October – December 2017

It’s rather late, but here’s a brief report on the end of the 2017 racing season, plus some news, including on an upcoming social event.

The road season came to an end in mid-October, when Gavin Passmore, Laurence Cooley and Matt Clegg took part in the University of Birmingham CC’s annual criterium at Tudor Grange. In the 3/4 race, Laurence had a mechanical but Gavin was able to finish 7th before lining up alongside Matt in the E/1/2/3. Gavin rounded out a good day with 10th in that race, while Matt was 7th. There are some photos from the races on the UoB CC’s Facebook page.

On the track, meanwhile, Dave Hughes won the title for his age group at the LVRC National Track Championships held at Derby over the final weekend of October, taking three gold medals in individual events on the way to the overall title. The event was hugely popular, with more than 170 riders entering across all categories, and Dave faced some stiff competition, having to beat recently crowned UEC European Masters Scratch Race Champion Bob Barber to take the win in the points race, for instance. Dave was keen to pass his thanks on to the organisers and volunteers who made the Derby event possible. Afterwards, he reflected that “I couldn’t have dreamed of this a year ago and in truth, not even at the start of this meeting”.

Dave also mentioned that it was at the Beacon racing captains’ social last year that he got thinking about riding the track again, and the good news is that we have another captains’ social coming up on 4 January. We’ll be at the British Oak pub in Stirchley from 19:30. While the main purpose of the event is to talk about racing plans for next season (British Cycling and LVRC, but also time trial events), everyone is welcome, whether they plan to race or not.

Overall, it was a good year of road and circuit racing for the club. We finished equal 9th in the British Cycling West Midlands road and track ranking with 110 points, up from equal 22nd with 52 points last year. This ranking excludes points scored outside of the region, which is significant given that Matt did a lot of his racing in the East Midlands and John Hunt came 3rd in an East Midlands road race. Matt made it to 2nd cat for the first time, supported by the new under-23 club bursary, winning four races and ending the season on 54 points. Mention should also go to Gavin for his 27 points as a 3rd cat in his first full season back racing after a few years off. Roger Cutler was also promoted to 3rd cat early in the season. In LVRC racing, Dave Hughes had another excellent season both on the road and the track.

Pete Marshall has written a separate report on the West Midlands Cyclo-Cross League, which you can read here. Congratulations are due to the Beacon Academy riders, who did well in the youth categories, and to Helen Jamieson for her strong placing in the women’s rankings in her first full season of ‘cross. Unfortunately, the LVRC National Cyclo-Cross Championships that Pete mentions in his report had to be cancelled due to snow and ice, but hopefully the event can return to the Midlands soon.

Looking forward, as well as the captains’ event on 4 January, the application form for the 2018 under-23 racing bursary is now online. The deadline for applications is 21 January and more details are available here. Informal enquiries are welcome at roadracing@beaconrcc.org.uk, or come along and ask at the captains’ event. If you want to start making concrete plans for racing next year, the 2018 SSSCCRRL and the first round of the Woolly Mamil Winter Series are now open for entry and are great introductions to road and circuit racing (both are selling out fast, so get your entries in quickly). In the meantime, best wishes from the Beacon for a Happy New Year!