WEAVER Valley Cycling Club have started the race season with some promise.

Carl Hitchenson contested the Withington Wheelers 25-mile time trial, reaping the rewards of increased winter training by taking the men’s novice prize in 1hr 09mins 54secs.

The overall winner was Alastair Ribbons from Congleton CC in a fast time of 54.16, with his clubmate Lynsey Astles winning the women's race in 1:06.39.

Also time trialling were the club’s elite duo Emily Martin and Sam Taylor, who stretched their legs for the first time this season at the Macclesfield Wheelers 25-mile time trial.

The course was changed because of roadworks. Emily, despite having to stop at temporary lights, came in second place in 58.40, while Sam also registered a second place in a time of 54.38.

These excellent times in a cold wind bode well for the season.

The winners were Alistair Ribbands from Congleton CC in 54.17, and Monica Greenwood from Macclesfield Wheelers in 58.25.

John Keen competed in the Omloop Van der Drie Dorpen, a road race near Coventry based on a Belgian one-day classics race format.

Riders from across the UK tackled six laps of a five-mile circuit.

The race exploded as soon as the riders reached the rougher roads, when they spread out in ones and twos on the circuit, with occasional temporary alliances evolving, as riders sought the shelter of small groups.

The rough tracks caused several punctures, dropped bottles and crashes, with many riders not able to complete the race.

Keen did well to finish in the middle of the field, with Simon Beldon from the SSLL Racing Team taking the overall win in 1:37.25, and Mark Booth from Corley Cycles 28 seconds behind him.

Weaver Valley continue to organise training rides on Saturdays, with social club runs on Sunday and Wednesday mornings, and welcome new members, who can find details on the club’s website.

Recent events have included the 106km Ron Sant Memorial Audax ride which attracted 27 riders, and the club’s annual training trip to Llanberis, involving a 100-mile ride out on Saturday and an 85-mile return leg on Sunday, which attracted 40 riders.

The club’s training week in Majorca has been taking place this week.