You are hereReading Cycling Club press report, week ending 23 November 2008

Reading Cycling Club press report, week ending 23 November 2008

By rod - Posted on 25 November 2008

Reading Cycling Club press report, week ending 23 November 2008

The main event this week was Reading CC's Bill Higson Memorial CX on a
new course in Prospect Park. It rained. A tough race ensued.

Bill Higson memorial cyclo-cross race, Prospect Park

Reading CC promoted round 8 of the Wessex cyclo-cross league on Sunday.
For the first time Reading CC's annual Bill Higson Memorial race was
held in Reading. Reading Borough Council supported the event by allowing
a new course in Prospect Park to be used. Heavy rain in the morning made
the going heavy and muddy, nevertheless over 100 competitors took the
start line of the senior race. A gruelling hour of competition followed
with Chris Ansell, Team Corridori, coming out as a clear winner.

Race organiser Brian Bingham commented: "The early rain and some issues
with access of equipment gave me plenty to think about but a great team
of helpers overcame every difficulty. Twenty volunteers looked after
race marshalling, signing on, calling out numbers, supplying
refreshments, washing numbers, dismantling the course, and so on. For
the U12 and U10 races we had 31 entrants on the line, 18 entrants for
the youths, and 101 for the senior/veteran/junior/women race. This was a
big turn-out for a Wessex League race. About 15 riders did not finish
the main race due to mechanicals or whatever. All races went off
smoothly with a fair number of spectators watching around the finish
area. We were able to post results and do prize giving promptly. Overall
it was a great day out!"

Reading riders did welll. Steve Bale: "I had been helping with the race
organisation so was without my usual warm-up. I knew that the
up-and-down course made it impossible to maintain a high pace so at the
start I let the masses charge off while I settled into a rhythm. By the
end of the first lap I had re-caught my racing peers and was moving
through the field. And so it carried on for the duration of the race. I
felt sorry for those who had to retire with mechanical conditions
brought on by the muddy conditions but glad that I had no mishaps. I was
very pleased to cross the line in 17th, by far my best result of the
season on a day when I least expected it." He added, "Despite dreadful
conditions the event was a great success and the feedback that I got was
very positive."

Colin Bates also dealt with the conditions well: "Mud is a great
equaliser and the conditions at Prospect Park on Sunday played to my
strengths. I found I could keep my bike fast and upright on the slippery
downhills and carry more speed into the next sections than my rivals
could. I enjoyed passing a number of riders that I normally see
disappearing into the distance ahead of me. I was very pleased to place
54th out of 100 starters, the best result of my season. I am very
grateful to the numerous volunteers from Reading Cycling Club who turned
out to set up the course in the rain and sleet and who marshalled the

Selected results:

2 at 1:06 TIM DUNFORD (SENIOR) Hargroves Cycles/Trant/Next
3 at 3:31 GARRY ALLAN (VETERANS) GA Cycles
17 at 1 laps STEVE BALE (SENIOR) Reading CC
32 at 1 laps NEIL COOPER (SENIOR)
54 at 2 laps COLIN BATES (VETERANS) Reading CC
77 at 3 laps ADAM WHITE, Reading CC

Claire Smith, Swindon RC

Luke Grey, Hargroves Cycles

Rob Yeatman, Oxonian CC

Wokingham Borough Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2008
Reading's Wayne Thomas is the recipient of Wokingham Borough Council's
'Spirit of Sport' trophy 2008. Roy Booth and Steve Bale attended the
Wokingham Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2008 on Friday at the
Blue Coat School, Sonning, to receive the trophy on Thomas's behalf.
Thomas was nominated for the award by Reading CC for taking part in more
than 100 road-races this season. Thomas, on holiday abroad at the time
of the ceremony, has returned to cycle racing after years away from
sport. He has had remarkable success, competing in demanding races
against riders sometimes of half his age and less, winning points and
placings in his age category. Mr Booth was happy to receive the trophy
on behalf of his clubmate from Olympic oarswoman and medalist Anna
Bebington, the guest speaker at the well-attended event.

Social, medium and fast groups leave Reading Market Place at 9am on

Roderick MacFadyen
Reading Cycling Club

Photo caption: Hargroves Cycles riders lead the charge off the line in
the Bill Higson Memorial cyclo-cross race in Prospect Park
Photo credit: Leonard Quinn /