Maurice Broadbent Memorial Trophy
As a tribute to a much loved man who has contributed so much to cycling over many years, the Rhyl Cycling Club has renamed its annual 64 mile Denbigh Road Race after Maurice Broadbent. A fitting tribute indeed following the Abergele road tragedy, when Maurice and three of his teammates died after a car collided with their Sunday morning training run. At the age of 61 years, club Chairman Maurice was still racing, and his enthusiasm inspired many to follow his example.
Sunday 9th April 2006 saw spring weather conditions, and an impressive forty strong field of riders competed following meticulous preparation by organiser Craig Needs..
President Bill Twigg led pre-race moments of silence commemorating January's tragic events, and he said that he was confident riders would produce a race of which Maurice would be proud. He wasn't wrong as the racing proved to be of the highest calibre.
Jeff Vernon (Birkenhead NE CC) eventually proved the strongest in a three man sprint to win covering the 64 miles in 2-44-10 with Barry Charley (Parker International) and Jason Meyer (Newport CC) also finishing in the same time.
Prize presentations were made by Maurice's widow, Sue. She thanked everyone for making this year's race such a wonderful occasion in memory of her late husband, and wished riders every success in their future racing careers. Later she told your editor that she gained much consolation in the knowledge that, since his retirement five years earlier, Maurice had enjoyed every minute of his cycling.
Welsh Cycling Chief Executive, Pete Sommers, travelled specially to North Wales to be at the event. He conveyed the governing body's delight to see the race continue: ''Maurice's name will now always be synonymous with cycle sport development across Wales. It is extremely encouraging to see such a strong field and so many people out enjoying the racing,'' he said. A view surely endorsed by everyone.
A chasing bunch at the Bodfari Turn
Sue Broadbent presents the annually awarded trophy to Jeff Vernon (Birkenhead North End CC) with race organiser Craig Needs in support