ELIOT SCORES ANOTHER VICTORY AS INTERESTING BATTLE DEVELOPS FOR SECOND TEAM SPOT
Despite having a cold [kindly donated to his Dad] which had curtailed his training, Eliot romped to victory by 41 seconds over this new and generally speedy course, expertly devised by Nicola Goodwin and her Tri colleagues. It was unseasonably mild and still for the beginning of the twelfth month and there were no adverse conditions to dampen the Couriers’ habitual friskiness. Clive has long insisted on the necessity of a large squad of athletes in order to carry off the title after five months of winter battle and nowhere was this more evident than on the fields of Holme Lacy on Sunday. We were without Luke, Russ, the stricken Tim and John yet still managed to produce winning A and B teams. We now lead A, B and C divisions. The continuing duel for second overall spot between Croft and the Valley remains a fascinating spectacle.
Supporting Eliot up front, Matt had a great run in 3rd and is gradually recapturing the form that saw him take the League title in the past. Mike in 7th is having a superb season. He was 2nd V40 and showed that he can operate effectively even without the mud and gradients that are his natural medium. Rich on the other hand found the course as much to his liking as any lacking tarmac and closed in the A Team in a fine 11th place [2nd V45].
The B Team was a mixture of the young, the old and the elderly, with Dima leading the way for 1st Junior in a very impressive 15th. What promise he is showing! As of course is Dave, not quite at his best this season but still speedy enough to edge the top 20 and 2nd V50. But he wasn’t that far ahead of leggy Geoff, surely the Christine Ohuruogu of our team the way he starts so languidly only to cut swathes through the field in the closing stages. After a long day’s journey into night at Sun Valley on the Saturday, he appeared fresh as a newly shaken cocktail, relishing the long flat stretches where he could at last unwind those lower limbs that were to carry him to 23rd and 2nd V60, well clear of the ancient Kipper in 28th and 1st State Pensioner.
The C Team packed cosily with Nigel, looking magnificent in red, in 45th, just one place ahead of Gerry who improved a whole 10 places on his Croft outing and Neil, his legs awash with the previous day’s Blorenge lactic, 47th. Kev brought home the team in 61st, miffed to find that the nettles he’d rolled in before the start were sprouting from a soupy slurry pit. No wonder everyone was trying to get past him. But he did manage to stay clear of Bev, our sole female combatant who raced powerfully to finish 10th and 3rd V40. In fact, she was only seconds away from the winner of her division and I think has some cause to blame the old men in red who were bawling at her to get up the finishing straight for putting her off her stroke. Calm down, boys!
So, after the rude interruption of Christmas, we will be on to Monkhall where we will watch with interest the Titanic struggle between Croft and Valley.