|Centre of Excellence Challenge|
Three days of superb performances by a four-man Northern Region Cycling Centre of Excellence squad gave three of the riders - Paul Curran (Stockton wheelers), Stuart Morris (Dinnington RCUniversal) and Steve Paulding (Cleveland Wheelers) - a well-timed chance to test some of the opposition before the National track championships.
But for Middlesborough rider Richard Stevely (Dinnington RC) it ended in disaster when he crashed, sustaining an injury which could put him out of competition for the rest of the season.
Third place in the 50-kilometre Madison, behind Canadian professional Gordon Singleton and Dave Penketh, gave Steveley and Morris a great start at Wolverhampton. At Leicester the following day, Curran joined the national pursuit squad in the Great Britain v Denmark match, helping them to an overall victory.
The team pursuit between the Danes and the Great Britain men proved to be a very close battle when both teams broke the track record before the Danes squeezed in to win by four-tenths of a second.
Steveley had finished second in the points race in the Leicester open meeting before breaking his collar bone in a crash later in the evening.
Mike Bell of VC Nottingham, joined Paulding, Morris and Curran in the final day's Centre of Excellence challenge match, which consisted of four events, finishing second-overall.
Paulding excelled in the sprint matches, beaten only once in four rides, by Paul Sidenham of the west Midlands squad.
Curran added the Pursuit to their tally while in the team pursuit the North Region quartet were three seconds down in third place and they were again third in the points race, their squad only fielding four riders to the other teams' six.
Curran teamed up with Manchester Wheeler Hugh Cameron in the invitation 50-kilometre madison, to win the event by lapping the main field twice.
1. Paul Curran (Northern Region)
1. Hugh Cameron (Manchester Whs) - Paul Curran (Stockton Whs)