Updated: Sep 13, 2022
And just like that, another summer is almost over. Hill climb diets are in full swing, cross is coming, and Colin’s winter bike emerges from hibernation with the first few drops of rain. Autumn is always a class season for cycling isn’t it, but before we start looking forward to that lets have a look back over the highlights of the summer.
Muckle Road Race 2022 - photo by Darren Moore www.darranmoorephotography.com
We have to start with our own promoted road race – a 3/4 on the Saltwick circuit in Northumberland on July 24th. This was the 5th edition of our race – and we still hadn’t managed to get a Muckle on the top step of the podium. In the inaugural 2017 edition, John Bowman was 2nd , Sam Davies was 3rd in 2018, and in the 2021 edition Muckle legend Matthew Smith was 3rd. The win was long overdue. Fortunately, it all came together this year with John Bowman taking the win after riding a near perfect race, and finishing off a solid team performance by sprinting away from a reduced bunch on the finishing climb and getting a decent gap on the line.
The women’s race was won by Gemma Sargent of Sain Piran WRT, who also was either 1st or 2nd over the line on every prime lap (and I think even the laps when there wasn’t a prime)
Strong field in the womens race
The Sloan Trophy Road Race in May was somewhat of a bin-fest, with several big crashes and multiple hospital admissions. Some blamed it on too much Zwift racing, and inexperienced over enthusiastic youngsters. I just say, that’s cycling eh - sometimes you have a little spill. Either way the best we could manage in the North Easts premier road race was a 10th place from Lee Cuthbertson, on a day where just not going to A&E was a big achievement.
Lee was racing round 3 of the Scottish national series later in the month and got a good honest drubbing up at the Drummond Trophy. The highlight of the race (for me and several of Lee’s clubmates) were of the gratuitous Instagram posts of him applying chamois cream. Don’t worry, screen shots were taken which have a high chance of coming back to haunt him.
In May Matty Smith came away with a 7th place finish at the Blaydon CC road race, not the result he was after, by his own standards, but it was solid and attacking team performance all round. Aside from that most of the blog worthy Muckle exploits this year have probably been away from the road, with some excellent performances and results in cross country racing.
Grace at the Scottish National XC Championship race
Round 2 of the National XC series was held on Easter weekend up in Newcastleton. After a tough start beset with misfortune, John Bowman did well to make up some places and finish in 9th place. The following day Grace Inglis took 2nd in the expert category and Daniel Moore 9th.
John made amends less than a week later when he took the win at round one of the NEXC league in south shields, with bike wear mogul Stu Anderson, nicely bookending the race with a dead last in his first xc race.
Round 3 of the NEXC at Hetton was won by Daniel Moore, with John in 2nd place, which he followed up with another second place in round 3 at Kirkley.
The following day Daniel Moore was racing Round 2 of the Scottish National Series and came away with 3rd place in the Expert Category and finished 5th Elite in a strong field.
Daniel in action at the Scottish XC series in Fife
On the same weekend as the Muckle road race, the British national cross country mountain bike championships were held up at Newton Stewart in Scotland. Grace Inglis had a mega ride and finished 4th and Daniel Moore came 1st in the Masters 35-39 Category, making him, I think, the second Muckle to become a national champion (you will, of course, all remember that Colin Atkinson was the first national champ when he won the V50 category in the 2017 national hill climb championship, then becoming two time national champ last year in the 55-59 age category at the national hill climb championships up Winnats Pass)
Grace has had an amazing year racing XC and she showed off her form winning the Scottish MTB XC Championships on August 21st at Kirroughtree, making her the third Muckle to become national champion. Three national championship winning rides in one year, not too shabby really.
Andrew Duggan going well in the TTs!
The Muckle TT’ers have been steadily picking up the results all season long, Andrew Duggan took the win at the G.S.Metro M26 TT in May, with the team prize going to MCC as well. Later in the month Andrew also won the Tyneside Vagabonds M47 mountain TT.
In the road bike category, the story was all about Hugo Story (need to think of a better pun, I know) who won the Tyne & Wear Fire services TT and the Zeus 10 TT in May. Hugo also happens to be the 2022 king of the Tuesday Hills whopper sprint – the win that every Muckle really wants on their palmares. In June Lee Cuthbertson won the road bike category in the N&DCA 25 mile TT championship race, so he can look forward to an invite to the red carpet marquee event that is the annual N&DCA award evening.
Loads more Muckles have been racing the TTs this year with newcomers Natalie Lye and Alex Milne putting in some strong performances. Daniel Kane bagged a second place at the Derwentside CC TT in July and third place at the Blaydon CC M23 TT, when we managed a full Muckle podium with Matty Smith taking the win ahead of Lee Cuthbertson in second. Do I even need to tell you that Colin Atkinson was first vet as well?
Hugo Story - Roadman
Finally we need to give a shout out to Alex Turner who completed the self supported Transcontinental Race in August. A monumental effort over 4,483 kilometres and 13 days which saw him cover 14 countries from Belgium to Bulgaria and eventually finish 45th overall. (Separate report direct from the horse’s mouth to, hopefully, follow soon) . Coming next though - hill climb season, and cyclocross, stay tuned folks!