I think a good place to start is to have a look back over the 2016 season, which brought good results and new faces representing the Velo on the north east race scene. For the more seasoned racers amongst us there was a good showing at some of the major road races over the season and good performances from members which boosted the Velo’s regional ranking points.

Now without making young Patricks head grow larger than his ever developing body his achievements have to be recognised as he was the biggest point contributor for the club and think I’m pretty safe to say he could be staying another season in Velo blue.

As for the senior men, Paul Tyrell’s second place at day 2 of the Northumberland Cup is possibly the most prestigious placing of the season, as this is “proper racing,” and along with a few other good results earned himself a top 10 spot in regional rankings.

The closed circuits seen most action for the rest of the men’s points, or perhaps not any points if you’re Matty Sutcliffe and didn’t have a race licence, but all the same the resident race cameraman captured his own winning footage and all the profanity afterwards, however redeemed himself putting his winnings in the charity pot (what a gent eh?). The Autumn Cup also seen a debut from Dave Nearney who went out to take points in his first races along with an appearence from Colin the “commissaire car chaser” Thompson who also finished with a top 10 place.

Matty on the podium for a win at the JSL Vehicle Repairers and Mulebar Autumn Cup R3

This year seen the addition of our international rider Manu Maestra, who apparently used to pedal bikes back in Spain and scooped a couple of good results which seen a swift move up to Cat3, along with Dan O’Callaghan who fought out amongst the minor places to get moved up. Graham Kirton made a debut to racing this year showing strengths on the road and circuit, but could say ran into bad luck at when on good form with mechanical problems, suffered some set backs through injury and is now an ambassador for always keeping one hand on the bars! Patrick O’Neil made appearance in what was possibly the worst conditions of the summer crtis, but showed strength and finished with points in what was a tough race.

Manu in the sprint for a top spot!

 

 

 

 

Claire Cook made a debut by just riding her bike instead of getting wet then trying to dry herself off by running afterwards. She raced over mud and tarmac and finishing with a 3rd spot in the regional rankings.

The top race crash must go out to Craig Deacon, who after riding to Middlesborough after work, struggling to find the venue went to the start line with only 1 pin holding his number on, luck just wasn’t on his side, took a canny tumble, new shorts and jersey job! Nevertheless he took it like the masochist he is and got right into racing up some hills over the autumn.

For two of the more seasoned riders Mark Keedy and Barry Marshall their ambitions took them onto the open road races, taking away good experience and competing against the strongest north east riders. Hopefully the 2017 season will see more riders joining them on the road circuits and build on the success’ of last year.

This rounds the 2016 off and leads us into the coming year; first test will likely be the Croft Winter Series which should begin in January, watch out for further information on this and other racing and race related training on the website. We’re aiming to spread the word to members and prospective new members the competitive side of cycling that doesn’t just to happen over muddy ground. There’s racing at all levels and we hope to provide an easy route into this exciting sport and develop the competitive side of the club.

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