Organisers of the Peaks Two-Day in Yorkshire at the weekend had to draft in a reserve after their lap bell was stolen by thieves. Marc Etches who is part of the organisation, left the lap board in a grassy culvert at the finish line between races, only to return 35 minutes later to find thieves had unbolted the bell from the board and made off with it.
Luckily, the team had a spare which they brought in off the bench (or, out of the boot at least).
The bell had been in the Yorkshire region for around 10 years and seen a bit of action in that time, building up its own pedigree.
"It's gone to Sheffield Grand Prix; it's been to Otley Grand Prix; it's been to all the major races, you know, it's probably been to Ryedale Grand Prix. You know, it's had some history!"
But there wouldn't be any rewards or wanted posters going up, said Etches, for the bell wasn't really that good. "It's not a desirable piece of equipment really," said Etches, "In all honesty it wasn't very good, it was a bin tinny," he laughed.
The National B event, which featured three stages – two road stages and a time trial – also drew the attention of Olympic star Ed Clancy, who was presumably unaware of the ding-dong surrounding the bell, but all the same took to social media to comment.
"I’ve just spent the day watching the Peaks 2-Day (almost literally in my backyard) in Holmfirth," he wrote on Twitter. "Got me thinking about how important these events are for both the sport of cycling and promoting health in general. Amazing work by James Hawkins and Yomp Bonk Crew."
This was the second edition of the race, whose chief organiser is 19-year-old Hawkins, the brains behind the Yomp Bonk Super Series criteriums, held at the Forge Valley circuit in Sheffield.
Other than the mysterious case of the disappearing bell, the race ran off smoothly, with Tamsin Miller (Hutchinson-Brother) taking the overall women's title thanks to consistent finishes across the three stages, including a win in the stage one time trial.
Oliver Peckover of TrainSharp-Elite won the men's race overall, staying within touching distance of the lead in the first two stages, then inserting himself in the winning break on the third and final stage to finish third and jump up to first overall.
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