Solihull Cycling Club

Podium finishes for Saunders pair at National Cyclo Cross Championships

THERE were two podium finishes for two Solihull Cycling Club youngsters at the British Schools Cycling Association (BSCA) National Cyclo Cross Championships on Sunday.

Holly Saunders and brother Max handled the warm but overcast conditions well in Redditch, with Holly finishing third in the Under-9s event and Max came runner-up in the Under-11 category.

It was a long and technical course with 90 per cent of over undulating grass with lots of off-camber switch-backs and a couple of big climbs thrown in.

After a positive start, Holly got herself well placed as the second highest girl and she soon settled into a good pace, managing to keep her concentration as the grass started to cut-up and the off-camber turns became increasingly slippery.

There had been a bit of a pile up on the start line which had caused a few of the strongest riders to get caught up at the back of the field.

It was inevitable that the Solihull rider would get caught however Holly still managed to hold out for an impressive third place.

Brother Max had produced a solid display at the West Midlands Cyclo Cross League and he started on the front row at the start line.

Like his sister, Maz got off to a good start and was nicely tucked into a trio of riders who darted away from the field.

After a clean first lap and with Max looking calm in the small group, he decided to make a break and accelerated away into the lead.

However, with a nice gap opening back to second place, his initial breakaway came to nothing when he hit a course marker and was thrown off his bike.

Max was then passed by the second and third-placed riders and forced to chase he managed to overtake one on the last lap to take second spot.

Solihull Cycling Club start their summer sessions for young riders on April 3 at Tudor Grange. If you are aged between 6 and 16 and would like to give cycling a go email

Youngster Jack Rootkin takes third spot in Stourport

Jack Rootkin demonstrated his talent after taking third place at the West Midlands Circuit Race on Saturday.

The Solihull Cycling Club rider was one of 13 young riders from the club that made their way up to Stourport for the first round of the West Midlands Youth Circuit Series.

There are seven rounds in total, with Solihull’s race taking place at Tudor Grange on July 15, which is also the end of the series.

The day started with races for U8s, U10s, U12s, U14s, U16s and Juniors (U18s) but it was the penultimate race of the day in the U16 race where Solihull achieved their best result.

Jack Rootkin-Gray, who has recently been selected as a GB Cycling Team Olympic Development Apprentice, beat several riders in a bunch sprint to finish third. The race set off at high speed, with the pace being forced early on, leading to a split of three riders, who gained a small lead.

The leading two riders worked well together and held the gap to the chasing group which had now reduced to about ten riders due to the high pace. Jack, a Solihull School pupil, unleashed a Mark Cavendish like sprint to take the remaining podium place.

In the Under-9s category Teddy Wright finished ninth and Matthew Hitchmough was tenth, while Sam Brownsword came 12th in the U10s group.

Solihull had four riders in the U12 category with Max Saunders coming 12th, Conor Jones was 14th, Oliver Tandy was 23rd and Joshua Pearson came 32nd.

The next race in the series takes place this Sunday at Shrewsbury Sports Village.


Some of the borough’s most talented pedal powered athletes were celebrated last weekend at Solihull Cycling Club’s annual awards presentation.

Many of the club’s 500 members attended the evening at St John’s Hotel to celebrate the year’s achievements on the road.

Among the award winners were road race, time trial, cyclocross, track and hill climb club champions as well as President Awards for outstanding achievements to six members.

Bob Richards, Richard Burt, Paul Mann, Matt Shaw, Jake Stewart and Danielle Khan all picked up President Awards for their efforts in the past 12 months.

Bob managed to win the National and World Championships in the Individual Pursuit.

Paul became the national track champion of the League of Veteran Racing Cyclists for over 55s in October, while 16-year-old Matt won the National Youth U16 Circuit Series.

Jake Stewart and Danielle Khan were recognised for their National and International success.

Richard Burt also picked up an award after his team of Sandra Turner, Mike Pridmore-Wood, Ian Spencer and wife Lorely Burt raised £25,000 for the Dementia UK charity by completing the 100 toughest hills in the UK on his bike – in less than two weeks.

Other main club award winners were:
Road Race Category included: Cameron Biddle, Club RR Champion Wayne McKeown, Vets RR Champion Matt Shaw, Schoolboy RR Bowl Ella Tandy, Schoolgirl RR Bowl.

Time Trial Award Winners:
Eddie Priddy, Club 5 and 25 mile TT Champion Joanne Ness, Ladies 5 and 10 mile TT Champion Keith Reynolds, Club 10 mile TT Champion Andrew Simpkins, Club 50 mile TT Champion Jacob Reid, Schoolboys 10 mile TT Champion

Cyclocross Awards were presented to:
Jacob Knight as Club Cyclocross Champion Gary Rowing-Parker, Vets Cyclocross Champion

Other Awards:
Gary Blackman, Club Hill Climb Champion Paul Mann, Club 5 mile Track Champion James Alexander, Most Improved Youth Rider


FIVE Solihull CC riders have podiumed in the West Midlands Cyclocross League following 15 weekends of tough competition.

More than 900 riders competed in all age categories from Under 6s through to the Over 60s in the West Midlands league, which is the largest of its kind in the country.

Ella Tandy and Holly Saunders both finished first and second in the Girls Under 10 category while Jacob Knight and Harrison Knight finished first and second in the Under 18s group while Cameron Biddle finished third in the Under 23s.

All riders will pick up their awards at the Prize Presentation in Rugeley this weekend.

The top 11 race results from the 15 rounds are taken into account – though three Solihull riders, Samuel Brownsword, Max Saunders and Michael Harrison, competed in all 15 events.

Top ten places were also gained by Max Saunders 8th (U12), Xavier Sullivan-Touye 6th (U18), Gary Rowing-Parker 9th (Vets) with Conor Jones and Jacob Jones (no relation) finishing just outside the top ten in 11th and 12th in the U14 category.

Solihull CC regularly has up to 40 riders competing in parks, woodlands, and fields across the West Midlands each weekend and venues further afield including Newport, Misterton Hall and Shelsey Walsh.

All courses are different and can include flat fast parts as well as steep inclines and mud towards the end of the season.

Due to the traffic free racing, Cyclocross is quickly growing in popularity – and Solihull CC’s latest round of results could see a further boost to the sport in the midlands.

Dates for the 2017/18 season have been announced starting in September which is when training will commence.

Solihull CC’s next event is scheduled for Saturday (February 26) – a 62 or 82 mile reliability trial, an organised ride which challenges riders to complete a course within a preset time limit.