GRAEME Obree and Chris Boardman were synonymous names in the 1990s when both these riders kept leapfrogging each other in setting world records for the hour and 4,000m pursuit, so it was a special occasion when Obree travelled down from Scotland to present the awards at this year’s Stratford Cycling Club prize night.
Obree was welcomed by club chairman Dr Nick Green who gave a resume of the year and highlighted the special achievements of the club in organising national time trials and seeing the club represented in events across the country.
Undoubtedly the achievements of the club’s young riders were the highlight, especially in cyclo-cross and circuit races where up to 35 could be found racing most weekends.
The club coaches responsible for training and developing these youngsters needed special praise for the hours they put in and the success they can now see, whilst he also gave a special thank you to Sue Walton for organising the evening.
On the subject of time trial awards, it should be remembered Obree set a national ten-mile record in 1993 of 18 minutes, 27 seconds and a 50-mile record (on a single fixed wheel) of one hour, 39 minutes, 01 seconds.
He did ride a ‘homemade’ bike with angles which was later banned on the grounds it was dangerous.
Obree handed out numerous awards including Mick Stallard receiving the Scratch Time Trial award, with Pete Ward runner-up.
The Veterans award saw the same two riders first and second again, whilst the Handicap award went to relative newcomer Paul Freeman, who showed consistent improvement all year.
The Junior award went to Keir Lewis who broke several junior records and beat the seniors regularly.
The Roadmans Series saw four riders vying for top spot, which was secured by Ward, whilst there could only be one winner of the BAR (best all-rounder) honour and that was Stallard.
The ladies had two winners in the shape of Teresa Lewis who improved her time trials and competed regularly in cyclo-cross, whilst Alison Bagnall was again the ladies’ best all-rounder with her consistent time trialling.
Alex Macrae won the ‘anti-gravity’ event with a great ride up Saintbury Hill in September and Tony Owen was given the Most Improved Rider award for his consistent improvements over the last two years.
The Clubman Award was shared between John Johnson and Peter Graham.
Two very special awards were made to the youth riders, of which the Most Improved Rider was Alex Burden. This is a coaches award and, although there were many youth riders who could have won this award, Burden was chosen as it was felt he has made the biggest improvement in his age category so far this season.
He always gives 100 per cent and at nine years of age has already found a liking for racing at the new velodrome in Derby.
The Robert Heenan Award went to Charlie Johnson who is a very active member of the junior section.
She is 12 years old and very enthusiastic, which was epitomised when she rode with her father all the way to Paris in the summer to raise money for charity.
According to her coaches she is a joy to work with and never shuns a challenge and her biggest achievement was in velodrome racing in which she finished third in the National Omnium competition, the event in which her hero Laura Trott OBE competes.