Ribble Pro Cycling team’s race victory total notched over 50 last week and the team had the most successful weekend of the season so far with no fewer than seven podium placings capped off with a national title for Dan Bigham and a podium clean sweep.
After setting a string of course records in time trials up and down the country, Ribble Pro Cycling went into the first major TT championship of the season last Saturday with high hopes. Ribble rider Dan Bigham was defending his title in the RTTC National Circuit Time Trial Championship over an 18-mile course and raring to put the Ultra TT and his fitness to the test again.
With JLT’s James Gullen a non-starter (still recovering from a crash in the Tour of Japan) it looked possible that our two Commonwealth Games riders Dan and John Archibald might fight it out for the title and either Gruff Lewis or Simon Wilson could even podium for a Ribble clean sweep.
Despite a great ride averaging 49 kph (30.4 mph) Gruff was edged out of the top ten as the seeded riders began to post times. Simon and John were among the last riders off and both posted the fastest times of the day until ‘last man off’ Dan came speeding into sight to beat John’s time by 20 seconds with an average speed of 52.5 kph (32.6 mph).
“I’m reasonably happy with that. There are still a few things to work on, but it’s starting to come together now,” Dan told us after a hard weekend of back-to-back races. “I thought a podium lock out was possible as well so we’re all pleased,” he added.
Needless to say, the trio picked up the team trophy with an unbeatable podium lock out.
Dan stayed in Yorkshire and on Sunday raced the town centre criterium at the Doncaster Cycle Festival finishing third in a sprint won by National criterium champion Tom Pidcock.
“I should have won that,” Dan told us afterwards, “The sprint started very early, into the final two corners, and I wasn’t expecting that. I’ve not got my ‘crit head’ on just yet.”
Chris Sherriffs provided extra options for the team after joining Dan in the eight-man break that contested the sprint and eventually finishing sixth with JLT’s sprinter Graham Briggs sandwiched between the two in fourth place.
Dan remains unbeaten in time trials during 2018 with a 100% course record tally on the Ultra TT which also notched up another win with team mate David Hewitt.
David is based in the Spanish pro cycling hotspot of Girona, but returned to the UK to win the South West England time trial on Saturday with a 19:05 for ten miles.
At the end of June, Ribble’s best riders against the clock will tackle the National Time Trial Championships being held near Morpeth for the prestigious white jersey with national champion bands.
Saturday’s silver medallist John Archibald added a road race victory on Sunday in the Sam Walton Border Trophy race in Northumberland. Hard on John’s heels to cap a magnificent weekend for the team were Alex Luhrs (2nd), Will Corbett (5th) and Richard Jones (6th).
The season is in full flow and Ribble Pro Cycling are on great form.
Results | Saturday June 9th, 2018.
National Circuit Time Trial Championship
1st Dan Bigham Ribble
2nd John Archibald Ribble
3rd Simon Wilson Ribble
12th Gruff Lewis Ribble
Team Award Ribble
City Couriers 10 TT (SW Champs)
1st David Hewett Ribble 19:05
Results | Sunday June 10th, 2018.
Sam Walton Border Trophy RR
1st John Archibald Ribble
2nd Alex Luhrs Ribble
5th Will Corbett Ribble
6th Richard Jones Ribble
Doncaster Cycling Festival Crit
1st Tom Pidcock Team Wiggins
3rd Dan Bigham Ribble
6th Chris Sherriffs Ribble
Photos: Craig Zadoroznyj