Churchill joins new team-mates – thanks in part to Dave Rayner Fund

Calvert Churchill in Colombia recently. Photo: Submitted

Calvert Churchill in Colombia recently. Photo: Submitted - Credit: Archant

North Norfolk enthusiast Calvert Churchill joins his team-mates in the Belgian amateur team United Cycling tomorrow – and by Sunday he will be racing with them for the first time at Sint Joris Weert, east of Brussels.

Although Churchill has never featured highly in Norfolk results, his determination to whole-heartedly live the life of a continental racer – he rode 41 events, mainly in Belgium, last season – has impressed the trustees of the Dave Rayner Fund so much that they have offered another year of support. The fund, which exists to assist young riders trying to 'make it' on the continent, previously assisted Churchill in 2014.

After a winter of working locally and training with Wymondham-based team Strada Sport, the Great Ryburgh rider has been in training camp in Spain. From there he went to train at high altitude in Colombia in the company of former CC Breckland member and pro team man Tim Harris, taking advantage of the recent end of the civil war there.

The Sporting Courses East (SPOCO) competition is a season-long league for time-trialists with two special features. Firstly, all the events are on rural courses, usually on single-carriageway roads, and, secondly, the points are based on placings rather than time. Consequently a personal best on a perfect day scores poorly if plenty of other riders do even better. In contrast, a win on a dreadful day in an event when half the field stays in bed at home will hit the jackpot.

Norfolk winners in 2016 were Daniel Bloy (VeloVelocity) in the Senior (age 18-39) category), Chris Nudds (CC Breckland) in the Vets 60-70 and Carlton Colville Anglia Velo member Brian Davies in the Vets 70-plus. Jen Smart (VC Norwich) was second in the Ladies category, scoring 646 points to winner Verity Smith's 704. Smith, who rides for the Stowmarket & District CC, also won the award for Best Improvement.

This Sunday Godric CC's 50-mile reliability trial has starts from Broome Village Hall NR35 2RW near Bungay, with progressively faster groups leaving between 8.30am and 9.30am. Details at

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