Emergency services go against the clock in national cycle race

THE cream of sporting talent from the UK’s emergency services will be putting their physical skills to the test in a top national cycling event in Cleveland and North Yorkshire.

A total of 122 riders will be taking part in the Annual Emergency Services 10 and 25 Mile Individual Time Trial Championships which this year are being hosted by Cleveland Fire Brigade and will take place on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 June along the A19.

The competitors are coming from as far afield as Glasgow, London, Kent and Devon and are made up of both current and retired members of the Police, Fire and Airport Fire Services. Also taking part will be members of the Armed Forces and a number of sports cyclists from the local area.

There are two races, both of which will start and finish in Crathorne Village near Yarm, with each rider being released at timed intervals.

On Saturday, the 10 mile race will start at 2pm and follow a route south along the A19 to the Tontine restaurant and back.

On Sunday, the 25 mile race will start at 9am and head along the A19 to Knayton village and back.

The events will conclude at 11.30am on the Sunday morning when trophies and prizes will be presented to the winners in a ceremony at Yarm Fire Station on The Spital. Awards will be given for the best times in each race and the best overall time.

Event Secretary Jeff Crawford, who is a Stockton firefighter, said: “The races are very tough because you are cycling against the clock and you often have to battle against very strong headwinds along the A19.

“The championships are really exciting and challenging, but they are also important because they show the great camaraderie between the emergency services which makes it possible to organise such a high profile event.

“Sincere thanks go to Cleveland Fire Brigade for hosting the races this year and to all our sponsors for their very generous support.”

The event sponsors are: Michelin Tyres; Schwalbe Tyres; Continental Tyres; Bikefood; 9bars; SIS; Wheelbase; JE James Cycles; MucOff; Bike Scene of Guisborough; Halfords’ Hartlepool and Middlesbrough branches; MyTeam Giordana; Lusso; GLG Cycles of Thornaby and Middlesbrough-based Crystal Galleries, which has donated the trophies.

Guest of honour at the championships will be Stuart Walker, owner of Eaglescliffe-based Black Hawk Bikes, who has donated a £1,000 carbon fibre time trial cycle frame and forks which will be raffled at the event to raise money for The Firefighters’ Charity.

Last year’s event, which was hosted by Grampian Police in Aberdeen, saw Mike Piper of Kent Fire and Rescue Service clinch the overall combined title with a 21 minutes 39 seconds ride in the ten mile event followed by 54 minutes in the 25 mile run.

For more information visit www.britishfireservicecycling.co.uk

Ends.

Media note: Reporters and photographers are very welcome to cover the event, including the presentation of the trophies at Yarm Fire Station on the Sunday morning at 11.30am – Jeff Crawford can be contacted over the championships weekend on 07940 492267.