Midlands Group VTTA Awards Lunch 2014

Tim Wood and Jeff MatthewsNearly 50 VTTA members and their partners gathered together for the Midlands Group Annual Awards Lunch. Alan Coburn, Assistant Group Recorder welcomed everyone by starting with a request, 'would anyone like to take over as Trophy Secretary? It's a fun position and you get to collect all the trophies and exhibit them in your house for a period of time before handing them over. Anyone interested, please see me or Andrew.' Now that Tim and Scott have joined the Committee, it has become much sought after!

All pictures by Steve Walker - see the full gallery here.

Then Alan encouraged us all to 'cross toast' before we paused to remember friends and relatives who are no longer with us.


In a world where so many are hungry

May we eat this food with humble hearts,

In a world where so many are lonely

May we share this friendship with joyful hearts."

Andrew Simpkins, Chairman took over and confirmed Alan has finally decided to take his retirement seriously. Not only is he resigning as Trophy Secretary, but as the National President of the VTTA. Thank you to Alan for his many years of service.

Pete Rose, President asked to say few words. He hopes to get in six 'K' events this season, an increase of two. He has acquired a turbo trainer to join in spinning with his club for the first time. Peter thanked Greta for organising the Awards lunch and to Tim for ongoing sponsorship. He concluded by wishing everyone a n accident free and successful season.

Jeff Matthews, Editor of the Standard Times awarded the Wooden Spoon to Tim Wood for seducing vulnerable riders and luring them in to the addictive nature of the Echelon Series.

Andrew asked if anyone might be interested in putting together a team to ride the National VTTA events. Scott, Phil and Joe from Walsall will be riding the 10, 25 and 50 as a team.

Andrew introduced Ruth Eyles as a return speaker - she spoke in 2008 about the changes going on in cycling, in particular time trialling. Ruth started by saying what an honour it was to be back and then she returned to a similar theme as in 2008. What is going on in cycling? As well as Mamils, (Middle Aged Men in Lycra), we now have Middle Aged Women in Lycra. (More of what she said to follow.....)

Jeff responded by saying what an articulate and though provoking talk Ruth had given. He thanked Tim for the Echelon competition and for the leadership shown by the Midlands VTTA in adapting the Standard Times. He concluded with thanks to Steve Lockwood for simplifying the Rankings Series.

The Prize Winners as spoken by Alan

"Today it is my privilege to propose the toast to the prize winners.

This season has seen some excellent riding with  new names to go on a few  of the trophies but some competitors manage to rise to the top like the cream on a pint of milk.

We can’t all be fastest or first across the line but when it comes to personal endeavour the whole basis of the VTTA encourages riders of all abilities to constantly challenge themselves to improve year by year.  This is the success of our Association and I have pleasure in saluting the winners of trophies, medals and plaques here today.

Before proposing the toast I would like to offer the following quotation: A loser isn’t the one who comes last – it’s the one who sits and watches.

Ladies and Gentlemen please be upstanding and join me in the toast to the prize winners

Blood, Sweat and Tears!

This famous Churchillian (very apt) quotation can certainly be applied to bike racing but now is the time to relax and receive the fruits of a season of hard racing.

We start with the Midlands Group Points Series which has been generously supported by  Mr. Echelon himself, Tim Wood, who has been unstinting in his support for Midlands time trialling over the past few years.  The total prize fund for this year is almost £800 with the bulk of that coming out of Echelon’s profits – so many thanks, Tim !  .

We should also like to thank Steve Lockwood for his masterly modifications to the Midlands Ranking System which makes working out this competition a lot easier.  The Points Series is split into four categories and I would like to ask the Cat. D leaders to come forward and receive their prizes from Tim – Winner is Simon Dighton, 2nd is Terry Shough, 3rd is April Lewis and 4th is Bob Awcock

Cat. C prize winners are 1st Matthew Moore, 2nd Andrew Simpkins, 3rd. Susan Semple and 4th Murray Kirton.

Cat. B recipients are 1st Peter Delves, 2nd Ian Hemming, 3rd Richard Coleman and 4th David Walker

Cat. A prizes go to the following riders – 1st. Jon Simpkins, 2nd Joe Costello, 3rd David Kiernan and 4th Phil Brown

The Club Team Competition was keenly contested but the final winner is the Worcester St. Johns team of Mark Corbett, Simon Wix, Dave Walker and Kean Bendelow

That concludes the Points Series awards but although Tim is far too shy and retiring to say it  I have no reservations!  If you want excellent products, excellent service and even better advice then pop over to Echelon and chat to the team over there in Pershore. Many thanks, Tim!


The “Les Lowe” trophy has been donated by the Speedwell BC in memory of Les.

The trophy was originally presented for the best 24 hour ride and was first awarded in 1964.  In the ensuing 27 years Les won it on no fewer than 24 occasions and it will now be given to the rider who covers the most mileage in “K” events in the season.

At this point I’d like to ask Greta to step forward. It is quite appropriate that the “Sundial Trophy” is being presented this year by Greta Spiers who raced with Les and they still hold 7 Age Records on the Tandem Trike.

The winner of the trophy this year is Dave Walker of the Worcester St. Johns CC.

We continue with riders who have gained Standard Medals or Plaques this season.  Last year we had Performance Awards but this innovation failed to find favour and it was decided at last year’s AGM to revert to Standard Medals.  These medals form the basis of competition throughout the year which challenges competitors to achieve targets in keeping with their age.

So let’s start off with our Chairman, Andrew Simpkins from the Solihull CC, who finished the season with a plaque for 10, 25, 30 and 50 miles.  He also gains 3rd place medal in the Short Distance competition.

Adrian Humpage from the Lyme RC gets a plaque for 15, 30, 50 and 100 miles.  He also wins a 2nd. place medal  in the Group Three Distance competition and 1st place medal in the Short Distance competition. (Yellow denotes those not present.)

Hereford Wheelers are represented by David Steel with a plaque at 10, 25, 30 and 50 miles.

Coventry RC gains  well deserved medals at 50, 25 and 10 miles courtesy of Bob Awcock.

Sean Hunt, who rides for Lincoln Wheelers, but is registered with our Group wins medals at 10, 25 and 50 miles.

Simon Dighton, Beacon RCC, has a medal for 3rd place in the Three Distance plus Standard medals at 50 and 100 miles

Our stalwart member of the Tricycle Association, Norman Fenn, has achieved medals for 10 and 25 miles on the trike and also one for 30 miles on a solo bike.

Medals at 30 and 50 miles go to Gary Shuker of the Walsall club.

A medal at 10 miles is received by Stephen Lloyd of the Shirley RC.

And last but not least is the Rugby Velo rider, Phil Clark with medals at 10 and 25 miles

We continue our Prize Presentation by recognising the efforts of two of our backroom organisers.  This hard work goes on behind the scenes and we now have pleasure in acknowledging this contribution to Midlands time trialling. 

The Mary White salver is retained by Miranda Harris who continues her excellent work as Press Secretary.

The Martin Ellis plate has been won again this year by Andrew Simpkins for his continuing guidance of your Committee and he also found time to organise two open time trials.

The winner of the Ted Bricknell award didn’t enjoy 2013 at all but I’m glad to report that he’s back on form this year – Vince Jenkins of Leisure Lakes Bikes.

In recent years handicap events have become more scarce but this rider gains the Bart Cup for Best on handicap in a “25”   - Mark Corbett,  Worcester St. Johns.

I never ever managed to get my head round the “30” event but I’m glad to say that Joe Costello of the Walsall did and comes away with the Joe Birks Cup for Best on Standard.

The Harry Farrell Club Trophy counts racing and administration to decide which club is best all round.  It’s always a close competition and this year is awarded to Solihull CC who  pushed the Walsall in to 2nd place by 7 points with Stafford RC 3rd.

You will have noticed that Murray Kirton  is listed on the Menu as Worcester St. Johns CC. This mistake is due to the Manager of A5 Rangers putting Murray on the transfer list but St. Johns decided at the last minute that they couldn’t afford the transfer fee of  £700,000 so Murray stays with the Rangers !  He does however receive a medal for 2nd place in the Short Distance competition backed up by excellent riding to gain a plaque for 25, 30, 50 and 100 miles which also gives him the Godiva Cup for the Group Three Distance Competition.

Now could we have Dave Walker back to the table to collect the Victory Cup for the 50 miles handicap.

The next awards are always keenly contested and I’m talking about the Jones Cup competition which has three categories.  I’m delighted to ask Scott Westwood to come forward  and receive the Nomads Cup  for the best on Standard in the under 50 age group. 

 The other end of the scale sees very keen racing by the over 65 group and this year the Bill Massie plate goes to John Grumbley of the Coventry RC. 

 The overall winner is that nice young man from the Walsall RCC who retains the Jones Cup for another year  and also takes the  Billy Steer Cup for BOS in the “25”, the Frank Wells Cup for BOS on the “50” and the Stokes Cup for the fastest “50”  -  Phil Brown.

There are  just two more presentations to make   -    I’d like to ask Greta if she would like to accept this small token of appreciation and a big thank you to Ruth Eyles for her presence here today."

Response on behalf of the prize winners - Scott Westwood

"I’d like to start by thanking the committee, on behalf of the prize winners, for the fantastic array of trophies and awards that have been presented today and also to Tim at Echelon for his continued sponsorship of the series. Also, not forgetting the all important event organisers, marshalls, time-keepers and various other supportive roles without whom we would not be here today enjoying such an occasion. These people are really the unsung heros of the sport giving up their time to put on such events for us all to enjoy.  

We’re pretty lucky in the Midlands to have many events to pick from given the number of clubs that organise open events and it’s great to be here this afternoon in the presence of fellow VTTA members from those clubs.  

There have been numerous prize winners this afternoon across a variety of ages and I think this speaks volumes for the fantastic ‘standards’ system that we now have in place. This coupled with the points competition makes the series inclusive to everyone and gives riders that want to compete a fair crack of the wip year on year. I just hope that , one day, similar systems will be adopted in the sport as a whole in order to give riders the opportunity to set different goals to that of chasing fast times on fast courses.  

I’ll finish by thanking Greta for arranging the event today and the staff here for, yet again, providing a fantastic meal and service."  

Greta finished with announcing a change to how we nominate the Mary White and Martin Ellis awards. Less than 25% voted for these awards this year and therefore next year the Committee will provide a short list for you to choose from. Please vote!!