It’s been a busy weekend for cycling in the North East. Following on from the circuit races on Friday evening, the Stockton cycling festival has continued with a sportive event yesterday (saturday) and a road races for all ages and abilities, starting from Stockton Town Centre, culminating in the Stockton Grand Prix (Part of the British Cycling Premier Calendar elite road races).
Meanwhile The highlight on the time trialing scene this weekend must surely have been the national team time trial championships, this year promoted by Tyneside Vagabonds CC. Starting from the village of Ponteland the 3 riders teams tackled 2 laps of a rolling 18 mile circuit.
As I’d never had the chance to take photos at a TTT before I opted for this event over the Stockton Grand Prix, which I covered last year. Compared to road races and individual TTs where you tend to pick out individual riders, It turns out TTTs are decidedly tricky to get right in photos, ensuring all the riders in a team are in focus/sharp is easier than it looks. Although I have to admit, my ffew shots in this race aren’t my best, I think I managed to get my head round it in the end!
Anyway, enough of me, lets move on to the racing! Waking up this morning I’m sure the riders (and myself) were no doubt relieved be met by slightly cooler conditions than the day before, with a thin covering of cloud to keep the sun’s stength at bay which made for great racing conditions except for a slight breeze blowing through, maing for some reasonably swift times. The title of 2013 Team Time Trial Champions goes to the trio from IG Sigma Sport (Wouter Sybrandy, Joe Perrett andAndrew Griffiths) with a scant margin of 3 seconds over the second place team of Matt Bottrill, Mark Holton andJeff Jones (www.drag2zero.com) who fought back from almost a 30 second deficit as they started their 2nd and final lap. Out of the 2 ladies teams it was a convincing win for the Trainsharp Racing Team (Keely Chalk, Rebecca Rimmington and Bronwen Ewing), winning by 4 minutes from Ilkley CC’s Emily Hallworth, Katherine Church and Leanne Farrow.
Full results are on the Cycling Time Trials site.
The 2013 British Cycling Elite Circuit Race Series rolled in Stockton-on-Tees this evening. In stark contrast to last year’s damp evening it appeared summer had finally arrived in the north east with warm weather right through the evening.
Following the 2nd/3rd/4th/ladies category race the Elite riders took to the 2 kilometere circuit based on Stockton’s high street (the widest high street in britain apparently).
As is usual in criterium events the action started right from the gun with the pack rapidly splitting into groups, stretching most of the way round the circuit. At the head of these groups was a lone breakaway rider, George Atkins (100% me) who broke from the lead bunch around halfway through the race and proceeded to lap all but a select bunch of riders, comfortably taking a solo win. In the remains of the main pack Olympic Champion Ed Clancy (Rapha/Condor/JLT) took second in 4 man sprint.
Aside From the winners superb effort the rider of the night must surely be Lancashire rider Matt Cronshaw who, having missed the initial split, leaving him in the 2nd group on the course made an audacious attack, eventually rejoining the main pack after riding solo for near on half the race. Chapeau Matt!
More photos to follow…
Every thursday evening during the Spring/sumer months, Salt Ayre cycle racing circuit is taken over by Lancaster Cycling club and The Cog Set Go-ride club for their weekly time trials. Normally when I’m over in Lancaster I’d be al lset to join in the races myself. Alas, I’m still recovering from surgery on my stomach at the moment so I thought I’d pop along armed with my trusty Canon D-Slr and as a certain rider put it ‘lurk in the bushes’. Thanks Tim!
Despite heavy rain for much of the afternoon the rain finally abated around an hour before the riders were due to start, resulting in a reasonable evening for time trialing (although a little challenging for taking photos due to the low light levels!).
As usual, click on the photo for the full set on Flickr and if you see one you like, make a note of the photo set name and individual photo ID and click on the ‘buy photos’ link at the top of this page.
I hope you all enjoy the photos and hopefully next time I’m at Salt Ayre I’ll have my alternative weapon of choice, my time trial bike with me 🙂
Click the photo below for the 3rd and final set of photos from the Lancaster ‘Velocity’ circuit races. This set features action from the youth event.
photos from the 3rd, 4th and ladies category race at the Lancaster Velocity now up on flickr.