Welcome to the latest edition of Stingers Racing Round up – this time an even more disjointed effort. In my defense, keeping up with the exploits of such prolific competitors is not an easy task, especially whilst transitioning to full time fell runner (as some would have you believe)...
It’s early season but already the results have been coming in. First up let’s look at MTB where Joe Curran and Grace Inglis picked up the wins in both their categories in round one of the Crank It XC series at Sherwood Pines in March. A great start to the season and hopefully just a taste of what’s to come! Daniel Moore bagged a solid 7th place at round one of the SXC 2022 Series at Comrie Croft in March, building on a great set of results from last year including a podium spot at the Eastern Regional XC champs in May. John Bowman also picked up some XC wins last year as well with first place at the gruelling Kielder Deadwater 100, and first place at round four of the National XC series, with Ben Wilkinson also taking second place. There’s definitely something in the air with XC racing at the minute, even the perennial Colin Atkinson himself got in the mix last year winning the Grand Vets category in the NE XC series, proving he can do it on any terrain.
Grace and Joe taking the top spots
Daniel Moore at Comrie Croft
It’s always great to see the club representing in different disciplines, and of course we were there in our numbers over the course of the cyclocross season where, amongst a whole raft of great results, Colin Blacklock bagged 16th place at the UCI masters cyclocross world championship in Ipswich, backing up a load of podiums and top tens in the National Trophy CX races, including taking the win at the Northern Area CX championships in November. As well as doing a great job of organising a round of the NECCL, Nicola McCoy got another solid season under her belt including taking the win in Northern Area CX championships in November.
March was the N&DCA awards night for the 2021 AND 2020 season, and here’s a nice picture of Colin Atkinson with an embarrassing amount of trophies, even if it is two years worth of awards.
The 2021 hill climb season was the most successful yet for MCC, and we won the team competition for the 6th year in a row, as well as taking 2nd and 3rd this year as well. Over all we had 4 different riders winning HCs – John Bowman won the NTR race up Winters Gibbet, Matthew Smith won the Allen Valley Velo race, Dave Diston was first at Ferryhill Wheelers race up Quarrington hill and Matty Smith was 1st place at the Kirkley Cycles HC at Edmundbyers, where he beat John Bowman by 0.1 seconds and Colin Atkinson came third to make it a fill Muckle podium, the first time a North East club has achieved such a feat!
Great shot of Dave Diston (the original Swiss Dave) racing the Nationals
The club was well represented at the 2021 national hill climb championships race, which was held at Winnats pass in the Peak District. The Muckle contingent was made up of Matthew Smith, John Bowman, Colin Atkinson, Dave Diston, Ben Wilkinson, and Adam Wood, all doing the club proud racing in some pretty grim conditions. Matthew Smith was top muckle on the day with a time of 03:42 which was good enough for 34th place – a great result for the nationals! Colin Atkinson won the V55 prize as well as being 6th vet overall with only one V45 going quicker than him, and beating all the other V50 riders by 13 secs. Very impressive, but if we were to implement a hangover adjusted time policy, then the performance of the day would probably go to Ben Wilkinson for even making it to the line. I’m proud of you lad - flying the flag, and keeping the flame burning for all us ex-sessioners.
John and Matt at the Nationals
Road racing, crits, and time trials are all well and truly underway for the 2022 season and as always there no shortage of Muckles traveling far and wide to get stuck into races locally and nationally. Lee Cuthbertson has been mixing it in some of the early season Nat B races including the Gifford Road Race and the Danum Trophy Road Race, and plenty of Muckles raced crits at the Croft and Carlsisle circuits. The stand out race so far this year seemed to be the Tactic UK Bashal Baller Road race in Lancashire, where a team of 6 Muckles journeyed down and raced aggressively from start to finish. After several attempted breakaways, in the final bunch sprint John Bowman finished 4th and Shaun Brannan 9th. As always we’ll be looking to make our mark in any road race we enter this year, especially our own race in July. Matthew Smith won the bunch sprint for the 3rd place at last years race, and hopefully this is the year when we can bring home the bacon at our own event, No pressure lads!
Last weekend was the Blaydon CC two-up timetrial and the duo of Matty Smith and Shaun Wilkinson took the win in the road bike category, which was also fast enough to give them 3rd place overall.
Matty and Shaun at the Blaydon 2-up
Matthew Smith at the Bashall Baller Road Race