Roger De Vere has hailed his Fareham Wheelers as the dust settles on another cyclocross campaign.
The club hosted two rounds of the Wessex Cyclocross League this season – one in December and the second last month.
They were both a huge success, with bumper entries and fantastic feedback.
De Vere has seen the club embrace the concept since they first broke on to the competition’s calendar.
And he reserved special praise for chief organiser Phill Chinn, who has been the driving force behind the Wheelers events.
‘We are so proud as a club,’ said club secretary de Vere.
‘When Phill came to us and said he wanted to run a cyclocross event, we were delighted.
‘Then we had to find a venue and all the rest.
‘We were actually turned down by Fairthorne Manor in the first place.
‘We were knocked back by lots of venues but fortunately this dropped in our lap in the end.
‘Phill provided the trigger, though.
‘In the first year we had to almost inject our event into the calendar but now we have two.
‘I am just so pleased. This is a club run by its members and everyone turns out to support each other.’
Sam Allen, who rode for Portsmouth-based i-Team as a junior, won both Wessex Cyclocross League rounds hosted by the Wheelers on his way to landing the overall crown last Sunday.
Solent Pirates star Helen Pattinson completed success in the women’s veteran 40 category with victory in the last round in Tidworth.
Her team-mate Kara Perryman was the top junior in the women’s ranks as she excelled on Salisbury Plain.
Will Cooper, from i-Team, made certain of third place in the youth standings with fourth in the final round.
In the under-12 ranks, Cooper’s club-mate Adam Potter had a fine season in and Pirates’ Gus Meadwell was third in the last round.
Meanwhile, the Wheelers have had to drop their annual road race this season.
Problems with accredited marshals scuppered the event last summer but de Vere hopes those obstacles can be overcome for 2017.
‘We would like to get road racing back but until we have solved the problems with accredited marshals to patrol the traffic, we won’t be able to do that.
‘It cost us £350 in cancellation fees last season.
‘We won’t hold a road race this season but hopefully things are moving and we can get one back on the calendar for 2017.’