Stephenson reaps rewards after superb season

AWARD WINNERS: Left to right, Andy Ayre, Allen Armstrong, Craig Stephenson, Neil Wallbank, Chris Barnard and Iain Beveridge.
AWARD WINNERS: Left to right, Andy Ayre, Allen Armstrong, Craig Stephenson, Neil Wallbank, Chris Barnard and Iain Beveridge.
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CRAIG Stephenson was the big winner as Sunderland Clarion held their annual presentation evening to celebrate a successful 2013 season.

Stephenson’s strong season saw the club dust off a number of trophies including the Best All Rounder, awarded for the rider with the fastest average speed in a number of time trials over a selection of given distances.

Craig won with a speed of 24.6mph. In achieving this, Craig also broke the club record for a 50 mile time trial, which had stood for 29 years, in a time of 1:54:02.

Alongside the Best All Rounder, Craig also won the David Craig Memorial Trophy as well as the David Rowley Memorial Trophy, where Craig got under the hour for 25 miles with a time of 57:22, enough to claim the 25-mile championship trophy also.

He also managed to secure the Kenneth Price Memorial Trophy for the fastest 10 mile time trial of the season, with a time of 22:05.

The final time trial trophy that he added to his collection was the Leamside 9-mile Time Trial series award, awarded to the club rider with the fastest time after four qualifying rides around the Leamside circuit.

Craig’s fastest time was 21:12.

Stephenson didn’t just dominate in the time trials, he also took victory in the Peter Foster Memorial Trophy, awarded to the fastest Clarion rider at the club’s own hill climb.

It wasn’t quite a clean sweep for Stephenson in the time trials, with the Dennis Pearsall Trophy, awarded for the best club rider performance at a nominated 25-mile time trial, going to Michael Sloanes, with Iain Beveridge taking second place.

Sloanes narrowly missed out on the road race trophy, with Neil Wallbank winning the trophy once again after a gap of 15 years, beating Sloanes by four points, with a total of 129.

Andy Ayre continued to show he’s a strong time trialist with wins in the Bill Fisher Memorial 10-mile time trial, recording a time of 23:20.

Andy also finished second in the Leamside series behind Stephenson.

Allen Armstrong was another experienced Clarion man to be rewarded for his performances.

He took home the Veterans Award for the best performance by a veteran in a 25 mile time trial, after two qualifying rides.

Allen also established a club record for the new distance of 15 miles, after competing in two events of that distance in the season.

Ingrid Shepherd picked up the Novice Award, awarded to a rider whose performances in the last season have impressed. Ingrid’s strong time trial performances in her first year saw her challenging the more established local women.

The club also recognised the riders who completed the annual reliability ride. This year’s ride was a hilly ride in the Yorkshire Dales from Richmond.

It was completed by Allan Smith, Peter Baggaley, Tony Dickinson, Charlie Monchâtre, Simon Wilkinson, Ingrid Shepherd, Ray Donkin, Craster Bryce, Matthew Davies, Alan Duffy, Steve Kerr, Cameron Wright and Chris Barnard.

Finally, the club awarded the man of the year to chairman Chris Barnard.

The Tommy Rowell Memorial was awarded to Chris for his chairing of the club, and his commitment to improve the riders with coaching sessions he has ran voluntarily.

The 2013 season saw the clubs membership grow up to over 100 members, and the club finish second in the British Cycling regional race standings.

H If you’re interested in joining Sunderland Clarion, more information can be found at www.sunderlandclarion.org.uk