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posted 24 Mar 2017, 13:41 by Liz Garstang

The League of Veteran Racing Cyclists provides racing for cyclists who are 40 years of age or more; the League is open equally to male and female bike racers. Don't worry if you think you aren't fit enough to race - in the LVRC you are always allowed (encouraged, in fact) to compete in an older age group than your calendar age indicates, to help people get back into racing, and move up the groups as fitness builds.

The only exception to this is National Championships and Percy Stallard Series races. This is a national event comprising a series of races, with entrants competing within age group bands. In each race, points are awarded based on finishing position and at the end of the season the person with the highest points score is the winner.

For Hartlepool Cycling Club, Richard Booth is competing in the G category, ie. over 70s.

Last Sunday, 19th March, saw the first race of the 2017 series with E, F and G category riders racing over a 36 mile course around Husband Bosworth, near Leicester. Richard  finished 8th overall and, most importantly, first in his category. A breakaway bunch took the first five places and Richard was third in the bunch sprint.

This is his account of the race.

In the over 60's race there was a field of close on 50 riders, with a strong field in my 70+ category, with national vets time trial champion Brian Sunter, ex World Masters Pursuit Champ Mike Allen and current World 70+ Cyclo Cross Champ John Ginley my main opposition.
It was a really tough day with gale force winds meaning there was a lot of fighting for wheels. I got in an early break of 6 with the top 60+ riders which wasn't a very clever move as there was ex-national 50 mile TT champ John French and ex-pro Steve Jolley dishing out the hurt so, realising that I couldn't give riders of that class 10 years, I sat up and returned to the bunch.
I then struggled to recover from my hot headed decision and hid among the wheels whilst keeping an eye on my 70+ rivals.
The bunch was steadily reducing in numbers but I stayed off the front and kept my powder dry for the uphill sprint where I finished 3rd but crucially ahead of the rest of the 70 year olds. This puts me in the lead in the Stallard Series with the next event being in Milton Keynes in 2 weeks time.


We’ll update you on Richard’s progress through the season.