Wheelers' Racing Highlights

A Brief History of Club Racing

1931 -May.- The first 25 mile Time Trial was held on a course starting at Hertford, Horns Mill railway viaduct (B158 ) to Hatfield and the Barnet by-pass (A1000) and back. It was won by Roy Ingrey in 1:12:53.

On June 21st the first inter-club ‘25’ was held against the Rookery and Verulam C.C’s. Decided by the Bidlake System, the 4th fastest rider of each club to count. The Verulam won with their 4th man achieving a 1:09:37

1932 -Roy Ingrey set his 1:03:56 club record with a handicap win in the Letchworth CC ‘25’ event.

Allegedly on a training ride, Roy, riding behind his brother’s motor cycle went round the Mutton Lane ‘25’ course in 48 minutes, on what he considered a high gear of around 75”, fixed of course.

1937 - Most clubs had their own revolution counter for course measuring. The racing sec took charge of it.

1938 - Decided at a committee meeting. - Club 50. Start 06:30. 2 minute intervals. Prize value, 10s 6d (52:5p) Fastest, 7s 6d (37:5p) 1st Handicap.

Results of club events sent to The Bicycle, Cycling & Cyclist magazines.

1941- Aug. The last entry appeared in racing record book, due to WW2.

1948 –Activities resumed. At a Committee Meeting at Fore St, Hertford, club events were arranged; four ‘25’s, including restricted 72”, the Garrett cup, and three evening ‘10’s.

1949 - A 63” restricted ‘25’ introduced to the club's racing calendar.

There were 669 entries for Brentwood RC Utility 100mile, 415 qualified. Of our five Herts Whs. 1-DNS, 2-DNF, 1 – finished 36mins late and 1 qualified.

The secretary received entries back from the Century Novices ‘25’ ostensibly on the grounds that they had been sent separately and didn’t constitute a team.

N M & H CA ‘25’, two members were not allowed to start as they didn’t have bells fitted. (Gordon Ball & Ian Shand)

An Interclub ‘10’ was held against the Dogoobalistan CC. Later renamed Albatross CC.

1950 - The first 63” restricted ‘25’ held. In October, Gordon Ball and Ian Shand rode the Perth United ‘30’ while on holiday, Ian creating a new club record 1:19:04.

1951 - The club ladies were first team for the first time in the Gospel Oak CC ‘10’ Mary Bowman 29:1 (15th) Joyce Steel 29:52 (25th) and Audrey Plumb in her first event 30:1 (27th).

1951 - First post war Hill Climb held on Lippetts Hill in Epping Forest.

1952 - May, Johnny Witticks was the first member post war to ride a massed start event. It was held on an aerodrome circuit in Dunmow, seven laps, equalling 21miles. He was 5th in a sprint finish.

1952 - During a grass track meeting at Hartham on Whit Monday, an eight lap 2mile team pursuit was won by the Albatross CC in 5m 59s, against HW 6m 11s, being an exciting race for a good crowd of spectators. The club had their revenge the following year but times were not recorded.

Ernie Player, father of Merv Player, was elected timekeeper. He rode from his home in Hoddesdon to the F3 course, North of Hertford, rarely missing a club event for ten years.

1954 - Apr – Recorded during mass start events at Stapleford Tawney; 1st Brian Freeman, 2nd Mike Tempest, Dave Aylett DNF. 2nd May, - 1st Brian Freeman, 2nd Mike Tempest, 3rd Dave Aylett. 16th May, - 1st Brian Freeman, 3rd Merv Player, 4th Dave Aylett, Mike Tempest DNF. 30th May - 2nd Brian Freeman, 5th Dave Aylett, M Tempest DNF.

1955 - Sept, Sylvia Wybrow (nee Hayden) was the club’s first international rider, representing the country in the Critérium Cycliste Féminin, a forerunner to the Women’s Tour de France.

1956 - First active racing veteran Tony Harris, aged 67 recorded 2h 55m 9s in an international VTTA ‘50’

1959 – First promotion of the open 30 mile TT by Roy (Duke) Burgess taking over the Upper Holloway CC event. During the second organiser's thirteen year stint, Don Lyness received the largest entry, 156, having to return 36.

1963 – Saw the first Club Road Race organised, for 40 third category & junior riders. Four laps of approx 11 miles through, Brookmans Park, Northaw, Cuffley and Newgate Street .

1970 - Tim Dobson when riding for Comrades CC, became the Junior National ‘25’ and Junior BAR Champion.

1975 - Ian Smith became the first club rider to beat the hour for a ’25’mile time trial, recording a 59:16 in the Southend & Co Wheelers event.

1979 - First interclub ‘25’ against the Harlow CC held.

1987 – Dave Carr set Club 100 mile record – 4:13:04

1992 – Will Pearson set Club 10 mile record – 21:04, Katherine Hunter set Club Women's 10 mile record – 25:11.

1993 – Will Pearson set Club 25 mile record – 52:38

1998 - The club won first team in the ECCA 12hour. Bruno Cartwright 205m, Phil Dury 215m and Michael Wiseman 232m on a scorching day when half the field failed to finish.

2004 – Brian Evans set Club 10 mile record - 20:31. Amado Davis set junior 10 mile record – 22:02. B Evans, A Headland and P Young set Club 10 mile Team record – 1:02:47.

2009 – Merv Player set a new VTTA East Anglia group record for age 76 – 50 miles in 2:11:08. Phil Young set a 10 mile Club Age Record at age 60 of 22:27.

2011 - Wheelers' team (Peter Walton, Phil Young, Barry Page) won the ECCA Team 30 Mile Championship with a combined time of 3:51:39.

2012 - Phil Young set a 25 mile Club Age Record at age 62 of 54:59 and a 10 mile record of 21:59 at age 63. Merv Player set new VTTA East Anglia group record for age 79 – 30 miles in 1:16:46.

2014 – Karl Willis set a new 10 mile TT club record of 20:03. This year the old record of 20:31 held by Brian Evans since 2004 was broken several times by Richard Clark, Nigel Hale and Karl.

2015 – Karl Willis broke his own 10 mile TT record on July 25th with a time of 20:01. John Shirley finished 16th in the the 65-69 age group in the world duathlon championships in Adelaide.

2018Gareth Wignall broke two long-standing Club records: 50 miles (1:47:45) breaking Tim Dobson's 1978 time) and 30 miles (1:05:44) breaking Phil Waterton's 1989 mark. The Club won the team award at the Finsbury Park CC Open.