By Bob Jolliffe
THE surprise and joy of finding a way of being paid to be involved with the sport he loves came over loud and clear from Eamonn Deane, guest of honour at New Forest Cycling Club’s annual dinner and prize presentation.
The former top time trialist and ace road racer told the 60-plus members and friends at the dinner at Lyndhurst’s Crown Hotel on Saturday how he left the Royal Mail to became a successful sports masseur and soigneur, culminating with a position with the successful UK Paralympic cycling squad in London this summer.
Bournemouth Jubilee Wheelers’ president Eamonn, who is also a cycling photographer with his own well-read biking blog, went on to present the awards to New Forest CC members following one of the best season’s in the club’s recent history.
Lion’s share of the trophies went to Gary Lock who won the Tim Millward Trophy for first in Division One of the 10-mile series, the Broomfield Bowl for fastest club 25-mile, the Thoresby Cooke Cup for short distance best all-rounder, the Keith Mitchell Shield for fastest forest circuit and the Matthews Cup for best on handicap times.
The Pennington-based cyclist also shared the Cook Cup with Ben Boardman as joint club champions, won the Thorney Hill Series and was Most Improved Rider.
Joint club champ Ben also won the Wareham Cup for the fastest 50-mile by a club member and the Marsh Shield for club best all-rounder.
Hugo Walters, 16, collected the Pope Cup for winning the two-event hill climb competition, the Knightwood cup as juvenile champion and the Jonathan Bottomley Cup for fastest junior in a club “25”.
John Heffernan took the Ted Joyce Memorial Cup for best “Round the Forest” and shared the Road Race Champion award with Andy Betteridge.
Junior rider Konnor Bracher-Walsh was lauded for his mile-munching Land’s End to John O’Groats relay with his Uncle Dug. The pair completed the charity ride in just 67 hours.
His efforts earned Konnor the Dawkins & Lodge Award for outstanding achievement. He was also presented with the Drayton Cup for junior best all-rounder.
Chris Grant was victorious in Division Two of the 10-mile series and earned himself the Rhinefield Trophy, while Donna Shaw was winner of Division Three and claimed the H E Figgures Bowl for female best all-rounder.
Club secretary Peter Weaver won the Bolderwood Trophy for best ride by a rider aged 55-plus and the Golden Jubilee Cup for the fastest 100-mile time trial, while Chris Hughes went home to Hordle with the Terry Jefferies Cup for veteran short distance best all-rounder.
New Forest CC also won the inter-club competitions against Crabwood CC and Sotonia CC.
The Hincheslea Cup for club person of the year was presented to club coach, Barry Wootten, for the enormous effort and dedication he has brought to the post.
In addition to leading Saturday training rides throughout the year, he has also organised winter turbo training classes, summer “chain-gang training”, is helping to introduce young riders to the sport and has just held the first of a series of training talks.
Entries needed for Boxing Day 10
Think you’re fit enough to ride a rapid 10 after stoking up on turkey and Christmas pud? Or do you fancy a leisurely potter down the Ringwood-Sopley road in festive fancy dress?
Whichever you choose, now is the time to get an entry form and £7 cheque off to Maggie Bracher (Konnor’s mum and ace time-keeper) for New Forest CC’s annual Boxing Day 10-mile time trial.
If you haven’t got a stock of official Cycling Time Trials entry forms, they can be downloaded from the CTT website (www.ctt.org.uk).
Your entry needs to get to Maggie by December 11, by the absolute latest. Her address is 38 (not 31 as per the CTT handbook) Stannington Crescent, Totton, Southampton SO40 3GB. Telephone 023 8048 5872.
If you don’t fancy competing, get on your bike, blow away the Christmas cobwebs and enjoy a traditional southern cycling festivity by cheering on those brave enough to enter.
NFCC 83rd Annual Dinner 2017
There will be a memorial service for Joan Smith, wife of Geoff club life member. This will be held on Thursday 7th December at 2.00 at St Margaret’s Church, Old Christchurh Road, Everton