National tribute to legend Ken

Torbay Weekly

Paignton's Ken Robertson, the South-West's 'Mr Cycling' who died just before Christmas, is expected to have one of his favourite events named after him, but raised to national level.

Robertson passed away at the age of 85 after suffering a heart attack while cycling to meet friends for a spin, and his funeral included a ceremonial ride around the Torbay Velopark, which attracted more than 200 friends and supporters from all over the region.

The Mid-Devon CC, of which Robertson was a member for 70 years, is finalising details to rename its Good Friday Hilly Time Trial, 23-miles up and down the Bovey and Teign Valleys, after their hugely popular former president.

Club chairman Mike Gratton reported: "It's not the only way we're planning to remember Ken, but that time trial was one of his favourite events.

"It probably won't happen until next year, because we're trying to have it added to the National Hard Riders' Series, which will attract an even bigger and better field.

"We're also going to start our own club version of the Dartmoor Classic sportive, for members and all the people who help to run the event, and call it the Ken Robertson Classic.  And there are one or two other ideas in the pipeline."

Meanwhile, Robertson's legacy goes on with the Mid-Devon's traditional season-opening Primavera Road Race, which he formerly organised, on Sunday week (March 6).

Nearly 150 riders are expected to contest the 60-mile event for Elite/1/2/3rd Category men and the 48-mile test for 3/4th Cat performers over the Hatherleigh-Halwill Junction circuit near Okehampton.

The club's biggest race of the year, the Totnes-Vire Two-Day (May 14/15) will also feature a new hill-climb test.

The first day will see an opening stage circuit race at the Torbay Velopark and then switch to a hilly time trial from Starcross to the top of Mamhead, which rises nearly 700ft in its 3.3 kilometres.

The final stage on the Sunday will be a 70-mile road race over the Roadford Reservoir circuit based at Bridestowe, east of Okehampton.