Stephenson bags Rowley Trophy

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CRAIG Stephenson claimed Sunderland Clarion’s David Rowley Memorial Trophy after finishing 12th in Ferryhill Wheelers’ open 25-mile time trial.

The trophy is awarded to the fastest Clarion member on the course, with only three members taking part this year.

Keith Murray (Strategic Lions) continued his domination of the North East time trial scene with an impressive winning time of 51min 28sec.

Stephenson (pictured, right) recorded 57.11, with Stephen Kerr the second Clarion rider home in 1hr 12min 50sec, while Allen Armstrong retired from the race before the finish.

The 76-year-old made up for it the following day by setting a North East Veteran record for his age group in the East Bradford CC 15-mile time trial, which he completed in 44.55.

Sunderland Clarion riders Neil Wallbank and Michael Sloanes, meanwhile, both secured top-10 finishes in Houghton CC’s Gateshead/SASMI Circuit Racing series at Nissan.

After an active race, where few attacks made an impact, a break, with two laps to go, by former Clarion racer Ian Taylor (Ciclocostablanca.com), could not be brought back by the bunch and saw Taylor (pictured, left) victorious.

The sprint finish saw Sloanes squeezed off the podium by Craig Anderson (Achieve-Skinnergate Racing) and Gosforth RC’s Alex Luhrs.

Wallbank came in just behind in sixth, ensuring a good day out for the Clarion pair. Sloanes admitted afterwards to feeling disappointed at narrowly missing out on a podium place.