Leicestershire, the night before his TT success, in the first of the Tuesday night series. His excellent third place finish seemed to be the perfect preparation for his record-breaking TT time.