SUCCESSFUL YEAR FOR ISLAND’S TOP CYCLING TEAM

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Russell Thomson in Gotland

It has been a busy year for the Isle of Wight’s top cycling team, which welcomed Wight Mountain on board as a sponsor and accepted continued support from Wightlink.

For 2017 the Wightlink Wight Mountain Cycle Race Team participated in a wide range of cycle disciplines including Road Race; Road Circuit; Time Trial; Track, Mountain Bike Cross Country; Mountain Bike Endurance and X-Terra Off-Road Triathlon.

The highlight and focus for many of the team was the International NatWest Island Games held in Gotland. Team riders Adam Holleyman, Russell Thomson, Ian Hayden, Stu Waite and Joe Staunton went over to proudly represent the Isle of Wight. Ian Hayden produced a personal best Time Trial against a tough international field to achieve a top 20 result, whilst in the 80 mile road race teamwork from Joe Staunton and Ian Hayden allowed Stu Waite to win the sprint of their finishing group – a result the whole team were proud of.

Back in the UK, highlights included Matt Allsopp winning the final round of the Omega Evening Circuits at Portsmouth Mountbatten race track against some Elite riders, securing him 2nd overall in the summer-long series. Heading further afield to North Wales, Adam Holleyman had his best result of the year finishing 1st in the Howies Dyfi Off-road endurance race, beating 1000 participants in a 2 hour race over the Welsh mountains.

Back into Europe and Ben Johnson’s best result came from the X-terra off-road Triathlon in France finishing 40th against an international field of 450 athletes.

All of the team enjoyed success at various points throughout the season…

• Joe Staunton impressed after his move from Triathlon to Road Racing, working his way up into 3rd category after only 2 races at Thruxton circuit.

• Stu Waite had a great run of results in the build up to the Island Games whilst Ian Hayden continued his great form following the Games, both riders earning promotion up into the 2nd category.

• It was a steep learning curve for Russell Thomson riding in 3rd Category for the 1st time this year, managing to pull off a 2nd place at Portsmouth Mountbatten race track after a few top 10’s earlier in the season.

• Dave Cooper, James Ebdon, and Kev Foster all also enjoyed top 10 results at road cycling events. At one of the last races of the year, Adam Holleyman was in need of some points to maintain his 2nd cat license. The riders came together and put in a strong team performance controlling the race and setting up Adam for the sprint finish to claim the much needed points.

Moving on to 2018, Wightlink Wight Mountain Cycle Race Team welcome Andy Ward and James Pett who will further strengthen the team. All riders will be looking forward to the camaraderie of racing as a team and promoting the sport they are passionate about. Goals for the team include representing the Isle of Wight at a variety of cycle disciplines, aiming for promotion to the 1st Road Race category, various regional and national championships and supporting local events.

Matt Allsopp at Goodwood

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