MAN of the moment on the domestic cycling scene, Tom Black rounded off the Conister Bank-sponsored 10-mile time trial league with his 10th win of the series at Ballamoar last Wednesday.
In doing so, the Team Manx Telecom rider achieved a maximum score in the best 10 rides out of a maximum of 15 to count contest.
His time of 21 minutes 29 seconds was his third quickest of the season and it gave him a buffer of three-quarters-of-a-minute over the evergreen Peter Gage of the same club.
The latter man’s ride was amazing for a 54-year-old, but it will not be enough to knock Gianni Epifiani (Manx Viking Wheelers/Shoprite) off the top step of the podium in the veteran class.
You have to question whether the over-40 veterans’ bar for the league is fair when you compare (potentially) time triallers of the quality of Andrew Roche (for instance) who have recently attained veteran status with riders well in their 50s, 60s and even as old as 80. The ‘standard’ system had its flaws, but the handicapping or overall categorising for vets definitely needs revising, especially as a good percentage of the entries come from over-40s - indeed 44 per cent in this instance!
Jake Kelly (MVW) bounced back from his scaphoid fracture to take the junior honours, third quickest on the night in 22.20, with the home-from-uni Warwick Sanderson riding well in a private time trial to place a close fourth.
Rob Cormode (TMT) rounded off an excellent series for him with fifth on the night (second vet) while 15-year-old Matthew Bostock (Royal London 360) was the leading juvenile in 23.24.
Ali Clague flew the flag for Ellan Vannin/Appleby by setting the fastest time of the evening by a female, but she had a number of youngsters snapping at her heels, noticeably young Lizzie Holden (RL360) who really looks to have potential for the future and could well be on the verge of an Island Games place for next summer’s trans-Atlantic haul to Bermuda.
Overall, the numbers for what was a rearranged round from earlier in the series were very disappointing at 40. When you consider that 150 entered the league, and four of the riders in this instance entered on the night, it was a clear sign that the road season is drawing to a rapid close (or was it the clash with the Olympic Games that deterred a lot from turning up?).
Conister Bank 10-mile time trial league, final round, Ballamoar, Wednesday: 1, Tom Black (Team Manx Telecom) 21min 29sec; 2, Peter Gage (TMT) 22:15; 3, Jake Kelly (Manx Viking Wheelers/Shoprite) 22:20; 4, Warwick Sanderson (Private Times Trial) 22:29; 5, Robert Cormode (TMT) 22:40; 6, Matthew Bostock (Royal London 360) 23:24; 7, Graham Stigant (Ellan Vannin/Appleby) 23:47; 8, Simon Quirk (TMT) 23:48; 9, Stuart Mason (MVW) 24:04; 10, Peter Doyle (TMT) 24:16; 11, Elliott Moore (MVW) 24:24; 12, Rob Quine (MVW) 24:28; 13, Colin Whiteway (TMT) 24:28; 14, Kelvin Potter (Manx Mountain Bike Club) 25:04; 15, Stuart Mason (MVW) 25:04;16, Alison Clague (EVCC) 25:23; 17, Nathan Draper (RL360) 25:44; 18, Elizabeth Holden (RL360) 25:45; 19, Micky Grose (EVCC) 25:55; 20, Jonathan Kelly (MVW) 26:02; 21, Bennett Sharpe (EVCC) 26:07; 22, Conor Davies (RL360) 26:26; 23, Anna Christian (MVW) 26:55; 24, Andy Bostock (MVW) 27:08; 25, Stuart Garry (TMT) 27:12; 26, Norman Quayle (EVCC) 27:15; 27, David Radcliffe (MVW) 27:17; 28, Kristian Cowin (Manx Tri) 27:18; 29, Eddie Fryer (TMT) 27:36; 30, Paula Gelling (MMBC) 28:32; 31, William Draper (RL360) 28:33; 32, Oliver Lavery (MMBC) 29:17; 33, Thomas Bostock (RL360) 29:20; 34, Gina Grose (PTT) 29:22; 35, Dave Ronan (PTT) 29:26; 36, Tanya Sanderson (PTT) 29:29; 37, Justine Bowen (MVW) 29:37; 38, Gill Crennell (EVCC) 29:43; 39, Keith Redhead (MVW) 32:24; 40, Adam Kelly (RL360) 33:09.