The 2009 season was one of the best to date with eleven races held between May and July on six different courses. Races were handicapped and as a result of hard won handicapping experience, almost always came together on the last lap for a bunch sprint or to chase down a break.
Mike Jones (Paramount CC)was the star of the season winning three races and being well placed in another two although John Cooper (a Wolverhampton Wheelers Junior) was hard on his heels taking two second places, a third and two more top 10 finishes – all on Junior gearing. Other notable winners were Tim Jones (MSW), Ian Thomas (Paramount CC, Richard Smith (Wrekinsport), Gareth Scott (Beacon CC) and Jeremy Guy (Wolverhampton Wheelers).
Aside from the local lads (and quite a few lasses) there were several international riders in the bunch with Alistair Carr (CCC Fougeres), taking a win whilst having a break from Europe and Liam Holden (Rapha Condor) also taking a win.
One of the most interesting races was race number 2, where European professional Roger Hammond (Cervelo) gave a fine display of just how fast he is. Roger was handicapped by 13 minutes (with a small group of elite riders); however, as soon as the flag dropped he just rode from group to group until he had passed the field, finally finishing on his own to take the win. After the race Roger made time to chat to riders and helpers, making the night quite special. Roger rode two more events and some other local races during a break from continental duties.
Other notable names on the start sheets were Martin Ford, Simon Holt (Candi TV) and another professional in Europe, Dan Freeman (Cervelo). One very positive outcome from this successful season is that interest in 2010 is already high with 14 evening races and one longer weekend race planned. These races being handicapped events are the ideal place for new riders to gain experience whilst in the safety of smaller handicapped groups.
One final note, the annual dinner/prize presentation will be held on the 21st November 2009 at the Horns of Bonningale (just outside Wolverhampton). The league is subsidising the event for riders and supporters in order to bring the price down to just £10 a head for a full three course meal. If you are interested in coming along, then get the form off the website (www.sssccrrl.co.uk) or give me (Steve Allcott) a ring on (01902) 344053 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
And finally – we welcome new riders and clubs. If any club wants to become affiliated to the league by staging an event, or a single rider wants to get involved, then phone me or visit the website.