VIDEO - Downpour makes for interesting action in first year of Sleaford Carnival cycle race

A men’s cycling road race added an extra attraction to today’s Sleaford Carnival 2014.

Sleaford Carnival has been going since 9am with the dog show, stalls and arena entertainment, but it was Sleaford Wheelers’ Criterion Road Race, a full field of 50 riders doing laps of the town centre and up to Tesco, negotiating 90 degree and 180 degree bends at over 30mph that drew further crowds.

Sleaford Carnival road race competitors reach the bend into the Market Place in full flight. EMN-140713-153231001

Sleaford Carnival road race competitors reach the bend into the Market Place in full flight. EMN-140713-153231001

The race, which started and finished at Boston Road Recreation Ground saw riders do about 22 miles over the space of an hour plus five final laps which were completed at high speed, despite a cloudburst towards the end causing the road surface to become greasy and slippery.

This resulted in a few tumbles and retirements but the biggest incident was when a mobility scooter user squeezed between barriers laid to prevent people crossing the road in front of the cyclists and coming into collision with one the back markers of the main group of cyclists. There were no injuries but both casualties were shocked and shaken.

The race was won by David McLean who rides for Cambridge University road team, amazingly the second placed rider was a 15-year-old on reduced gears. Sleaford rider James Hedley-Smith, who now riders for Pedal Power of Loughborough, came home fourth and 17-year-old Henry Thompson was first Sleaford Wheeler home.

The club is already considering running a ladies’ race next year after a junior race was scrapped due to lack of entrants.

First runner home in the fun run which set off from North Parade, finishing at the recreation ground, was Alan Oliver of Sleaford Striders.