Friday, 9 November 2012

Grass Roots Racing: John Clarey - Tour De France Rider

On looking through some old photos of grass track racing at Avery Hill Park, I spotted a future Tour de France rider.

Grass track  - Devil take the hindmost - Avery Hill Park

He is not easy to spot as he is near the rear of the bunch. This was not unusual as he had very early in his career developed the annoying habit of making his way to the front only when the finish line appeared.

To make him easier to spot here is another pic of a young John Clarey picking up his first place prize at the Eltham Paragon Road Race that was held on the tough North Downs circuit in Kent.

Prize Presentation by Eltham Paragon club president Charlie Almond 

In the background on the left is Sid Phillips of the Kent Road Club another prizewinner and who was, I believe an early inspiration in Mick Ballard’s development as a prolific short distance time trial winner. This event was filmed the the Eltham Amateur Film Society but unfortunately I have been unable to trace any copies of the film.