Alex Dowsett smashes course record

ST IVES Cycling Club saw its course record smashed on Saturday when it promoted the first of its events for 2011.

Despite being more at home racing against Tour de France champions on the continent, Sky Pro Cycling rider Alex Dowsett entered the local event and took advantage of the warm still conditions to reduce the course record by 20 seconds.

The 10-mile time trial event, run on the same quiet Sawtry course as the club's Wednesday night league, usually attracts local talent from the East Anglia region.

However, the club were delighted when they received an entry from such a high profile professional rider.

Dowsett, who was racing in Spain last week and finished seven seconds behind the winner of the 2010 Tour de France, has been using club events to hone his time trialling skills.

Covering the 10-mile course in 19.24mins and averaging over 30mph, his new course record looks set to stand for some time.

Ives also enjoyed an extremely successful day when they won the team prize for the fastest three riders.

Mick Hodson was first home for the club in fourth place overall, hotly pursued by his club mate Gary Stevens just nine seconds in arrears.

Stevens is making a return to racing this season and continues to improve, finishing just ahead of Neill Coventry, the three talented club mates completed the team podium.

Mick Hodson also rode the Medum Gear event, a unique competition where riders are not permitted the benefit of gears.

He showed his versatility by finishing second, ahead of team mate Phil Peacock, Nigel Burns and the event organiser, Terry Cooke.

In the hotly contested tandem completion, previous form indicated it was sure to be a close result, and it was the pairing of Paulo Falkner and Sharon Housden who came out triumphant, pushing club mates John and Andrea Batchelor into third spot.

Full results for St Ives riders: Mick Hodson 22:21; Gary Stevens 22:30; Neill Coventry 22:53; Steve Butterworth 23:54; Philip Peacock 23:54; Stephen Mavin 24:04; Tom Caldwell 24:08; Paulo Falkner and Sharon Housden 24:32; John and Andrea Batchelor 24:48; Chris Penny 26:07; Nigel Burns 26:07; Martin Magnago 27:35; Terry Cooke 28:48; Adrian Carroll 32:08.