Entries for Club of the Year in association with Santini close soon

Nominations are now open for Cycling Weekly’s Club of the Year to be presented at our awards event in London this December. The prize, sponsored by Santini, will be awarded to a club that has set high standards from a sporting or community sense, or through having a strong purpose or mission.

Clubs are the bedrock of the sport in this country and almost all the country’s best riders came through or have been involved in the club scene.

Former world champion Lizzie Deignan, an honorary member and patron of Otley CC in Yorkshire, may not have come through the club system, instead going straight on to the Talent Team, but knows just how crucial it is. Looking back at the time she got her first racing licence as a private member she now wishes she was part of a club.

“It’s just a sense of riding for somebody and wearing a team jersey,” Deignan says.

“It’s quite a complex sport [if you don’t get] any instruction from experienced people. Simple things like the terminology, the equipment — it’s not like sticking a pair of running shoes on and going for a run. You need to know your way around your local area etc, so if you can join a group of people who know all that already then that, I think, is the value in a club.”

Deignan, who has been working with Italian firm Santini on a new range of clothing called Lizzie X, to be launched in the autumn, passes her old kit to the children’s Mini Flyers section at Otley CC.

Entry for the Santini Club of the Year award is open until Friday August 31. Get yours in now by clicking here.

The winners will be announced at a lavish awards ceremony in London on Wednesday, December 12.