With the latest ease in Covid restrictions announced last week, it is likely that competitive cycling in the UK will make a restart on 30th March with time trials, and many Rossendale Road Club members will open their 2021 account at that time. But members have been busy looking at other aspects of cycling during the lockdowns.

It was clear throughout last year that many people have taken up, or returned to, cycling and the club wish to present a new image and are keen to welcome those into the club scene, for social or competition rides, both on and off road. In addition, the increase in event entries during last year meant the club were able to make a donation to Bleakholt Animal Sanctuary, their nominated charity for 2020. To match this added interest, he club have been preparing a programme for this year which will include mid-week and weekend rides for all levels of ability. The programme will include some demonstrations on basic repairs and maintenance and restart the informal cyclo-cross and off-road skills sessions which proved to be very popular last year. On the competitive side, a class will be introduced into the club’s time trial series for standard road bikes, for those who don’t a specific TT bike but would like to have a go at time trialling.

With several new members taking up coaching qualifications within British Cycling, this is a great time for anyone to join a local cycling club and see what’s on offer.

Early indications are promising for competitive cycling – cycling time trials will start after 29th March, with the valley club’s mid-week Harry Law series starting on Tuesday 4th May and the open Bolton by Bowland event on Saturday 8th May. Off road, there are cyclo-cross events planned for Saturdays 10th and 24th April at Broughton Hall near Skipton and a mountain bike race at Lee Quarry on Wednesday evening 16th June.

All the above, of course, depends on the easing of Covid restrictions for all. Full details will be available on the club’s website and via other social media communications.

Live in Hope Cyclocross Round 3

It was a case of Status Quo at the weekend for those Rossendale cyclists who took part in the 3rd round of this winter’s ‘Live in Hope’ cyclo-cross series at Broughton Hall, near Skipton, with most achieving similar placings as the previous rounds.

Organiser Dave Haygarth had made a couple of minor changes to the course from previous events, slightly shorter but still with plenty of challenging and varied technical features. Despite the recent heavy rains, the ground had stood up well, but as the day wore on the mud became heavier and mechanical issues affected many competitors.

In the first event, for U16 and U14 boys and girls, Helmshore’s Elsie Haygarth maintained her top ten record with a 5th placing in the U14 girl’s class, and ‘Turbo Tom’ Black matched his previous 16th place from the 25 starters in the U12 boy’s class.

The combined V50 and Women’s event was a cracker, with Andy Peace and Helmshore’s Dave Haygarth making a clean break from the field on the opening lap. Peace and Haygarth battled for the lead, with Haygarth using his skills on the technical sections to good effect, until Peace showed his fell running strength to eventually pull clear to take the win, with Haygarth in second, well clear of the chasing pack. Andrew Burgess of JMC Ramsbottom improved to 18th, and Carl Nelson worked his way up through the field to 24th. Richie Watts was the next local rider in 38th with Bryn Weale in a fine 41st in just his 2nd ‘cross’ race. Close behind was Mick Taylor in 42nd, Adrian Watts 46th and Graham Wright 48th, taking his 2nd V70 award of the series.

Several Vets took the opportunity to race in the younger Senior’s event, which was won by Jensen Young of the Saint Piran club. Young was the only rider in the whole event to fully ride the steep and treacherous climb out the ‘bomb hole’ and must surely be a name to watch on the national stage in the future. Ramsbottom’s V40 Lewis Craven rode to a fine 4th spot, only 3 seconds down on 3rd place Nick Craig, with another fell runner, Rob Jebb, in 6th. Matt Toman, along with 10 other riders in the last race, failed to finish with mechanical issues.

The final round in the series is scheduled for Saturday, 16th January, but is dependant on Covid restrictions.

Photos (courtesy of Ellen Isherwood):

Elsie Haygarth, still clean through the wooded section, in the Youths race.


The battle for 1st place in the V50 event, with eventual winner Andy Peace nosing in front of Dave Haygarth.


Richie Watts fighting to stay with V60 leader Ray Pugh, with Mick Taylor just behind.


The second round of the North West ‘Live in Hope’ cyclo-cross series took place on Saturday and plenty of Rossendale based riders took advantage of the relatively local venue at Broughton Hall to take part, with excellent results.

The course had been changed from the previous race, and now included a hardcore section through the woods. Although this proved to be a respite from the sodden fields, the sticky mud on the bikes picked up gravel from the hardcore, and many riders suffered with mechanical problems.

This didn’t affect the junior courses and Thomas Black took an excellent 16th place from the 25 starters in just his second race in the U12 event, with Elsie Haygarth of Helmshore punching well above her weight to take 7th in the U14 class.

Father, Dave Haygarth, had a race long battle with a following posse, pulling clear in the final stages to take a fine 2nd place in the V50 race, beaten only by 3 Peaks record holder, Andy Peace. Further down the field, Tony Bowler maintained his top 20 showing in 18th, with Carl Nelson 31st. Further Rossendale riders were closely grouped with Mick Taylor 39th, Barry Dovey 40th and Richie Watts 41st. There was then a gap to Adrian Watts in 48th and Bryn Weale 40th. Paul Warrener made progress from the back of the field when he lost use of his rear brake on the first lap, passing Graham Wright on the last lap, with Wright riding steadily despite a number of chain slippages to take the V70 award.

Kate Taylor also improved her position from previous, taking 10th in the Senior Women’s race.

In the V40 event, Phil Simcock of the Ramsbottom based JMC club took 10th with Iain Hazell running the majority of his last lap with his bike in 39th, having suffered a mechanical failure.

The final race of the day was the Senior Men’s event and, surprisingly, the falling rain helped the situation, washing the sticky mud off the bikes. Lewis Craven of Ramsbottom opted for this race, and finished in 9th, well down from his win in the first round, Matt Toman looked in good form in 36th. It was a baptism of fire for international junior fell runner Matt Mackay who finished in a creditable 39th in his first ever ‘cross’ race.

Next round is on Monday 28th December.

Photos: Ellen Isherwood

Graham Wright cresting the steepest section to take a fine V70 award

Dave Haygarth showing his class through the wooded section to take 2nd overall in the V50 race

Roadman’s Hill Climb

On Tuesday, Rossendale Road Club held their final evening event of the summer with the Traditional Roadman’s hill climb, 2.5 miles of maximum effort from Towneley Park to the top of Deerplay. The event suits riders with the maximum power/weight ratio and, true to form, it was the slight Isaac Peatfield of the Crimson Orientation team who took the win in a very quick time of 8:57 m. Second was Patrick Casey with Patrick Hickey, fresh from his excellent showing in the National 10 mile championship, best valley club member in 3rd place in 10:04. Mark Berry was close behind in 10:08 and Iain Hazell in 10:22.

It was a close run thing in the Ladies competition with Vanessa Hamlet pipping Kay Flanagan by just 5 seconds to take second place behind the winner, Gemma Sargent.


Leading lady, Gemma Sargent

James Eastwood putting in the effort

Patrick Hickey getting the better of Vanessa Hamlet

Combined Clubs 25 mile TT

In this shortened cycling time trial season, Rossendale Road Club continued to demonstrate their potential in what, hopefully, will be a full season of racing in 2021, at the North Lancs TT Association’s combined clubs event at Garstang on Sunday morning. An excellent field of 105 riders had entered the event, with the valley club down to the bare minimum of 3 riders, due to injuries and illness. And these 3 riders finished in a creditable 3rd position from the 12 qualifying club teams, just a minute behind Bury Clarion in 2nd, with Wigan Wheelers taking the win.

Leading the club was the excellent Patrick Hickey in second place overall, with a time of 55:16 min for the 25 mile circuit. Mark Berry also posted a top ten finish in 10th, with a time of 58:22, with Derek Schofield completing the line up in 51st overall in 1:05:11. Schofield seems to have a knack of dealing with local fauna on this rural circuit, being slowed by a deer on the road in last year’s event and stung by a wasp part way round his second lap this year!

There just a couple of time trials available to NW riders this year, before hill climbs and cyclo-cross events get fully under way, these also being run under Covid-19 restrictions.

Rossendale Road Club News – Racing

Rossendale Road Club members are still making the most of the limited race programme this summer with a trip into Cheshire on Saturday, to take part in the 25 mile cycling time trial on the popular circuit adjacent to Jodrell Bank. The event was organised by Manchester Bicycle Club and posted a full field of 60 of the best riders in the North of England. Despite the wet and windy conditions, there were some outstanding fast times posted with Alex Royle of the hosts Manchester BC taking the win in a time of 50:25 min.

Patrick Hickey was the first Rossendale member home, still impressing in his first full season of racing, in 4th position overall in 53:51. Mark Berry also finished well under the ‘hour’ in 11th with a time of 56:33. Both Hickey and Berry are relatively new to the sport and must be pushing for top honours when racing hopefully returns for a full season in 2021. Paul Warrener and Derek Schofield completed the valley club team in 33rd and 36th respectively.


Unfortunately, typical British summer weather of strong winds and torrential rain put paid to Tuesday night’s TT at Hapton. The club’s final midweek event is the Roadman’s Hill Climb from Towneley to Deerplay next Tuesday evening with sign-on from 6:30pm at the lay-by close to the old Ford quarry entrance and all are welcome to try and make the climb under the target 10 minutes.

Malcolm Eccles Trophy Round 1

This week saw the first leg of the annual inter-club time trials challenge between several of the top North West cycling clubs, held in memory of Malcolm Eccles, who was a long time member of Rossendale Road Club, and supporter of local cycling for many years. Held over two legs, the first on Tuesday evening was hosted by the valley club on the Hapton circuit and the warm and conditions resulted in some close and fast racing. Indeed, just 8 seconds covered the first 3 riders, with Francis Woodcock of Bury Clarion taking the honours in 22:23 for the 10 miles, Patrick Hickey of Rossendale 2nd in 22:30 and Andrew Bradbury of Paceline 3rd in 22:31. Mark Berry of Rossendale followed up with 4th spot in 23:40.

Steve Gregory was 10th in 24:40, with Roy Flanagan and Paul Warrener completing the Rossendale counters. Bury Clarion riders filled the intermediate placings with the final scores on the evening resulting in a lead for Rossendale with 158 points, Bury Clarion 2nd with 148, closely followed by Green Jersey of Clitheroe with 140. North Lancs lie in 4th, with East Lancs 5th.

The second leg of the Trophy was due to be run on the North Lancs Bashall Eaves circuit on Wednesday, and Rossendale will need to be on their guard to hold onto their slim advantage over the chasing groups.

New CTT Rear Light Regulation for Time Trials

Guidance Note No. 24 Date: January 2020

CTT Regulation 14(i) – Compulsory Use of Rear Red Light At the 2019 CTT National Council Annual General Meeting, a motion was proposed by South East DC for the compulsory use of a rear red light in all CTT events. That proposal was carried and is now included in CTT Regulations as a new regulation 14(i), as set out below:

14(i) No competitor shall be permitted to start either a Type A or Type B event unless such competitor has affixed to the rear of their machine a working rear red light, either flashing or constant, that is illuminated and in a position that is clearly visible to other road users. As such, the requirement for a rear red light to be used in CTT events is now compulsory. Organisers should be aware however that the requirement is that a competitor must not start the event unless such competitor is compliant with this regulation. It is not a matter of disqualification. NO WORKING REAR RED LIGHT – NO START. If the competitor’s light should fail during the course of the event, that is not a breach of the regulation and the time or distance recorded by that competitor is good and shall be valid for all purposes. The purpose of this guidance note is to provide assistance to event organisers, for both Type A and Type B events, as to how this new regulation should be dealt with in practice. Type A (Open) Events For many years all start sheets for CTT events have contained a note to say (or similar): It is recommended that a working rear light, either flashing or constant, is fitted to the machine in a position visible to following road users and is active whilst the machine is in use. This note should no longer be used. It is suggested that as this is a new regulation and so as to make competitors aware of this, that a note is included on the start sheet to say: All competitors – please be aware of CTT Regulation 14(i): No competitor shall be permitted to start either a Type A or Type B event unless such competitor has affixed to the rear of their machine a working rear red light, either flashing or constant, that is illuminated and in a position that is clearly visible to other road users. NO REAR LIGHT – NO RIDE. At the event itself, an official should be present at the start to ensure that all competitors do have affixed to their machine a working rear red light and that all competitors are compliant with the regulation. This could be an official whose role is purely for this purpose or alternatively it could be the official whose role it is to represent the club at the start of the event (as recommended in the Duties of Promoting Secretaries- A General Guide to the Promotion of an Event, as published in the CTT handbook. The timekeepers should not undertake this role. Type B (Club) Events The requirement for all competitors to comply with regulation 14(i) applies equally to club events as it does to open events. It is recognised however that at many club events, especially those designated as “Come & Try It” events, there could be newcomers or inexperienced riders who are unaware of the requirement for a rear red light and turn up in the hope of competing. It would be unfortunate if any such rider was turned away and not allowed to start. With this in mind, it is recommended that a club that promotes club events holds a stock of modestly priced rear red lights of a type that are easily affixed to the rider’s machine. Such lights are relatively inexpensive. Sophisticated lights aren’t really a necessity bearing in mind most club events are held over a short distance. If this is done, a light could be loaned to the rider, thus allowing such rider the opportunity of starting the event.

Rossendale Road Club meeting

Rossendale Road Club

Minutes of meeting, Tuesday 21st January 2020


Derek Schofield, Adrian Watts, Paul Warrener, Pauleen Schofield, Lisa Greenwood, Roy Flanagan, Tony Bowler, Linda Smith Felton, Damien Ludlow, Mark Berry, Patrick Hickey, Richie Watts,

  • Club Rides

Ongoing as noted on the website – training

  • MTB Event

AW advised the event is now planned for Saturday 4th or 11th July 2020.. Confirmation to follow.


Appeared all went well, as reported elsewhere, so a big thanks to all who supported the event.

AW reported a loss to the club of approximately £250, principally due to over generosity in prize money. A lesson to be learned for future?

  • Club Trophies

An old Whitworth Wheelers trophy has been found, last contested in 2002 for an East Lancs v RRC event. AW has passed on to TB for cleaning and discussion with East Lancs for possible event resurrection, late season. 

  • Club Kit

The main purpose of the re-arranged meeting was the presentation by Apex Custom Clothing of their new kit lines. An excellent evening with some good discussions with Wayne and Steven of Apex.

Main points were:

Similar quality to Champion

Lower prices of main garments

Individually ordering and payment

2/3 weeks delivery after closure of each order ‘window’

It was agreed to proceed with Apex.AW to forward club kit scheme to Apex. When approved by the club, then first order ‘window’ can be opened.

In the meantime, visit the Apex Custom Clothing website for the full range of garments and prices. 

  • Venue

There is a new landlord at The Jolly Sailor, and he made every effort to make the club welcome. Luke offered to provide some supper for the next meeting, if required. DS agreed to arrange. 

  • Rossendale Spoco

It was confirmed that Saturday, 22nd February is the date for the Bolton by Bowland event. Linda has confirmed the village hall is booked. PW will be looking for marshals etc.

Note: John Leach has offered to be pusher-off. Please can PW contact him to confirm?

Next meeting, provisionally 8pm at the Jolly Sailor, Tuesday 28th February 2020