CYCLING: WEAVER Valley Cycling Club's Giles Betts was thrown in at the deep end as he made the move from mountain biking to road racing.

Betts was the only entrant from his club in the 44th Eddie Soen's Memorial Road Race at Aintree.

The Soen's is a huge race and was contested by 143 riders covering the 1.64-mile clubman's circuit 49 times.

Bett's main experience has been on an off-road bike but he did well against a tough field.

Most of the big teams were represented, including Recycling.co.uk/MGXPower who fielded their entire squad of nine in the race, although last year's winner Tony Gibb (Team DFL) didn't start.

After 15 laps a break of five riders had gone clear - four of them from the Recycling team, plus surprise package junior Ian Stannard (Planet X), who hung on to the elite category men until the 25th lap and finished fifth.

Meanwhile, Antrobus-based Betts was plugging away at the front of the main group of 35 riders. He steered clear of a couple of crashes to finish in a fine 46th place of the 70 finishers in the 80-mile race.

It was a promising start to the campaign and a good season looks in store for 25-year-old Betts. He is making the switch from mountain biking to road competition.

Last season Betts, who rose to elite level in cross-country, joined the Usave team, which later broke up.

He has a hearing impairment, which means he has to use his eyes a lot more than other riders.