The Peter Clark Memorial Award was introduced in 2017, a truly special award in memory of one of the founding organisers of the Youth Tour of Scotland and celebrating the values which were so important to Peter – determination, team spirit and bravery.
Peter left such an impression on the Youth Tour of Scotland and the organising committee that, following his passing in 2016, the Peter Clark Award was introduced for 2017. The award was introduced to recognise the rider on each stage who showed particular grit, determination and team spirit, attributes which were synonymous with Peter – of which there are so many examples of heroic tales from YTOS.
Sharing his memories of working with Peter, Bob MacFarlane, Youth Tour of Scotland Event Director 2014-2016 said: “Remembering Peter Clark I do feel truly lucky to have known him, in his own way an icon of cycling. Always a voice of experience but with a calm, relaxed attitude that remained utterly unfazed regardless the situation but there was always a glint in his eye and a wicked sense of humour! I took over the role of lead organiser of the Youth Tour of Scotland after Peter had helped to establish it. Certainly, a steep learning curve organising a stage race but Peter was always happy to answer questions, to be a sounding board and the year the hay barn caught fire, have a chat with the fire brigade to get the road open for the race! It was great fun and a true honour to have worked with him at Scottish Cycling, on the Youth Tour of Scotland and many other events.
Sarah MacIntyre, Youth Tour of Scotland Event Director 2017-2019 shared her memories of Peter:
“What Peter didn’t know about cycling really wasn’t worth knowing and I feel so lucky to have had the chance to learn so much from him when I started at Scottish Cycling. I’m also so grateful to have been able to have him share his great stories and experiences (cycling related or not!) with the rest of our colleagues.
The Youth Tour of Scotland always showcased the very best of Peter. Most of us took to calling him our ‘Work Dad’ after our first YTOS with him, because it’s everything Peter encompassed; he was caring, funny and knowledgeable with a big, kind heart and he kept all of us right! We couldn’t have got through that event without his voice of experience and calming influence; he would do anything for any of us…including taking down and transporting the biggest gazebo we owned *single-handedly* because we were ‘too slow’!
The team at Scottish Cycling still miss him terribly, and especially at YTOS. The introduction of the Peter Clark Award of his famous Scottish socks was a small gesture in making sure that he still gets to be a part of it.
Over the three years that the Peter Clark Award was presented, there have been many memorable tales of the riders who have won the coveted socks. In 2017, on the very first stage, Samuel Beckett from Wales crashed, losing his saddle but battled on for two saddleless laps. The same year, Jed Scott (SC North) returned from hospital to collect his award, having to raced Stage 3 one handed. In similar fashion, Ben Houlihan from Yorkshire BC also received the award for completing Stage 3 one handed following a crash in 2019. Morven Yeoman (SC West) was awarded the prize on Stage 4 of the 2017 race, as one of the youngest riders in the race who showed fantastic determination throughout.
In 2018, Matthew Kingston (Lichfield CCC) was awarded the Peter Clark award on Stage 1, in a breakaway with three Yorkshire riders and persevering to disrupt the team’s rhythm. On Stage 3, Amy Cole from Wales was awarded the prize when she managed to continue despite both a mechanical and then a bike change.
The final Peter Clark Memorial Award presented in 2019, went to Jack Brough from BC East Midlands who was awarded the Peter Clark award after suffering a mechanical and running with his bike for a lap and a half, covering nearly 5km on his feet!
The award holds a lot of meaning for the organising committee and the volunteers involved in making the event – and with such fantastic and gutsy racing from the competitors it’s often a difficult decision to determine the performance the worthiest of recognition.