Riders 2019/20

Handsling Racing - Team Riders

Meet The Team

John Veness - Multiple National Masters XC MTB Champion, 5th in the World Masters Mountain Bike Championships, and multiple road race winner. John is a superb climber. He works as a Clinical Scientist. Collects and mixes ‘rare’ music. In 2014 finished 2nd in the LVRC National Championships, in 2015 was 3rd overall in the Vuelta Majorca, winning the 40-49 age category in the process and in 2016 was 2nd in the British Cycling Masters National Championships.

Peter Cole (Denmark) - London based, former SCCU Cycling Champion, and silver medallist in the Masters Nationals. A very fast, powerful sprinter. He works as a programmer. Pete was 2nd overall in the Hillingdon winter series in 2016.

Vince Halpern - is a legend of South-east road racing with many great results at all levels, including Premier Calendars, and representation for GB in international triathlon. Vince works as a personal trainer. Vince won the 2013/14 Hillingdon Winter Series overall.

Nigel Halpern (resides in Norway) - known to all as 'Boris', has been a junior time-trial champion and raced for clubs in the UK, Australia and Norway. Now based in Norway, his focus is on Master’s MTB and road races where he has had numerous top placing’s. He works as an Associate Professor in Logistics and Sport Management (but is also a spinning instructor!).

Paul Hopkins - brings with him a wealth of racing experience. A classy rider, good climber and keen cyclocross rider, he is based on the south coast in Eastbourne, and targets veterans and masters races on and off-road. Paul is also involved in cycle event organisation and runs things on CycleTechReview.com.

Neil Macleod - has represented GB at the Master's MTB World Champs in Brazil and is a strong rider with great technical skills off-road. He is the former creative director of a leading internet marketing agency, and as such is a social media and creative marketing expert.

Neil Cooper - Known to all as 'Coops', a good all rounder with a strong sprint, with wins in a number of local and national level races. Neil was a former multiple Junior National Champion and a representative for GB in European and World age group triathlon. Coops works as a data centre construction project manager.

Monica Polenza (Italy) - our only female rider at present, Monica is a strong road racer with a number of wins under her belt. Currently she is making a comeback after having sometime off to look after her first child.

Alastair McNeill - an epic rider both on and off-road, Alastair certainly likes a challenge. In 2014 he rode the length of the Alps on Les Routes Des Grandes Alpes from Geneva to Nice. Works as a secondary school teacher.

Gary Stanesby - though very tall for a cyclist, Gary climbs surprisingly adeptly. He loves riding anywhere on and off-road in the UK and Europe. Gary works as an architect.

Mark Tearle - Mark can be found - usually on a bike - in deepest darkest Sussex. A cyclocross fanatic and the organiser of the unsanctioned Ultracross events in Sussex, as well as a Sussex round of the London and SE Cross League. An established cycling writer and a race commissaire, Mark will race road and cyclocross when he can, and has many ambitious cycling related challenges lined up for 2015. Works in the NHS.

Alex Peterson - is a strong crit rider and a renowned fast finisher. He developed a clever, longer, race winning attack to out-fox the pure sprinters, which he has employed time and again to collect a barrel full of wins. Alex works as an IT contractor.

Robert McDonough - an ex-triathlete with an attraction to long distance events, he has raced European Long Course Champs, Ironman events and a Double Ironman. Family life has changed the focus and recent years have seen a shift to sportives and dabbling in road racing. His targets for 2015 are to get his 3rd cat licence and, away from cycling, to run (yes, run!) the North Downs Way in one go (100 miles) in under 24 hours (he did this).

Mike Veness - a keen MTB rider since his teens, entering a number of race events over the years, with some long distance treks thrown in for good measure. Inspired by his brothers’ continued success, Mike now also enjoys regular road riding. He is a Senior Landscape Contract Manager and was proud to be involved with the construction of the Olympic Park in Stratford.

Alan Dorrington - London born but now an established Lancashire legend, Alan is a cyclocross master. In his spare time he runs across fells and fights social injustice (probably at the same time).

Gary Taylor - he weighs in at 60kgs and has a fierce sprint. Does a lot of mountain biking nowadays, but he is probably still the reigning Chaingang World Champion. Works as a teacher by day.

Robert Vokes (resides in Spain) - Yorkshire born, ex-Spanish pro Rob has been there seen it and done it. Usually found riding up roads least travelled in search of KOMs. IT security contractor.

Will Driver - Dr Driver as he is known, because he is actually a doctor, Will has a great pedigree having won a stage race in Italy in his youth. A bit heavier now but still a strong lad.

Simon Tuck - "Anything I put as a bio will look well disappointing compared to this lot!!" Simon used to run the London Bus Network but now reviews products for CycleTechReview.com and is a cycle mechanic.

Mike Walden - Mike The Gap, as he is known loves nothing more than a hard chaingang followed by a fast technical downhill. Is obsessed with VW camper vans. IT contractor.

Guy Apter - A fierce-some rider of some repute, especially when the road goes upwards, Guy is a lover of brightly coloured knitwear and always at the centre of any party. He runs a little antiques shop in a quiet market town.

Leon Parks - apparently he was raised in Flanders by wolves. In his first ever race he won some money. He repeated this feat in his second ever race. He is basically a pro. Also throws some hoops now and again. Works for some magazine.

Jonathan Donald is an experienced racer. He now works as a teacher but used to be a journalist and even wrote for something called Cycling Weekly...

Harry Palmer used to be a rower but now prefers two wheels.

Kevin Byles is based in Suffolk. Strong in the legs, he is keen to gain his 3rd cat licence. He loves cafe 'training' rides and admits to an addiction to latte. Kevin competes in crits and road racing. He works as postman.

Mark Edgley has raced a bit, is London based and works as a finance manager

Mattihas Newsome is a consistent performer with a good racing pedigree as a former 2nd cat rider.

Steve Goodman likes anything with two wheels, including enduro motorbiking when he isn't cycling.

Drew Gibson claims that, due to a complete lack of a sprint, he prefers long hilly sportives such as the Mallorca 312 and the Fred Whitton. He is an occasional rider of Spring Classics, loves riding uphill and can also be found clinging onto a chaingang. Works as a motorsports photographer when not out on the bike.

Simon Whiten - Hampshire based and acts as the team's fat DS. He has experience at all levels, especially lower ones, but also including Premier Calendars and racing in Europe. He has ridden the road and track extensively but prefers cyclocross to either, though hates having to get off his bike unless coffee and cake are waiting. He runs Handsling.

Dan Saunders (USA) also occasionally represents Handsling across the pond in Portland cyclocross races, when he is not too busy brewing beer, and James Kelly (Australia) often wears Handsling colours down under in Adelaide.