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Back in the Saddle and Sprinting for Success!

Published: Thursday, 20th July 2017

Photo of Jack Thomas

20 year old Fort Vale apprentice Jack Thomas rides again in the Fort Vale Sprint for Success!

FORT Vale Engineering is to sponsor the Sprint for Success race on Grand Prix night on Wednesday, 26th July for the fourth year running.

 Cllr Sarah Cockburn-Price, spokesman for Colne Town Council, the race organisers, said: “We are extremely grateful for Fort Vale’s continued support.  Colne is the Capital of Pennine Cycling and being able to mount a major cycle race of this calibre underlines that.”

Race night starts at 6.15 p.m. with the Youth Race before Fort Vale’s Sprint for Success at 7 p.m. followed by the famous Chopper Dash and the final of HSBC UK | National Circuit Series  – the Colne Grand Prix - at 8 p.m., sponsored by

Fort Vale Engineering started life in Colne and is now a world leader, making valves and fittings for road, sea and rail tankers.  This year it is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a proud legacy of supporting apprentices throughout its history.  The Fort Foundation Charity not only brings outward bound courses to underprivileged children, but also sponsors potential young Olympians.

Fort Vale’s General Manager Shaun Laycock said: “Our passion for cycling runs right through the Company, from our management team to our young apprentices, some of whom are involved in competitive cycling.  Last year, one of our talented apprentices, Jack Thomas, competed for the first time in the Fort Vale Sprint for Success.  It was an action-packed race and our hearts were in our mouths when Jack was involved in a cycling pile-up and was injured, sustaining a dislocated shoulder.

Cllr. Cockburn-Price added: “Hundreds of people posted on social media, worried about Jack and checking that he was going to be OK.  The Colne circuit is recognised to be the toughest in the UK elite series.  Cycle racing is a high-risk sport and we respect the bravery and staying power of top UK and up and coming cyclists, as they battle it out on the streets of Colne.”

Shaun Laycock explained: “I’m happy to say that Jack’s made a good recovery and is back in the saddle for this year’s Sprint for Success.”
Fort Vale sponsors their 20 apprentice from Barnoldswick and this year have designed a Fort Vale strip for him.

Jack Thomas, who rides for Pendle Forest Club has just returned from a cycling week with HOPE technology in the alps.  He said:  “This is the biggest cycling event of the year for me and I feel surprisingly relaxed. 

"I was injury free until last year, but if you don’t crash at some point you aren’t trying hard enough!
“The speed of the race is blistering.  I’ll have a different strategy this year and my main aim is to roll over that finish line,” he added.