CYCLING: DOZENS of racers from Solihull Cycling made the short trip to Redditch on Saturday to contest the opening round of the West Midlands Cyclocross Series.
The opening round marked the start of a busy weekend of racing for the borough team, which also had a number of veteran racers competing in the Stratford Road Race while two riders competed in the LVRC National Criterium Champs at Birmingham Business Park.
Comprising of ten races from Under 6s to Over 50s, the West Midlands Cyclocross League sees many hundreds take part – and Solihull had a presence in every race.
Many of the club’s Under 8s riders were taking part in their first race, while others including Pete Ward, Neville Gunn, Bernard Wareing and Gary Rowing-Parker have been cycling for many years.
Holly Saunders, Jack Rootkin-Gray, and Harrison Knight all scooped third place in their respective age groups while 12 other riders from Solihull achieved top ten results.
The league moves to Pipe Hayes Park in Erdington this weekend where Lichfield Cycling Club play host.
Elsewhere, Wayne McKeown, Stuart Jameson, Paul Mann, Russ Perry and Dave Back were representing Solihull at the Stratford Cycling Club LVRC Road Race at Lower Brailles.
The hilly circuit saw all Solihull racers bar one earn a medal.
McKeown and Jameson raced in the first race – four laps of a 15 mile circuit.
Luck wasn’t on Jameson’s side as he suffered a puncture towards the end of the third lap.
But McKeown went off the front of the main group with one rider, who he beat in an exciting sprint finish.
In the second race for the riders 55 and over, Mann, Perry and Back were Solihull’s racers.
Mann managed to break away from the main group of riders after 15 miles of the 45 mile race with one competitor.
The pair remained clear for 30 miles before Mann struggled to keep pace in the closing stages – eventually finishing second.
Perry finished third in his age group while Back came first in his age category – over 65s.
Finally Ian Cowan and Richard Blackman took part in the LVRC National Criterium Championships
Both racedin their age category (55-60).
A break of seven got away and Cowan sprinted to finish first in the following bunch, coming in eighth overall.