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Lakeland Lanequest – Week 4


Would it rain, or wouldn’t it rain? Lanequesters turn out whatever the weather, and with the highest turnout of the series so far, 105 riders clearly felt it wouldn’t. And it didn’t, just a few spots- which in Lakeland terminology is a fine evening.

With classic roads encircling  the ever popular  Strickland Arms, Sizergh, this venue was always going to attract a strong field, and organisers Dave and Zoe Cowgill laid on the perfect event,  giving everyone a master class in how these things should be organised.

Everything came together at last for Lune RCC rider David Heffernan, who fought off David Sproston and Sam Clifford to take a fine win in the men’s solo class. Not so fortunate was leading contender Dave Hollingham, an early puncture putting paid to a high score.

For Heffernan, it was “an excellent event- really well planned, perfectly organised. With roads still wet from an earlier downpour, I found it a bit skiddy on some descents,  with a few near misses on some bends, but thankfully it all went very well for me this week”.  ” I managed nearly 35 miles inside the 2 hour time limit, at an average of just under 18 mph, whilst visiting 29 control points- so very happy” he added.

With Heffernan now taking the overall  men’s series lead with 2 events remaining, it was however business as usual in the women’s solo class,  Kendal ace Helen Jackson winning yet again to extend her series lead over 2nd place Jo Cleary, whilst Jo’s daughter Hannah managed a creditable 3rd place, just ahead of former champion Anne Plant, impressing everyone  with a healthy turn of speed on her mountain bike.

The Generation Pairs is turning out to be a ding dong battle between MIchael and Matthew Fell, and  Sharron and Briege Hutchinson. This week’s winners were the Fell family,  turning the tables this week on last week’s winners the Hutchinsons, whilst in the Adult Pairs,  it was business as usual for winners James Annan and Julia Hargreaves, fighting off a strong challenge from the Toyns, Rachel and Mike on their flying tandem.

With only 2  Tuesday evening events remaining in the Wheelbase sponsored  2017 series, it is all to play for and come rain or shine.

Full results can be viewed on


“First of all it was an excellent event. Really well planned, perfectly organised, well located and clearly sited controls. Zoe did a fine job on the results too which made my job easier. So thanks to Zoe and Dave, and as always to Ray and Marion.

The weather had looked like it might be terrible, but it turned out fine. A bit skiddy on some of the descents, but not too bad. I only had two or three near misses on bends whilst descending …… The wind and the wet roads made the riding just a little slower than on a perfect night, but not by very much.

As for my ride, I felt much improved from the previous week. Not sure what was up with me at Crosby Ravensworth, but I wasn’t my usual self. It was far better this week.

My planning centred first around clockwise or anticlockwise. I felt that clockwise would leave me totally committed from Milnthorpe on, with no options to drop anything. That felt a bit risky so I opted to go anticlockwise and keep my options open as late as possible. I decided that 30 controls was out of my reach and scrubbed of 24 and the obvious one to drop. The trickiest controls to weave together seemed to be the ones around Beetham and Hale. I considered lots of different options, and could find very little to choose between them. In the end I took the controls in this order.

2 1 5 6 29 8 12 30 13 14 20 19 22 23 25 26 28 27 18 21 15 17 16 11 10 9 6 4 3

27 was approached from the north as I felt this reduced the climb. There were more flowing routes but I do think that this one kept climb to a minimum. Putting 15/21 with 30/13 gives some extra climbs that I remember suffering on in previous events.

I was pretty clean on the night. My only real clanger was between 20 and 19 where I simply missed the turn at the farm to the south of 20 and realised as I approached the next junction. That cost about 90s according to my GPS track. In spite of that I managed to get back with 30s to spare for a score of 290. The stats from the GPS were 35 miles and 2000ft.

Dave Sproston did a good ride also notching all 30 controls. But time just got the better of him, 7 minutes late, 20 penalties, 280.

Dave Hollingham who has been scoring highly was unlucky with a puncture. Having suffered that way last year, I sympathise with him and cross my fingers for the next two events!”

Next events:

Tuesday 4th July: Royal Oak, Cartmel- LA11 6QB

Tuesday 11th July: Wilfs Cafe Staveley- LA8 9LR- followed by Series Prizegiving and “Winners Cut The Cake”

Just turn up with a bike, helmet and mapboard and enter on the night. Only £6 Adults/£2 Juniors.

For further details of forthcoming events visit or visit  the series sponsor website.