CYCLING: News from Mick Ives’ racing team

Jack O'Neill receiving his award from the event organiser
Jack O'Neill receiving his award from the event organiser

Fourth for Hackley in Baines

Mick Ives’ elite cycle race team got off to a flying start in the first local road event of 2017.

Team Jewson-MI Racing-Polypipe-McCann have secured the services of the leading racing cyclist in the area, Coventry’s Jack O’Neill.

Jack is one of the fastest time trialists rides in the UK, with an 18-minute 10 mile time to his credit, as well as being a brilliant Hill Climber and

Road man.

The first local time trial of the season was the very tough 23-mile hilly Banbury Star event, which included the tricky descent of Sunrising Hill in

wet conditions, between Banbury and Stratford, and then having to retrace from Ettington, back up the very steep climb of Sunrising Hill again, which reduced many riders to walking pace.

Jack was “on fire” riding for the first time in his new team colours, fighting a near gale-force wind and battling against periods of rain, in what can only be described as very tough conditions. With many non-starters in the event, he justified his Scratch position by starting at the rear of

the field, blasting round in a time of 51 mins 38 secs to break the course and event record by four seconds, when many of his rivals went back as much as three minutes on their best times for the course.

Team Boss Mick Ives, who was out there cheering his young rider on, said: “I was amazed at the speed Jack climbed Sunrising Hill on the return leg, unbelievable, and over the top he recorded speeds of over 40 miles per hour. “He must surly have a great future in the sport and my team and myself will give him every support we can. Other team members are already boosted by his presence.

“One of Jack’s big targets will be the Classic Beacon mountain bike, a 38-mile time trial held near Worcester in April, containing many tough climbs, which will suit him. I remember well my victory in the event when it was a distance of 62 1/2 miles and included climbs such as Clee Hill, breaking

the course and event record in the process. It is still a Classic event, and has been won by Kenilworth’s Matt Clinton in the past.”

PICTURED: Coventry’s Jack O’Neill receiving his award from the event organiser.

More success for Team MI Racing has come abroad. LVRC National Champion John French won the team’s first continental race of the season, with Victory in a road race , near Seville in Spain. The only foreign rider in the race, John had to fight off tough local opposition. The course included several sections of rough cobbles, similar to those often experienced in Belgium.

Nearer to home, Dunchurch-based rider Martin Hackley, finished fourth in the Baines road race in Northamptonshire, the first event of the LVRC Road Racing season, held in very wet and windy conditions. Hackley was in the thick of the action from the start, breaking clear with several other riders on the first lap.

After two laps, two riders jumped clear and the rest of the early break were caught by the main field, but shortly afterwards Hackley and four other

riders broke away again, but were unable to catch the two leaders, Hackley finishing second in the sprint finish and fourth in the race.