The East London club for all kinds of sports cycling

20 members line up for Len Cooper

Twenty club cyclists, including new members, lined up for the start of the Len Cooper Memorial Circuit race on the 25th August. The race is a half-serious, half-friendly hour in the saddle, in memory of the much missed member.

Club chairman Ian Bailey led the first "gentleman's" lap - with no rider permitted to overtake him. But after that... Whoosh! Off went the category B riders (novices), chasing for the first prime lap (prime), with a prize of £5 for the fastest around lap five.

Category A riders (more experienced), had a more gentle start, over a quarter of a lap behind Category Bs. With the fear of the B group being just 50 yards behind them, they made an effort to keep the distance.

Armin Hersch, riding in the B group, thought about jumping the gap but was unable to do so. He did maintain his lead, and managed to collect the first prime.

Five laps later still saw Armin at the front, with the A group racing hard to catch up - and prevent him from picking up the second prime. No such luck, Armin scraped past the line with about 10 yards to spare.

Lap 15 was the last prime lap, producing some frantic racing. A group had well caught all the B riders, lapping some and leaving the fast racing members to do battle. Scarlett Parker used his recent road racing experience to nip out the front, grabbing the final prime while no one was looking.

Some 45 minutes, plus five laps, and the race was coming to an end. The chequered flag was out and so were the eyeballs of the riders heading for the line.

Trevor Whittock had the line in his sight and, with all his experience, had the race win in sight. But then newcomer Scarlett, the hill climber, took it from Trevor with about six inches to spare. One of the best and most closely fought Len Cooper Memorials we have seen.

A great evening was had by all. This being the first meeting at our new clubroom not only saw a superb race, but welcomed along members normally unable to get to club on a Monday.

Around 50 club members and families enjoyed the race, as well as teas and cakes ably supplied and served by Eileen, Gloria and Jill.

Mike, Frida and Lorraine did a sterling job in the box, keeping check on who had been lapped and who was winning.

Lets hope the future turnout on a Monday night is as good.

Full results, click here (PDF).

Report by Don Keen.