2017 Croft events review

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Following on from the success of the 3 Cycling Time Trials supported closed circuit events held during 2016, another successful series of 4 events using the Croft Motor Racing Circuit in North Yorkshire, has just been completed.  The object of organising the series is to try and bring our sport to a wider audience and increase participation at both club and open events.

In 2016 the events were run by the District Secretary, with assistance from a number of volunteers drawn from a number of local clubs.  This year the series, co-ordinated by the District Secretary, was supported by 4 of the Teesside affiliated clubs, each taking one event. The clubs involved, Darlington CC, Hartlepool CC, Stockton Wheelers CC and Cleveland Coureurs, were also aided by volunteers from the local VTTA Group.  Following a positively received request made of the Cycling Time Trials Board for support, it was agreed that all monies received from entries fees (after payment of levies) were to be put into a central fund in an endeavour to make the series sustainable for future years. This happily can be reported as being successful with sufficient money deposited to commence negotiations with the circuit for the 2018 season.

The series, marketed as “Come & Try” events was targeted at families and cyclist who had not ridden time trials previously.  Advertising consisted, as last year, of posters being displayed in local cafes and cycle shops, as well as on a number of club web sites (including the CTT web site).  In addition, this year the events were advertised on several cycling orientated face book pages.  As a result, riders were drawn from across the North and North East of England, with ages ranging from 6 year all the way up to 80 years old. 

In the last event, when 84 riders took to the line, all set off at 30 second intervals, over 50% had not participated in a time trial.  16 of those taking part were under the age of 17 years old.  A number of the “new” riders in the series were from Triathlon clubs, who had not participated in a time trial and were keen that the series continue into 2018.  A number of the fast local time trialists also joined in the events with short 20 minute being recorded for the 5 lap 10 mile course. 

The atmosphere at each of the events was very social with tea and snacks provided to participants after each of the events.  Provision of promotional time trial material is to be addressed for next year’s events, so that those attending can leave with appropriate information to hopefully maintain their interest.  

In looking at the success of the series as a whole, a number of riders have since participated in type A events organised by local clubs, with one lady moving forward to riding the Cycling Time Trial National Closed Circuit Championship, receiving accreditation to ride the local velodrome (and also riding grass track meetings), as well as riding a number of club events.  From a person who accompanied her husband or kids to events, she is now a very keen and active participant. This is reflected in a number of instance, although not to the same degree.

Further information can be secured from the Teesside District Secretary, Gavin Russell on 01642 654419 or gavin_russell@hotmail.co.uk