A STRONG week of racing saw Sunderland Clarion riders pick up top 10 finishes at Prissick Cycle Circuit in Middlesbrough.
The highlight was Michael Sloanes and Iain Beveridge taking the top two steps of the podium in last Thursday’s third and fourth category race.
The victory came after a strong Clarion performance, with a number of riders taking their turn putting their faces into the wind at the front of the pack.
In the end, it appeared that Sloanes would lead out Beveridge perfectly for the victory as the pairing opened a gap up on the finishing straight in the sprint.
Instead, it was Sloanes who took the win, and with that the points to move up to the second category classification of rider.
Behind them, Tony Dickinson was the third Clarion rider in the top 10 with a strong finish in eighth place. Chris Barnard narrowly missed out, rolling home in 11th place.
In the later fourth category race, Matt France and Tony Gibson took to the start line for the second time that evening, joined by Neil Ferguson.
In a field of 10, all riders were guaranteed points, and Gibson was the strongest performer with a fifth-place finish. France finished ninth and Ferguson 10th after both had tried early moves.
Gibson must have felt a sense of déjà-vu on Sunday, when he finished fifth once again in the fourth category race.
He was once again joined in the field by Ferguson, as well as Charles Monchâtre, who finished in seventh place.
Meanwhile in the 3/4 race, Chris Barnard finally got off the mark with a 10th place finish – in what has been a long wait for points for the club’s Road Race Champion last year.
This year’s trophy looks set to go to Sloanes, who took to the start of the Elite, first, second and third category race for the first time as a second category rider.
He couldn’t build on Thursday’s performance, but finished well within the bunch.
There was one last bit of fun at Prissick on Sunday with the elimination race, with the last rider eliminated after each lap, making positioning and sprinting key.
Sloanes was among the final three riders who were left to battle it out with one last sprint, but he mistimed his sprint and came in third.
Even so, it was another great result to cap off a great weekend of racing for Sunderland Clarion, who currently sit third in the regional rankings.