Wizards well prepared for 2016 season opener
TSC are in good shape ahead of their first ride of 2016, the Tom Simpson Memorial Ride out of Harworth, Nottinghamshire. The team completed the 55 mile charity ride twice previously in 2011 and 2013 and feel after a good winter season they are in prime condition for this years event.
While the team did not compete in Cyclocross over the winter season, team spokesman T.Tuck commented “TSC take their fans very seriously and it was a big decision for us to take when we decided not to compete in cross this past season, however we wanted to focus more on the road season ahead. The opportunity for 5 days of all-inclusive Lager and three varieties of Wine on self service tap was one we couldn’t refuse and fits in well with the team philosophy.”
It was in Tenerife, after completing the 30 mile ascent of Mt.Teide that the team became aware of the art of Wizarding, and so quickly arranged another winter training session at the opening of the Hooverville Hotbox where no less than 5 of the team achieved Level 10 status at Wizarding. The Hotbox is the fifth sauna in the teams history and provided the perfect opportunity to enhance their abilities in the Wizarding department.
TSC will depart Durham after the England-Ireland rugby match on Saturday, staying the night at their usual campsite The Pilgrim Fathers. Due to obvious height restrictions in Diggers, Wizards staff with be restricted to a maximum height of 6 cans before a new staff will be required to be started. Failure to follow this rule will see the guilty person(s) required to carry their staff around the ride on Sunday, which starts at 10am out of Harworth and Bircotes Social Club.
TSC headline in March edition of County Durham newspaper
Big Start confirmed for TSC’s 2014 campaign
Team Snook Cycling recently announced the opening events of the 2014 season, and here they are in more detail…
April – Mallorca – Spring Training Camp
Mallorca, the island made famous by Team sky using it as their winter base and the several pictures of Bradley Wiggins climbing sa Calobra is visited by approximately 40,000 cyclists each year. TSC saw first-hand in 2013 the potential the island has with cyclists seemingly being on every inch of its silky smooth tarmac. Now TSC will be back to get in amongst the action this coming Easter, which should be a busy time for cycling tourists and sunny weather!
Basing themselves in Alcudia, just a few km’s away from Port de Pollenca the team expect to be attracting the attention of the usual cycling holiday groups and teams from the UK, France, Switzerland, Germany and elsewhere and are planning on getting in several hundred kilometres of pedal turning and taking in the islands top climbs.
May 9th – Belfast – Giro Big Start
Not only does the 2014 Tour de France start in England, but the 2014 Giro d’Italia will begin in Northern Ireland as Richie Porte and Nairo Quintana go head to head. The team will arrive for Stages 1 and 2, hoping to see Britains Mark Cavendish don the Maglia Rosa once again. The weekend should not only see the team in amongst the cycling crowd and star names, but also in various drinking establishments around the city!
May 25th – Keswick – Jennings Big Ride
TSC’s first sportive of the year will be this 75 mile Lake District event that features several well-known passes including Whinlatter and Honister. The Sportive attracts 1,500 entrants and also has family routes and various activities going on in the town centre’s Fitz Park including Bouncy Castle, Bike stands, food and importantly a beer tent! With it being a bank holiday you can be sure to see TSC wetting their lips after the race too!
June 8th – France – Paris-Roubaix Sportive
TSC have talked of doing The Hell of the North for several seasons, and that talking is now stopped and the entries put in for this cyclosportive that is held every 2 years. The 2012 edition saw 2,222 entrants and it is expected to be even larger this year! The route covers the final 120km of the famous cobbled classic with its finish at the Roubaix Velodrome and a shower afterwards in cyclings most well-known showers! Interestingly the sportive sees competitors from all over the world, with a large proportion of those from the UK. Completion of the event sees entrants rewarded with a mounted cobble, and a ‘special prize’ for female competitors! Surely an appearance from Dirk is on the cards?!
TSC confirmed at Giro, 2014 Plans underway
Snook Cycling can finally announce confirmation of their presence at the 2014 Giro d’Italia, having booked flights for a weekend of ale drinking in the Northern Irish capital city of Belfast. The weekend will start at around 6pm at Newcastle Airport and continue right through until late Sunday night. The team will take in the 2nd stage of the Giro, starting and finishing in Belfast, with the goal of promoting TSC, Pedalling Squares and sampling as many golden beers as it possible.
Plans for 2014 are well underway, with a series of Sportive events being eyed, most notably the 170km Borderlands Sportive out of Wooler, which sees the route split evenly between English and Scottish soil. A winter training camp in Mallorca over Easter is also in the offing, and should be confirmed soon.
Stay tuned at snookcycling’s Facebook page and official website for more details.
TSC veteren to lead ‘cross campaign
With the 2013/14 Cyclocross season just around the corner, the team has turned to the aging William to spearhead their quest for world exposure. William is on course to return from his 3 months out of the sport due to marketing commitments and has been working hard in the gym ahead of the season opener in September. William could well be the team’s only ever-present.
Last season was the first competitive one for the team, as their growth curve continued in the right direction since its early days on the slopes of the Col du Hartside and progression over le Mont Ventoux and Alpe d’Huez. Things started out slowly in 2012/13, with several lowly placing’s but come the end of the season the team avoided the wooden spoon on more than one occasion. Added to this, TSC also completed Sportives such as The Tom Simpson Memorial, Colomba Cardio Classic and The Wooler Wheel.
While William looks to complete his first full season, the team should also see the return of their female rider Nina who missed 9 months of last season due to other commitments. Equipped with her new Ridley bike, it is expected that she will be eased slowly back into competition.
Andrew should be a near ever-present for the team too, building on his stronger performances towards the end of the season, aided by his new cross tyres alongside Allan who will travel across from his base in the moutains of the lake district as often as possible. Billy will compete as and when required, concentrating more on his logistics role for the team, while Soigneur Colin will take up his position in a full-time role, having made the decision to leave his other positions in favour of TSC.
The team could also be set to announce their entry to a sportive as part of their early season build up, with the Monster Miles Sportive out of Keswick being the favourite due to 46km of its 100km route being off-road and ideally suited to a cross bike, or the similarly designed Bellingham Blast.
2013/2014 Cyclocross Fixtures released
8/9/2013 CXNE Rd 1 Yarm
15/9/2013 CXNE Rd 2 Ponteland
21/9/2013 NECCL Rd 1 Hardwick Park
22/9/2013 CXNE Rd 3 Hetton-le-Hole
28/9/2013 – NECCL Rd 2 Hetton-le-Hole
29/9/2013 CXNE Rd 4 South Shields
5/10/2013 NECCL Rd 3 Bedlington
6/10/2013 CXNE Rd 5 Gateshead
19/10/2013 NECCL Rd 4 Ponteland
20/10/2013 CXNE Rd 6 Workington
27/10/2013 CXNE Rd 7 TBA
2/11/2013 NECCL Rd 5 Washington
3/11/2013 CXNE Rd 8 Bedlington
9/11/2013 NECCL Rd 6 Gypsies Green
16/11/2013 CXNE Rd 9 Durham
24/11/2013 CXNE Rd 10 South Shields
30/11/2013 NECCL Rd 7 Middlesbrough
1/12/2013 CXNE Rd 11 Stainton
14/12/2013 NECCL Rd 8 Hetton-le-Hole
22/12/2013 CXNE Rd 12 Carlisle
19/1/2014 CXNE Rd 13 Durham
26/1/2014 CXNE Rd 14 Whitby
TSC confirm entry to Cardio Classic as Nina makes return
Snook Cycling today confirmed their place on the start line of this months Colomba Cardio Classic out of Richmond, England. The 65 mile route includes some of the roads to be used in the first stage of the 2014 Tour de France and features the fearsome Buttertubs climb amongst its more than 3,500ft of climbing. The event is in aid of CHUF who TSC also raised money for during their Alpe D’Huez Double in 2011.
The Sportive will mark the return of the teams Finnish female Nina, who has been absent
from club events for 9 months. Nina was touch and go for making her comeback at last weeks Tom Simpson Memorial Ride, but a decision was made to wait for the hillier classic. Nina commented “I’m really looking forward to getting back in the saddle, and this all starts the fitness push for the next Cyclo-cross season where I aim to be TSC’s first female entrant, as well as looking further down the line at the Galérien de Mont Ventoux in 2014”.
Allan, Andrew, Billy & Nina will spend the Friday night on an undisclosed campsite in the Richmond area and will spend much of the night in the local Wetherspoon ‘The Ralph Fitz Randal’. It is understood their night of Real Ales was part of the agreement to appear in the well respected early season Sportive, and they welcome fans to join them as Andrew confirmed “We often ride the roads of Wensleydale and have a strong fan base there, it will be good to share a pint or seven with them”.
TSC also confirmed that Soigneur Col will be absent from the event, as he is in a Spainish Island reconaising ahead of a possible TSC winter camp. Col will be much missed as Allan spoke about finding a replacement: “having Col behind in Diggers brings a real feel of comfort to the team and helps remove any nerves. He does a cracking job of marking the way as well as aiding the vital replenishment to the teams calorie reserves mid-ride. Of course he is also a great breakfast maker (and washer uper) as he showed in Harworth with his Horse Butties.”
The team have reportedly received an offer from a chef with Flandrien cooking experience based in Carlisle as well as an interest from a experienced veteren from Minskip. The ride will be held on March 16th with a start time of 0900.
TSC Agree deal with Katies Cakes!
Snook Cycling have agreed an exclusive deal with up and coming cake maker Katie Main. The deal will see the young caketeer make specially designed cakes for all future TSC road trips, beginning with their weekened in Harworth at the end of the month for Tom Simpson’s memorial ride. Katie is rumoured to be lining up a beer orientated cake, possibly with beer icing, although she was tightlipped and wouldnt release further details.
TSC Soigneur Colin commented “Its great to have our own cake maker, and I personally can take full advantage from my seat in the cockpit of Diggers with those lovely cakes keeping me warm on a colddddddd dayyyyyy. I just hope Katie doesn’t put too much beer in, or the team bus won’t get far!”.
TSC expected to announce Tour de France and Giro d’Italia 2014 plans soon
With the details of the 2014 Tour de France grand depart in Yorkshire now finalised and made public, along with the rumour of Belfast hosting the same event for the Giro d’Italia the team have quickly began planning their presence at both.
The Tour will pass over the same roads that TSC made their own in their 2010 training regime towards their successful Cingles du Mont Ventoux mission and most interestingly will cross over Buttertubs Pass which attracted strong crowds when the team ascended it during their ‘Wander for Wouter’ in 2011. It is expected that TSC will be present on the climb in at least one motorhome the night before, soaking up the tour atmosphere before waking up to a hangover breakfast and watching the sports finest roll up one of the toughest climbs in the UK.
While no official announcement has been made to confirm rumours of Belfast and Dublin hosting the start of Italy’s own tour it can be expected that the team will look to arrange a weekend across the water and add to the TV coverage they recently received at the UCI Cyclocross World Cup event in Koksijde, Belgium in late-2012.
New signing close as TSC look to wash away the opposition!
TSC are in advanced negotiations to make an important signing as they look to continue their recent positive gains on the cyclocross field. While the deal may not be finalised until the winter 13/14 season, the fact TSC are making a move so early shows their commitment to grow as a team.
Many a portable bike washer is seen around the NECCL and CXNE pits, and TSC believe they have found the one which could be key part of their jigsaw and future plans. With a capacity of 8 litres and team Soigneur Col at hand, this addition could be the difference between TSC finishing 42nd in a race or 41st. The single handed pump operation allows you to wash a bike at a pressue of around 40psi which would see mud quickly removed from the teams bikes mid race if they get into any sticky situations. Soigneur Col commented “it would certainly be a fine addition to the team, and im sure we could find a spot in Diggers for it whether we are competing in the UK or touring Europe.”
The team are thought to be looking for a sponsor to provide the financial package to push the deal through, or will need to fundraise/share costs. Any ideas for a TSC fund raiser are welcomed!
TSC avoids last place for 2nd straight race
The team were represented at Round 8 of the NECCL in Ponteland by Allan, Andrew and Billy and once again managed to avoid the last place finish that the team had previously resevered in each race it had entered (exluding DNF’s). 56 competitors were on the startline and with a good looking course ahead the lads were in a buoyant mood.
The first few laps went at a fast pace and quickly churned the course up, causing many competitors more than one problem with mud clogging up bikes and making them almost unrideable. It was no suprise that 8 people did not manage to finish the Round, and so it is an achievement in itself that TSC’s 3 starters all finished. From the 48 finishers Allan was the highest placed TSC rider in 34th, Billy came in 44th and Andrew battled hard to the finish line to earn 47th, another positive step in the story of TSC.
Photos can be seen in the teams gallery, using the links to the TSC Flikr and Facebook accounts.
Snook Signs On – Commits to Cingles
Its the Xmas present all TSC fans have been dreaming about – stagiaire Michael has been signed to a 2yr trial contract, and has set his sights on becoming a Cingle du Mont Ventoux in the summer of 2014.
Snook has impressed recently with a fine effort in his stag-do ride from Edinburgh to Durham as well as his commendable 44th place finish in the Gypsies Green Round of NECCL cyclocross race on Dec 23rd. Public opinion had been divided on Snook before these two rides, with many citing a lack of drinking commitment rather than ability to be the main stumbling block over any possible long term deal.
Snook managed to silence the many doubters during a 2 day trip to Gent, Belgium where he took the responsibility of Beer Token Man at the Gent Six Days event and downed his fare share of Primus. Team veteran William commented “Michael has never really shown us that his is committed to our cause and so it has been impressive to see him show a better side in recent months and really up his game. I’m delighted to have him onboard, another person for me to sit behind on our Mountain days”.
Team organiser Billy confirmed that the contract was on a try out basis and that “any faultering on the Ventoux will see our cycling relationship end”. The Cingles effort is planned for August 2014 and it will be interesting to see if Snook can step up to the plate.
Drink to take a back seat as TSC look to push on
In the short history of TSC the team has made monumental gains, but none more so than today as the team achieved its first non-last place finish, with Billy and Michael finishing 35th and 44th out of a field of 49 at the Gypsey Green Velodrome in South Shields.
Having previously seen 4 team members successfully complete the Cingles du Mont Ventoux ride with 3 climbs of le geant in one day, the team now realise this is the ideal platform to build on for the Galarien du Ventoux challenge and will now remove beer from its daily menu.
The team is already rumoured to be looking at a August 2014 assault on the bald mountain of Provence in what could see 4 members achieve Galarien status and an additional 2 members become Cingles. While no details are expected to be announced until the new year, it is understood that more Ridley’s are already being sought out.
‘Battle of the Snook Brothers’ only days away…
The much anticipated cycling clash between brothers Billy and Michael is set to finally happen this coming Sunday, as the team make their The League International NECCL debut at Gypsies Green Velodrome in South Shields. The race is scheduled to begin at 12:30 and with the hype that has surrounded this eagerly awaited clash the race organisers have asked all spectators to arrive early to avoid any delays.
When asked about the duel, father William commented “i’m keeping out of it” while cousin Andrew spoke of the early confrontations between the two – “I can remember arguments over games of Cricket, street hockey and even Hungry Hippo’s so i fully expect this to result in something similar”.
The team will once again have 4 members competing with debutant Michael lining up alongside Billy, William and Andrew. Team Soigneur-Driver Colin will be present in the pits as usual, combining the role with that of team Photographer. Allan misses out due to work commitments while Nina is saving her debut for 2013 due to other commitments.
Information about the race can be found at http://neccl.co.uk/wordpress/
TSC-Wordpress Stats Revealed!
TSC are excited to reveal the real numbers behind their website..
Our site has been visited most from the UK (720 views), USA (166), France & Belgium (47 each) and Finland (34). Our site has been viewed as far away as Bangladesh, Vietnam, Moldova, Syria and Colombia.
Soigneur Signs On TSC are delighted to announce the contract extension of team Soigneur Col. Col has been with the team since its formation when he drove the lads n lass to a C2C success in July 2009. Since then Col has had the pleasure of driving Dignity I to her retirement before relishing the role of head driver of Dignity II.
It is not only behind the wheel that Col has excelled, as he added a fine Bedoin ascent of ‘le geant’ Mont Ventoux onto his palmares in 2010 with a strong showing on a warm September morning. Never Ever Quit was his moto from that day forward and he then grabbed the headlines with a summit of Alpe D’Huez only months later and also completing the Ronde van Vlaanderen including climbs such as the Koppenberg, Paterberg and Molenberg.
Col returned to behind the wheel for the WOTR mission in late 2011, knocking up some delicious meals at the feed stations as well as providing much needed light on the later hours of each stage as the early nights of November tried to stop the TSC train.
What next for Col? A bash at Coasts and Castles has been rumoured, and a weekend at the Gent Sixes is high up on Col’s wishlist. While Col hones his driving skills during the day, the light nights ahead mean many a crank will be turned throughout the summer as he builds up to yet another crack at Dirks de Plakker Duvel record. Watch snookcycling.wordpress.com to see how he fares.
Fantasy Cycling Competition heats up
With the season on the road only just beginning, snookcycling.wordpress.com took time out to meet up with team Veteran William Snook and offer its fans the chance to win an all expenses paid trip of a lifetime… SC.W.C: So William, hows the Fantasy League going?WS: Not great, i have to be honest. SC.W.C: But you were the champion last season?WS: Yes, it seems a long time ago now, and im out to prove it wasnt beginners luck and a one off fluke SC.W.C: It has been said by various pundits that you were given a significent headstart last year by your younger colleagues?WS: Rubbish. SC.W.C: Any tactics in mind to try and pull back what it fast becomming a huge deficit?WS: Not really, just hope i get lucky again. SC.W.C: Thanks for your timeWS: You’re welcome. WIN an all expenses paid trip to the Lightning ClockDeparting from Durham, TSC will cycle with you to Royal Quays, North Shields to witness what has been dubbed Britains Best new tourist attraction. Your route will include a trip through the charge-free Tyne pedestrian Tunnel and a front row standing space outside the coffee shop* looking directly at the clock. Once the excitement is over, TSC will escort you back home.* additional charge for any drinks bought at coffee shop. To WIN, simply answer the following question: Which TSC member is currently languishing at the bottom of the County Durham Fantasy Cycling League?
New Team Strip leaked online
TSC does not wish to comment on this internet leak.
TSC represented on The Alpe
Team Snook Cycling made their mark on this years Tour de France as excited fans painted the team name on the hot tarmac leading to Alpe D’Huez. The photo above shows non other than Alberto Contador looking on in awe as he approaches the yellow paint work of a team that has turned him down inthe past. A TSC spokeperson confirmed “It was great to see fans writing our name on The Alpe, no doubt we will see more of it on some different Cols in 2012 as TSC is currently planning their alpine raids for next year”.
New Sponsor Unveiled
Having just opened the company’s second sauna in the village just outside of Carlisle it comes at a fitting time for the team and TSC look forward to working with Snook Sauna’s for the rest of the season. The company started production last year with the grand opening of the Bowburn Bomb and now the Corby Crucible is up and running plans are in place for the build of the Coxhoe Crem sometime in the summer. TSC have now changed their bank holiday weekend plans, ditching WOTR in favour of “A Wander for Wouter” ride which will see the team stopover in Little Corby for the night, as is part of the agreement between the two. A Wander for Wouter entails cycling 167 miles in memory of Wouter Weylandt who sadly passed away in this years Giro D’Italia, from Maryport to Blackhall Rocks with stopovers in Little Corby and Hawes, supported by Diggers II team bus and Driver Snook.
WIN A PLACE IN THE CORBY CRUCIBLE!For your chance to sit alongside your heroes in the Corby Crucible this coming bank holiday weekend, simply answer this simple question and text A, B or C to TSC.How many cans were drank during the construction of the Corby Crucible?A: 98B: 128C: 158
Unnamed Cyclist Completes C2C in TSC Trial Ride
After days of speculation Team Snook Cycling can now report that an Unnamed Cyclist has completed the 127 mile C2C ride in 2 and 1/2 days and is now being considered for a more permanent deal with TSC starting with the 172 mile Way Of The Roses.
Starting in Whitehaven at 14:30 on Friday the Unnamed Cyclist arrived in Blackhall Rocks at 16:20 Sunday after nightovers in Keswick and Nenthead. Using a team issue Giant Road Bike, Unnamed Cyclist comfortably summited the major climbs of Whinlatter, Hartside, Killhope Cross and Jimmy Moors as he rode to the North Sea.
While TSC signed up Ben Main – Mainy – recently (see next article) it has long been thought they could do with some legal expertise in the team bus, especially as the Team look to next gain Clarion status on their journey up the UCI ladder.
With Way Of The Roses only 4 weeks away, Unnamed Cyclist will look to get some more hard miles in on an excercise bike at his base somewhere South of Coxhoe before the step up in class as he joins his more experienced team mates. That ride could then decide whether Unnamed Cyclist looks to add a TSC team jersey to his wardrobe of suits and ties.
Main Signs Up (April 18th)
Team Snook Cycling are pleased to announce the capture of up and coming grimpeur Ben Main. Hailing from Carlisle, Ben Main – Mainy – showed his promise on a 20 mile reliability run on Sunday and was happy to sign the relevant documentation, putting himself in the frame for a C2C assault this summer.
TSC spokesperson Sid Smutt commented “We realise that Uncle Bill and Uncle Col’s legs aren’t getting younger, indeed, their col days may be behind them with more emphasis being placed on Belgian and Dutch missions on flatter courses in the future, and so we wanted to inject some youth into the Team.” “We can see the day when Ben will be leading the team up places like the Tourmalet and so he is a good fit.
It is also hoped that Main can shoulder some of the organisational responsibilities of the team, taking pressue off current CEO of Snook Cycling Tours Billy Snook. Main was a key component in the organisation of the construction of Little Corby’s first private Sauna and Reiki Room the past weekend and similar good work in the TSC team bus would be well received.
With Uncle Col keen to use his driving skills on longer missions, Ben has been keen to put himself forward in a navigational role too, saving Bernie from needing to buy any new batteries for his NavMan in the near future, something the big man was happy to hear.
Snook Cycling Hit Headlines (March 14th)
TSC today made yet more headlines as they fronted the March 14th edition of Newcastle’s Evening Chronicle newspaper. LINK
While Team Snook Cycling has received a massive influx of emails and messages from Companies looking to jump on the feel good bandwagon, we would like to remind potential sponsors that you should only apply if you are in the Alcholic Beverages industry or can supply team clothing for free. We also welcome offers from company’s giving away motorhomes and derny’s.
Snook Cycling announce sponsorship deal – debut new uniform. (March 7th)
Snook Cycling are pleased to announce an unofficial sponsorship deal with Crane Sports of Aldi Supermarket. Crane Sports have long be associated with the team and a TSC spokesperson was pleased to confirm the agreement had been made unofficial.
“We are delighted with our relationship with Crane Sports and the money we plough into them is well spent, providing the team with good quality garments at low prices. ‘Don’t change your cycling style, change your waterproof’ is the message we want to promote to our long standing fans.
Snook Cycling debuted their new Winter Uniform at the Tom Simpson Classic last week in Harworth, bringing several comments from the onlooking crowds on their style as well as questions on when they were be available to buy. The TSC spokesperson confirmed that the jerseys will be available before the team trip to Alpe D’Huez in just three weeks time – “we plan to retail these rain proof winter outfts at just £67.67, however look out for them at half the price from the usual Chinese/Thai/Japanese sellers on fleabay.”
Fans are reminded that the Alpe D’Huez team bus will be leaving the team HQ in Durham at 18:00 sharp on Weds 30th March. One lucky fan can win the chance to sleep on the floor of the team campervan for the weekend, by simply answering the following question:
How many pints did TSC cosume in last years Mt Ventoux trip?
a) 75 b) 95 c) F*%k knows.