Stunning performance earns bronze for Bedford & County AC Bedford News

Bedford and the County A team after their bronze medal in the southern route relays

Bedford and County take third place in Southern Road relays

The Bedford and AC County men were in action last Sunday, March 27, at the South of England 12 Stage Road Relay Championships at the Stantonbury campus in Milton Keynes. Due to Covid this race was last held in 2019 when Bedford won the bronze medals in a very competitive race which saw the top 3 teams beat the old course record. With only a few of Bedford’s top men missing, it was hoped that this feat could be matched or possibly bettered. The race takes place over 12 alternating long and short stages. The route has been revised this year from the one traditionally used, with the long stage being lengthened by one kilometer to 8.67km and the short stage reduced by 60m to 4.99km.

Unfortunately, Bedford got off to a much worse than expected start with 1st moto rider Sam Winters suffering from a bad point and coming in to 16th in 27:18 almost 2 minutes behind the leaders, to let Bedford catch up on his delay. Return leg runner Ben Davies quickly got stuck in the task, moving the team to 11th place with a nice short 15:05 stage. Jack Goodwin on Stage 3 continued that charge, clocking an excellent 25:55 to move up to 6th place. Bedford moved up to 4th place over the next 4 legs thanks to Alex Alston (15:10 short), Harry Brodie (26:42 long), Alfie Yabsley (15:13 short) and Darren Deed (26:35 long).

Stage 8 finally saw Bedford move into the medal positions with 15:37 from James Minter putting the team into 3rd. Ben Alcock with a superb 25:31, the fastest 3rd long stage of the day, closed the gap considerably to the 2 leading teams, sending 10th stage rider Matt Bray just 20 seconds from 2nd place . Matt’s stellar time of 15:05 gave Bedford a shot at the silver medal, but more importantly, he widened the gap to the 4th-placed team to almost 3 minutes. Sam Knee-Robinsons’ very strong 28:04 stage saw the team drop back to 3rd, but anchor runner Craig Emmerson left with a cushion of over 2 minutes to the team in 4th square. Club stalwart Craig rode one of his best races ever, clocking a superb time of 15:39 to win the bronze medals. Bedford’s overall time of 4h 11m 58s for the 50.8 miles (average pace of 4m 57s per mile) was a superb performance considering the challenging nature of the course.

Bedford also fielded a B team which put in an honorable performance finishing 37th. Individual times were: Long Legacy: Will Mullins 30:09, Jake Richardson 30:56, Andrew Headley 29:00, Alan Turnbull 30:32, Steve Herring 31:42, Chris Riley 32:08. Short legs: Jamie Webster 5:00 p.m., Harry West 5:01 p.m., Glen Mulkerrins 5:13 p.m., Richard Henderson 5:15 p.m., Jim Black 8:06 p.m., Simon Murray 26:20.

Sixteenth place for the senior women’s team included standout stages from Tia Wilson, whose 16:18 was the fastest first stage of the day, and Rebecca Murray, who ran 30:15 for her long stage. Further down the age groups, Millie Dunger ran 17:33 to win the Under 15 Girls individual event.

Attention now shifts to the 12-stage National Road Relay Championships taking place in Sutton Coldfield on Saturday April 9, where Bedford will once again be hoping to step onto the podium.

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This notice was published: 2022-04-07 16:45:51

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