The end of June saw Dave Hughes heading down the M5 to the Wales National Velodrome in Newport for the British Cycling National Masters Track Championships, held over four days from 29 June to 2 July, where he was competing in the “Male H” category for 65-69 year olds. Dave’s stated ambition was to get on the podium at least once so that he could get a good photo for Facebook, but we all know by now that he likes to underplay his chances. True to form, after missing out on a podium place in the 500m time trial on the first day, Dave took bronze in the sprint on the Friday, gold in the scratch race on Saturday and then silver again in the points race on the Sunday. Full results are available here (you have to scroll down a bit through the age categories).
Out on the road, meanwhile, Roger Cutler took on the 2/3/4 Wyre Forest CRC Road Race on 2 July and Gavin Passmore raced the 3/4 Duncan Murray Wines Road Race on 23 July. The best result on the road, however, was for John Hunt, who finished on the podium with 3rd in a round of the East Midlands-based 3/4 Øverst Race League at Burton on the Wolds on 12 July, taking his season’s points tally to 18. There are some photos of the event here.
In circuit racing, both Gavin and John raced at Curborough in the third of Royal Sutton CC’s series of 3/4 races on 5 July, which attracted a large field of around 50 riders. Gavin later reported “feeling terrible” after 15 minutes, which is when he decided to attack while John sat on the front of the bunch. John and a Lichfield rider then bridged across to Gavin’s breakaway, but everything eventually came back together for a bunch sprint, with Gavin taking 10th.
The following week, Laurence Cooley was 8th in a very wet race at Stourport on 11 July. A couple of days later, he was involved in a nasty crash during a round of the SSSCCRRL at Shrewsbury, which saw Mid Shropshire Wheelers’ rider Andy Mortimer taken to hospital with a fractured vertebra (best wishes for a speedy recovery to Andy). Laurence escaped relatively uninjured with just some cuts and a badly bruised knee, and was able to join Gavin and Robin at Curborough the following evening for the final Lichfield No Frills event of the summer. In the concurrent 3/4 race. Gavin rode strongly to finish 4th out of the 3rd cats, with Laurence and Robin just missing out on points, coming 11th and 12th respectively amongst the 4ths.
Beacon under-23 bursary holder Matt Clegg returned to Stourport on 18 July for the 2/3/4 handicap race, needing just four points to make 2nd category. With the 2nd cats having caught, Matt decided to launch what is fast becoming his trademark final-lap attack – this time from the back of the pack as they headed down the hill. Ben Manfield-Yorke of Morvelo-Basso RT gave chase and pushed Matt all the way to the line, but Matt eventually won by a wheel to take his fourth win of the season and gain promotion to 2nd cat in style. Congratulations to Matt, who has certainly justified his selection as the club’s inaugural bursary holder this year.
The following week, on 25 July, it was the final round of the Stourport Summer Series, and Laurence finished 10th in the 4th-cat race. Stuart White also returned to action in the 2/3/4 as he prepares for the BC National Masters Circuit Race Championships on 12 August, having spent most of this summer focusing on distance riding. Gavin rode in the first of the series of four ELY Race Club 3/4 crits at Stourport on 29 July, finishing 7th to take his points tally for the season to 13. The same weekend, Laurence took another 10th place at a very slippery Shrewsbury circuit in the last of the Mid Shropshire Wheelers Sunday Circuit Races on 30 July, which saw several riders crash in the rain before the race had even started!
After his success at the World Transplant Games in June, Gavin Giles took part in the British version of the event at Strathclyde Country Park in North Lanarkshire, competing in both the time trial and road race on 28 July. Gavin won silver medals in his age group in both events, finishing 3rd on scratch in the time trial and 4th on scratch in the road race. The event was held in what Gavin described as “monsoon like conditions”, on “a very slippery, wet, technical course”, and the road-race medal was his first in that event since he crashed in the 2013 World Transplant Games. Gavin commented afterwards that he had his racing mojo back, so it sounds like there is more to come from him! Well done Gavin.
Finally, to track racing. It was the club’s annual track championships at Halesowen on 1 July, where Matt Clegg cleaned up by winning the individual pursuit, the scratch race and the sprint competition (although he was given a good run for his money in all the events, and Gavin Passmore actually set a faster 250m time in the process). The omnium champions were Matt and Jessica Rhodes-Jones. There was also a full schedule of events for the Beacon Cycling Academy members. Well done to the Academy’s May and Jake for winning the girls’ and boys’ omnium competitions. It was good to see so many new faces, including several women members, at the track champs this year – a trend we hope continues!
Meanwhile, the weather continued to be unkind to the Halesowen Friday Night Track League during July, but there was some racing. At the end of the month, Matt Clegg sat 11th in the overall A-cat standings, and in the Bs, Gavin Passmore was 8th and Adrian Ravenscroft 10th, with Dave Hughes equal 19th. In the vets’/women’s standings, Adrian was equal 7th and Dave joint 11th. Gavin was joint 4th in the B-cat sprinters’ league and 10th in the B-cat endurance standings, where Adrian was 9th and Robin equal 19th. The full tables are available here. Racing in the FNTL continues until 1 September – weather permitting!
With the Stourport Summer Series and the SSSCCRRL now finished for the year, there aren’t that many races left in the West Midlands (though there are still three of the ELY Criterio du Rosa Saturday events remaining), but there are still plenty of road and circuit races in the calendar for those willing to travel. Before we know it, cyclo-cross season will be here, and the Beacon are co-hosting the first round of the West Midlands league with Redditch on 3 September. We’re at a new venue – the Abbey Stadium – this year. Beacon members are encouraged to enter or to volunteer to help run the event.