Newark Athletic Club appear at National Road Relays for the first time in 40 years
The Newark Athletic Club made their first National Road Relays appearance in 40 years, setting a record on a tough course at Sutton Park.
The West Midlands venue proved to be a breeding ground for Newark, who had qualified there to an impressive 18th place in the Midlands truck stops three weeks earlier.
The strength Newark has developed over the past few years has been manifested in the difficulty of selecting the team, despite withdrawals due to illness and the London Marathon the week before.
The quality of the opposition was clear from the start, with Oli Crampton in charge of the opening stage which saw him in last place in the first part of the race, but finishing strong to overtake four rivals.
Chris Elmer, making his first appearance on the course, clocked a time of 21-13, followed by the team’s fastest stage which was run by Jan Bailey in an impressive 19-14, on a course of ‘a little less than 6 km.
Strong runs from Simon Roberts (20-19), Dan Wheat and Tom Marshall (20-19) followed, all comfortably beating their Midlands Qualifiers times.
Newark finished in a very respectable 68th place overall, which was an excellent result considering the level of the other riders present and the fact that the team was largely inexperienced.
More are expected to come from coach Bill Taylor and the squad in the coming year.