Richard hits heights in penny farthing win

Richard Thoday''Photo by D Thorburn of
Richard Thoday''Photo by D Thorburn of

Thoresby Park in Nottinghamshire hosted a Cycling Festival at the weekend with a similar set-up to the successful Pennies in the Park event, held in Hall Leys Park in September.

There were many activities on throughout the weekend, with the a Fourth Category Road Race, Go Race, Paper Boy Races, Grass Track Races and the headline act, the Penny Farthing Race.

Having expended much energy in organising last year’s Pennies in the Park Event, Matlock Cycling Club’s Richard Thoday was able to actually ride his bike more in the run up to the Thoresby race, meaning he was hoping on improving on his third place finish from last year.

The 1.5-mile circuit proved difficult for many of the Penny riders with twisty technical areas and a sharp climb.

Thoday took full advantage after the first lap, opening up a significant lead over the chasing pack. Pre-race favourite and last year’s winner Dave Pree chased hard with two riders who have transferred over from unicycle racing, but they failed to bridge the gap leaving Thoday to raise his arms aloft crossing the finish line in first place.

Many Matlock Cycling Club members competed in the Thoresby Park Road Race, with some excellent placings in both the adult and junior races.

Carl Dyke was the highest placed senior rider, taking a superb 4th place overall after a sprint for the line.

Derek Hunter also managed a top-10 placing, coming home in 9th place overall.

In the junior races, Matlock Cycling Club were once again dominant with wins by Louis Swindell in the Boys Under 8’s, Harriet Limb in the Girls Under 8’s, Ellie Smith in the Girls Under 12’s, Sarah Lomas in the Girls Under 14’s and Will Gascoyne in the Boys Under 14’s.

Podium places were a plenty too, with Elizabeth Webster and Sarah Briggs second and third respectively in the Under 10 Girls category, whilst John Webster and George Swindell narrowly missed out – finishing in fourth places.

Sunday saw many of the same riders contesting the British Schools Cycling Association Road Race Championships at Darley Moor near Ashbourne.

The riders ride in the name of their schools, with many youngsters travelling from afar to take part.

Once again, Matlock Cycling Club members enjoyed considerable success.

They took wins in the Under 7 Boys with Louis Swindell (Lea Primary) and Under 7 Girls with Harriet Limb (Crich Infants).

Libby Smith (Wirksworth Junior) proved too strong for the rest of the field in the Under 9 Girls race beating Erin Staite in second spot whilst older sister Ellie Smith (Wirksworth Junior) took the top spot in the Under 11 Girls race, fending off club mate Amelie Wayte of Lea Primary into second.