PRESS RELEASE NO4 (29/8/2016)

Andrew Leveton of VC St Raphael is this year’s National 400m Grass-Track Champion. He emphatically won a thrilling final from Martin Smith (Chesterfield Couriers) and club-mate Rowan Elliott, held at the Mildenhall Cycling & Fun Day in West Row, Suffolk.

He was presented with his National Champions Jersey and Gold medal by Councillor Carol Lynch, chairman of Forest Heath District Council who have been very supportive of the organisers of the Fun Day, Mildenhall Cycling Club.

The 22-year old from Hertfordshire, still smarting from a bad fall whilst racing in Reading last month, said afterwards “I was delighted with that win as it now means I’ve won both the National 400m and 800m Titles for three consecutive years!”

Organiser of the grass-track racing and father of ex-Olympic and World Champion Victoria Pendleton, Max, added, “This event whilst held on a materially different surface from a velodrome requires just the same explosive effort to win it, but with a whole additional skill set requirement to deal with the lack of traction when cornering at some 30mph on a grass surface.”

The Mildenhall Cycling & Fun Day replaced the nationally acclaimed Mildenhall Cycling Rally and was being held for the first time at the Village Hall complex in West Row, with no other suitable venue available locally. “The Rally was known throughout the UK’s cycling community as one of the best all-round cycling weekends that appealed to cyclists of all ages and especially families. The one-day event was purely an interim measure allowing us to fully test the facilities at the new venue before we return to a three-day festival in 2017” said Mark Burchett the Chairman of Mildenhall Cycling Club.

“Now we’ve had that one-day I’m delighted to say that everything went very well with the new venue passing with flying colours. Not only that but all the feedback we have had already has been very supportive. Work will now begin in earnest to ensure that everything will be ready for a three-day event over the August Bank-Holiday weekend next year,” explained Mr Burchett.

“One of the most pleasing aspects was that as well local visitors, the number of regulars that we saw who had come to support us, despite living outside the Eastern region, with some coming as far as Yorkshire“, he added.

There were many taking up the suggestion of the organisers of staying at the local campsites, The Willows and The Nook in West Row to still make a weekend of it and attend the Fun Day on the Sunday. This really does underline the appeal of the event and shows how far they are willing to travel for it.

Despite the reduction to one day this year, the senior grass-track racing attracted well over thirty riders. Apart from the blue ribbon event, the National 400m Championship, other winners of note were in the Ladies Omnium where the honours went to Lauren Higham from Welwyn Wheelers (the same Club that Emma and Laura Trott OBE were members of as they were growing up) ahead of Matilda Gurney (EM Velocita) and Sherilyn Powell (Chelmer CC).

Included in the meeting was the final round of the National Endurance League Series, although unfortunately just before the start, rain had begun to fall.  It was won with an exhibition of power and smoothness by Dave Mitchinson (CC Ashwell).  Mitchinson lapped the majority of the field and fortunately missed a crash in the bunch on the final of the 20 laps, where five riders slid off on the penultimate bend.

In the morning, there was also over thirty under 16’s taking part in the Juveniles racing, including eight who were under the age of 8!  There were some very promising rides from some very skilled riders, which bodes well for the future of the sport. The host Club were represented in the Boys Under 14 age group by Joslin Carter, who lives in Ely and finished sixth.

The awards for the youth riders were presented by ex-Tour De France rider (on no less than 6 occasions) in the 1960’s, Vin Denson.

In the one-lap race for children on freewheel bikes 7-year-old Lewis Brett from nearby Red Lodge was third. His prize and those to Isaac Smith & Joseph Cook, the winner and runner-up respectively, were also presented by Councillor Carol Lynch who was impressed by the terrific racing from everyone.

The organisers tried to retain as many of the familiar features of the Rally as they could and one of those was the Quiz Night, which was held Saturday evening. Local resident and long-time member of the Mildenhall Club Dave Sennitt was as ever the quizmaster presiding over the evenings fun, including Helen Gower representing Sainsbury’s in Mildenhall, who had sponsored the event.

Another of the Rally favourites were the Audax Touring Rides, which was well supported with over ninety riders taking part. They rode over varying distances of 57, 100, 160 or 200km, which were all organised by C.T.C. (Cyclists Touring Club) Suffolk.

During Sunday, there was a continual queue of children for the Bouncy Castle and Face Painter, until a rain shower at the end of the afternoon brought their fun to an abrupt halt!

There was also a lot of interest in the Watt Bike 250m Challenge. Suffolk Sport in conjunction with Abbeycroft Leisure had the Watt Bikes available for visitors young and old seeing how fast they could pedal 250m. The Watt Bike was developed in conjunction with British Cycling as a development aid for the elite Olympic-Programme riders.

Again despite it being only a one-day event, there were quite a few of the regular traders from the Rally’s Trade Show on site, who were kept busy throughout the day. Alongside these, there was also an all-day Cycle Jumble.

Having successfully passed the test of holding a one-day event, the picturesque West Row Village Hall complex and grounds will be the host for the event in 2017, which will be re-launched as the Mildenhall Cycling Festival. The Club plan to reveal more details of revamped festival in the New Year.

All of the results together with pictures can be found at www.mildenhallrally.org.uk

ENDS.

NOTES FOR EDITORS.

  • If you want to use the event logo, please contact Mark Burchett for a high-resolution version.

PRESS RELEASE NO3 (21/8/2016)

West Row is gearing itself up for an influx of cyclists over the August Bank Holiday weekend, with the Mildenhall Cycling & Fun Day taking place on Sunday.

This event replaces the Mildenhall Cycling Rally and is being held at the picturesque venue that surrounds the West Row Village Hall complex. “The Rally was known throughout the UK’s cycling community as one of the best all-round cycling weekends that appealed to cyclists of all ages and especially families. The one-day event is purely an interim measure allowing us to fully test the facilities at the new venue before we return to a three-day festival in 2017” said Mark Burchett the Chairman of the organisers, Mildenhall Cycling Club.

The organisers have worked with local campsites to encourage cyclists to still visit the area for the whole of the bank-holiday weekend, so that they can still enjoy the Cycling & Fun Day as well as take in rides in the local area.

As a prelude to the Cycling & Fun Day, one of the other popular events from the Rally, the Quiz Night is being held the evening before with regular quiz-master Dave Sennitt, who is from West Row, controlling the proceedings. This is as much for local people as it is for the visitors to the area with them making up teams of up to six participants who can either enter in advance, or subject to availability, enter on the evening.

The grass-track forms the centrepiece of the one-day event, with a full days racing planned from 10am. Such is the interest from juvenile riders (under 16) that the morning’s programme is devoted solely to them, with the Seniors, racing in the afternoon.

The highlight on the track has got to be the British Cycling National 400m Championship, with the winner expected to come from reigning 400m and 800m Champion Andrew Leveton (VC St Raphael) or current National 8km Champion John McClelland (Bush Healthcare). They are likely to be put under severe competition from Junior riders Mitch Powell (Team Terminator) who took the 2015 National 8km title and Tom Roper (Beacon Wheelers) who is the leading rider in this year’s National Short Distance League.  

The presentation of the National 400m medals will be made by the Chairman of Forest Heath District Council, Cllr Carol Lynch at approximately 3.30pm.  That is also the time that the one-lap race on the grass-track for local children takes place. All they need is their bike and a helmet to get a ride and it is free to enter. They will also get the opportunity to race at a track meeting that in the past has seen the likes of ex-World and Olympic champion Victoria Pendleton CBE and current World & Olympic Champion Laura Trott OBE, race at when they were growing up!

To see how close young and old riders can get to the superstars in terms of speed visitors can take up the Watt Bike 250metres Challenge. Suffolk Sport in conjunction with Abbeycroft Leisure will have the Watt Bikes available all day to see how fast you can pedal 250m in. The Watt Bike was developed in conjunction with British Cycling as a development aid for the elite Olympic programme cyclists

There will be some of the regular traders from the Rally’s Trade Show on site. This is a unique opportunity for the cyclists attending the event who already know the advantages of the Trade Show, as well as local people to see a variety of companies selling a range of cycling clothing and accessories often at bargain prices, all on their doorstep!  Alongside these there will also be an all-day Cycle Jumble, with spaces still available.

Even before the outstanding success of Team GB in the cycling at the Rio Olympic Games there has been a growing interest and participation in cycling. One of the pleasing aspects of that is the upsurge in women riding and to cater for this Mildenhall Cycling Club are offering a Ladies Led-Ride starting from the site at 10am.
This will be a social ride, just for the ladies and is most definitely not a race! The pace will be around 12mph making it comfortable and probably no more than 30 miles in distance, including a cafe stop.

On the touring front, C.T.C. (Cyclists Touring Club) Suffolk will be organising 57, 100, 160 & 200km Audax Rides. For those that want something more relaxing, Mildenhall Cycling Club will have their range of touring leaflets available, offering a variety of scenery over varying distances.

The event is an ideal day-out for families, whether you are from a cycling background or not. From 2pm onwards there will be the Children’s Sports, while throughout the afternoon there will be a mega bouncy castle and face painter. All of these attractions for the children are completely free of charge.

Entry to the Cycling & Fun Day is just £2 for adults and £1 for children, which includes free day parking.

If you want to watch a potential future International or Olympic cycling Champion there’s no better place than the Mildenhall Cycling & Fun Day. It can boast among its many thousands of competitors over the years such impressive stars as Nicole Cook MBE, Ben Swift, Jason Kenny OBE, Steve Burke MBE, Emma and Laura Trott OBE and of course Victoria Pendleton CBE, who was a member of the Mildenhall club when she was growing up. It is at grass-tracks like this where these young riders cut their teeth and the skills they learnt have then stood them in good stead on the top international stages around the world.

All the details of everything happening at the Cycling & Fun Day can be found at www.mildenhallrally.org.uk

ENDS.

NOTES FOR EDITORS.

  • If you want to use the event logo, please contact Mark Burchett for a high-resolution version.

PRESS RELEASE NO2 (29/3/2016)

Mildenhall Cycling Club has released more details about this year’s version of their annual cycling festival.

They have confirmed the line-up of events will now also include a retro-disco on the preceding evening. It will be hosted by Dave Allen, who in the 70’s and 80’s was well known locally a DJ.

Having received a very enthusiastic response from the cycle-trade, the Mildenhall Club have confirmed that there will be a Trade Show lining the back straight of the grass-track, which will add to the atmosphere.

The Mildenhall Cycling & Fun Day, which replaces the Mildenhall Cycling Rally in 2016, will take place on Sunday 28th August 2016 at the picturesque venue that surrounds the West Row Village Hall complex.

Although for this year, they are not able to offer camping facilities, for those still wanting to visit Suffolk for the August Bank Holiday weekend the Mildenhall Club are working with both of the well-established campsites in West Row. This will allow them to still take part in or visit the one-day event and explore the local countryside of Cambridgeshire, Norfolk as well as Suffolk.

“The details of The Nook and The Willow campsites are on our website, although for some of our regular visitors they will already be very familiar with these sites as they have been using them as their base when visiting Mildenhall for the three-day Rally“, explained Mark Burchett Chairman of the organising club.

“One of the many advantages of the West Row site is that it has a venue capable of holding evening entertainment. By staging the Disco this year, which will be open to local residents as well as visitors for the Cycling & Fun Day, allows us to test it fully in readiness for the following year when the event will be relaunched around its more familiar three-day line-up. 

“It also means we will once again have an indoor area for use during the day for the serving of meals and refreshments,” he added.

Events that are already confirmed making up the programme are grass-track racing, the Audax touring events, all-day Cycle Jumble, Ladies Led-Ride, Children’s Sports, Face Painter, Charity Stalls and come-and-try Cycle Polo sessions, with more to be confirmed. Refreshments and snacks will be served in the Village Hall.

Headlining the grass-track racing will be the British Cycling National 400m Championships, which is still expected to attract the country’s top grass riders. The track programme will also include the final round of British Cycling’s Endurance league.

The Audax events will be organised by C.T.C. (Cyclists Touring Club) Suffolk who will be offering 50, 100, 160 and 200km rides. For those that want something more relaxing, Mildenhall Cycling Club will have their range of touring routes, offering a variety of scenery over varying distances.

The new venue in West Row is just over two miles from the old site, when using the bridleway that Suffolk County Council tarmacked last year, making it a very safe route in to Mildenhall.

More details will be available about the Mildenhall Cycling & Fun Day on www.mildenhallrally.org.uk

ENDS.

NOTES FOR EDITORS.

  • If you want to use the event logo, please contact Mark Burchett for a high-resolution version.

PRESS RELEASE NO1 (29/3/2016)

Mildenhall Cycling Club has announced that their much-acclaimed Mildenhall Cycling Rally will undergo a major change this year.

Due to circumstances beyond their control, they have not been able to secure a suitable venue in time for this year's event. Instead, to ensure the continuity of the event, they will be holding a one-day event using the facilities at West Row Village Hall.

The Mildenhall Cycling & Fun Day will take place on Sunday 28th August 2016, returning to the three-day format in 2017. The new venue in West Row is just over two miles from the old site, when using the bridleway that Suffolk County Council tarmacked last year, making it a very safe route in to Mildenhall.

On revealing this news, the Club’s Chairman Mark Burchett said, “This is clearly a blow to everyone involved, but I can honestly say that everything that could be done was done in the search for a suitable venue.

We’ve had a limited amount of time to agree the format of this year’s event and very much hope our regulars will continue to support the event.” he added.

Events that are already confirmed making up the programme are grass-track racing, the Audax touring events, all-day Cycle Jumble, Ladies Led-Ride, Children’s Sports, Face Painter, Charity Stalls and come-and-try Cycle Polo sessions, with more to be confirmed. Refreshments and snacks will be served in the Village Hall.

Headlining the grass-track racing will be the British Cycling National 400m Championships, which is expected to attract the country’s top grass riders, including the current holder of the title, Andrew Leveton (VC St Raphael). The track programme will also include the final round of British Cycling’s Endurance league.

The Audax events will be organised by C.T.C. (Cyclists Touring Club) Suffolk who will be offering 50, 100, 160 and 200km rides. For those that want something more relaxing, Mildenhall Cycling Club will have their range of touring routes, offering a variety of scenery over varying distances.

The club have been impressed with the trustees of the Village Hall in their discussions about the use of their facilities, which has made the transition to a new venue, much easier.

"By holding a one-day event this year will allow us to fully test the facilities and working with the trustees, iron out any issues in plenty of time for next year's event which will revert back to its traditional three-days over the August Bank Holiday weekend. Our aim is to come back bigger & better in 2017” explained Mr Burchett.

The Club are in discussions with the traders about attending the one-day event this year. For those that had requested details of this year’s event and in particular the camping, have already been contacted as they will be guaranteed to receive the details for the 2017 event when they are available.

More details will be available about the Mildenhall Cycling & Fun Day on www.mildenhallrally.org.uk

ENDS.

NOTES FOR EDITORS.

  • If you want to use the event logo, please contact Mark Burchett for a high-resolution version.

PRESS RELEASE NO4 (1/9/2015)


Torrential rain on Bank Holiday Monday brought this year’s Mildenhall Cycling Rally to a premature end!

Organisers of the Rally, Mildenhall Cycling Club, reluctantly took the very difficult decision at lunchtime, as with many of the hundreds of campers having already left or about to leave early, there was no point in prolonging the agony for the traders, caterers, visitors and riders of getting any wetter.

Mark Burchett, Chairman of the Mildenhall Club said, “After the months of planning and hard work by the Rally organising committee and then the time put in by members over the weekend, it is so disappointing and frustrating that it ends like this. There is nothing that we can do about the weather, but this is now the second year running that the last day has been curtailed by unseasonal wet weather.”

Although, the Cyclo-Cross events on the Monday morning did go ahead as planned in what were typical conditions that the riders would expect to encounter in the middle of the winter. Afterwards Sherilyn Powell (Team Terminator) who finished fifth with her brother and club-mate Mitch in the Madison said enthusiastically to the organiser of the ‘Cross events, Mandy Burchett, “I really enjoyed that!”

In addition, amazingly 19 riders signed on to race on the very heavy and rain soaked grass-track in the afternoon. Max Pendleton, organiser of the grass track racing, duly obliged with a revised shortened programme events over longer distances to avoid potential accidents in the sprint races.

It was a completely different picture for the first two days of the Rally, with what rain that did fall doing so overnight, meaning the many events and activities went ahead as scheduled. The main camping field was full of caravans, motorhomes and tents of all shapes and sizes on the Saturday, a day that had begun at 5am when a hardy group of cyclists started the 300km Rally Roving Audax ride. Many more followed in their tyre tracks leaving the Sheldrick Way site of Mildenhall College Academy to cover 200km, 100km or 50km routes throughout Suffolk and the surrounding counties of Norfolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire. The last of the ‘300’ riders finished late in to the night! Audax’s are timed touring routes with checkpoints that you need to reach before a cut-off time.

The grass-track racing on Saturday afternoon was proof of the upsurge in the interest in cycling with 73 Under 16 year olds competing in the five age groups, with many split into boys and girls due to the numbers. The youngest were just 7 & 8 year olds, who showed great composure on fixed wheel bikes that would put many older and experienced riders to shame.

The highlight of the grass-track programme on the Sunday was the British Cycling National 8km Championship. It was a race that was very unpredictable to the end with no riders, as so often happens over this distance, making a breakaway and came down to Mitch Powell (Team Terminator) to cross the line first ahead of Grant Martin. Of the pre-race favourites, only Martin Smith (Chesterfield Couriers) got among the medals to claim the Bronze. Later in the afternoon, the Derbyshire rider was brought down just after the sprint for the finish line and was taken to Accident & Emergency at West Suffolk Hospital for precautionary checks, but was declared fit and was back at the Rally site to enjoy breakfast in the Food Marquee the following morning.

Before the track racing began family and friends flocked to trackside to watch the Children’s Duathlon, where a full field of 75 under seventeen year olds ran and cycled varying distances according to their age grouping. William Holland-Leader (NunSigma Sport – London RT) was the first across the line in the 3-5 year old age group, as was Jack Bowser (Spalding CC) was in the 6-8 year olds race.

Before the track racing began family and friends flocked to trackside to watch the Children’s Duathlon, where a full field of 75 under seventeen year olds ran and cycled varying distances according to their age grouping. William Holland-Leader (NunSigma Sport – London RT) was the first across the line in the 3-5 year old age group, as was Jack Bowser (Spalding CC) was in the 6-8 year olds race.

In the 9-10 year old age category, Harley Gregory (West Suffolk Wheelers & Tri Club) beat local rival Will Morrison (Colchester Rovers), with Mildenhall’s James Carrington finishing in 8th place.

The hosts were well represented in the 11-12 year old age group With Francis Robb (10th), Joslin Carter who has only recently moved to Ely from London (11th), Colin Mantle (14th) and Oliver (18th). It was won by Bryn Richards (Bourne Wheelers) with his club-mate, Emily Richards, the first girl.

Aaron Freeman (Chelmer CC) won the 13-16 year old age group, with Mildenhall’s Alex Robb in 8th place.

In the rain soaked Madison, brothers George and Henry Thompson (Sleaford Wheelers) beat regular competitors in the Rally Madison, father and son team of Kevin Payton (Stourbridge CC) and Tom (Islabikes), while it was another family affair in third with Jake and Kevin Darragh from Maldon & District CC.

For the host club, Ryan Skeats was joined by his neighbour Daniel Sutton who was racing in his first competitive event to finish a very respectable seventh, ahead of older and more experienced club-members! In ninth were David Robb and Zak Towler, 12th was Matt Cook partnering Chris Ife (Chelmer CC) and in 13th place was Matthew Mantle, paired with Selby CC’s Carolyn Bell, which brought a mock protest from his wife Diane, officiating at the finish line!

Brothers-in-law Richard Carrington and Paul Pearson were sixteenth while Paul Flack rode with his nephew to finish in 22nd place.

Will Raymond (Welwyn Wheelers) was a deserved winner in the Under 16’s Cyclo-Cross ahead of another experienced juvenile rider Matty Egglestone from Penrith based Beacon Wheelers. Mildenhall CC was well represented with Colin Mantle finishing 13th, Millie Flack 15th and her sister Aimee immediately behind her.

In the Under 12’s race, Scott Fisher from South lakes club Furness Future Flyers edged out Oliver Griggs and Jack Emerson from local Clubs (West Suffolk Wheelers & Tri Club and Colchester Rovers respectively. Joslin Carter who like his brother has only just joined the Mildenhall Club finished in a very respectable 10th position.

Seven-year-old Finley Bracewell (CC Ashwell) beat Evander Wishart (Fenland Clarion) in the Under 9’s section.

Over the three days hundreds of cyclists daily took advantage of a different area to explore, either using the Touring Sheets produced and sold by the organisers, or following their own routes or destinations.

As ever, it was very difficult to find any spaces in the local accommodation or the restaurants & cafes, which were kept busy throughout the weekend. In 2012, a survey by Mildenhall Cycling Club and Forest Heath District Council calculated that financial benefit to local business was a quarter of a million pounds.

Mark Burchett added, “I would sincerely like to thank everyone associated with the Rally for their help and support, without which it just would not be possible to stage this nationally recognised event.”

For a full results round-up go to www.mildenhallrally.org.uk

NOTES FOR EDITORS.

  • PLEASE DO NOT PUBLISH ANY PHONE NUMBERS. The website has an email address they can write to which gets checked daily, but unfortunately as we are all volunteers, we cannot deal with the volume of phone enquiries from the public that the Rally generates. Thank you for your co-operation.
  • If you want to use the Rally logo, please contact Mark Burchett for a high-resolution version.
  • For more details from Forest Heath District Council or the Economic Impact Survey, please contact Julie White 01638 719728, or Marianne Hulland 01284 757034.

 
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