I joined Team Wheelbase in 2005 and will be racing for another team very soon (more on that will follow shortly). It’s the strangest feeling to move on from wearing the black and green kit – there have been some amazing highlights in the last few years and I just wanted to reflect a little.
Basically, when I moved up to the north west again after living in Gloucestershire for ten years, I wanted a break from cycling clubs. I had worked pretty hard at times as a race organiser for a race secretary – as well as a bit of a domestique in road races (translation: I didn’t really get enough results so rode on the front a bit too much instead.) I moved here and said that I wasn’t going to join any club or team – but started to get into the top 5 in some local cyclocross races and suddenly felt like being part of things a bit more.
I joined the then “Wheelbase / Ron Hill” team in autumn 2005 and had to pinch myself riding alongside 3 peaks hero Rob Jebb as well as two team mates who have turned into real chums – Lewis Craven and Stuart Reid. I was the bottom of the pile but being part of a big name really motivated me. Some personal highlights that followed in the following years in my Wheelbase kit:
- Recorded in a video diary on BBC Countryfile about the 3 peaks cyclocross
- Won the North West Cyclocross League
- Rode a few years of British Cycling National Trophy races – my highest position being 17th and the ultimate highlight witnessing Rob win the National Trophy at Bradford
- Belting along Lakeland lanes, legs delving into the bottom of the sore drawer for the first 45 miles of the Fred Whitton Challenge with Lewis – stringing out 50 other rides, helping Rob to take the event record
- Organising various races (mainly won by Stuart Reid!) including one in some fairly extreme snow.
- Was on the podium as part of the winning team – and a gold medal from British Cycling for the National Cyclocross Championships in Birmingham
- 9th place in the 3 peaks – my lifelong top ten ambition achieved
- Various podium places in Lancashire’s rounds of the British Cycling Town Centre Criteriums, including a win in the support race in the Blackburn Grand Prix