Slick Sloanes gets Clarion off the mark

Michael Sloanes.
Michael Sloanes.
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SUNDERLAND Clarion riders have been busy starting the 2013 season, in the hope of beating last year’s strong showing on the regional calendar.

February saw a focus on racing, at Croft racing circuit, with the Velo29 winter series, with round one and three falling foul of the weather.

Round two saw Michael Sloanes grab the Clarion’s first points of the season with an eighth place in the E/1/2/3/4 race.

He finsihed behind a strong podium of victor Jack Rees (Achieve – Skinnergate Racing), Harry Tanfield (Herbalife – Leisure Lakes Bikes) and Matthew Williams (Team Hope Factory Racing).

This weekend saw round four, with a number of Clarion riders taking to the start line hoping to grab yet more points.

As it was, it was Carl Donaldson (GS Metro) who took the victory as a small group of riders stayed away from the pack to contest the victory.

Donaldson beat Ian Christie (Columba) and Rob Shields (Gosforth RC) to the line.

Sunday saw racing at Hetton Lyons Country Park, with round one of the Highfield Kitchens Spring Shield.

The Clarion had starters in all of the senior races.

It was a solid day of racing with some strong performances, as Charles Monchâtre sprinted to a strong sixth place in the fourth category only race.

The eventual winner was Ian Hesler (Ferryhill Wheelers), ahead of Frank Montague (TS Racing Team – Vankru) and James Moohan (Ashburn Wealth).

In the third and fourth category race, Neil Wallbank made a return to road racing after a lengthy absence, and his return saw him grab a fifth place in the sprint, for the lower rankings.

A four-man break formed the winning move of the day, despite the best efforts of the peloton, including some strong work from the Clarion’s Tony Dickinson, with Daniel Bryant (Durham University) taking the victory from John Cann (Blumilk.com) and his team-mate Andrew Miles.

All in all it was a strong showing for Clarion riders, starting their season with racing continuing with round two of the Highfield Kitchens Spring Shield at Prissick on Saturday.

The club will be hoping for some strong results to attract potential sponsors before the first open road race of the season, the Wansbeck Australian Pursuit, on Sunday, March, 17.