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Podium place for Joe Skipper

PUBLISHED: 10:37 08 January 2010 | UPDATED: 15:50 06 July 2010

CYCLING

VELO Club Baracchi riders entered in the New Year 's Day time trial were disappointed by a cancellation, but the road racers stole a march on them with a successful ride at the Hog Hill circuit in Essex on Saturday.

CYCLING

VELO Club Baracchi riders entered in the New Year 's Day time trial were disappointed by a cancellation, but the road racers stole a march on them with a successful ride at the Hog Hill circuit in Essex on Saturday.

Nick Esser and Liam Gentry were joined by second-claim Baracchi rider Joe Skipper, who is about to embark on a season's racing with the new Orbea-For Goodness Shakes! cycling team but he was on this occasion in his VCB kit.

The racing was part of the East London Velo Winter Series and luckily a track inspection at 11.30am found it was ready for racing.

Esser had just enough time to put in a new tube before the start to fix a puncture picked up in warm-up laps.

In the handicap event, he was set off in the third-cat groups some 20 seconds ahead of Gentry's second-cat group. Over a minute later Skipper was let loose with only two other elite and first-cat riders in the whole event.

Within ten minutes all groups had merged except for a few riders from all the groups straggling off the back. Gentry and Esser were safe in the already depleted group.

Esser was hit by mechanical trouble again after about 25 minutes when his back wheel pulled out of line, though he was allowed a lap out and rejoined in good order.

Skipper was by far the strongest in the group and lap-by-lap he chipped away until a group of six went off the front.

With 15 minutes to go in the one-hour event Esser got a front puncture; he luckily borrowed a spare wheel and rejoined the racing straight away.

Skipper attacked from his group soon after and seemed to be in line to win, but also punctured with two laps remaining. He quickly borrowed a wheel and was straight back into the racing, but because of the delay could not better third place.

Gentry and Esser charged up the hill for the finish and were placed 9th and 13th respectively in the very depleted bunch.

Skipper's new Orbea-For Goodness Shakes! team has morphed from last year's BMC UK Racing Team and will compete in the Premier Calendar, Tour Series and National Circuit Series. Based in Essex and captained by the highly experienced Andy Lyons the team looks to achieve results at the highest level of racing in the UK.

Notable signings include talented circuit racer Lewis Atkins, Kristian Downs, Matt Ewings and former Kelme U23 rider, Marcel Six. Still together from last year's team are Steven Griffiths, Daniel Kogan, Dean Shannon, Ben Thompson, James Whatling and Skipper himself.

Last week, Andy Harris's time trial achievements were stated incorrectly, which has caused some amusement to those in the know. In fairness to him his long distance result and club record should be corrected to 237.2 miles in 12 hours, not 217.2 miles in 24 hours! Apologies from our correspondent, who resolves to try harder in 2010.

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