KENTON Road Club are mourning the death of one of British cycling's most dedicated servants, Charles Messenger.
Affectionately known as Chas, Messenger passed away last Friday aged 95. He had been president of the local Chequers Road Club and vice president of Kenton (1989), whose staff this week described him as a 'giant' of the sport.
"We owe him an enormous debt of gratitude for his dedication and enthusiasm for the sport of cycle racing," said a spokesman for Kenton Cycling Club. "He will be greatly missed."
Despite not being a rider, he was involved in cycling, particularly road racing, for 70 years at international, national and local levels. Messenger was chairman of the West London (subsequently West Thames) Division of the British Cycling Federation (BCF) and served as vice-president on the BCF for seven years.
A well known face among the cycling fraternity, Messenger organised the Tour of Britain (Milk Race) between 1958 and 1968 and was the British road team manager between 1962 and 1967, including for the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
He organised the World Road Race Championships at Goodwood in 1982, but was equally at home arranging countless local races in the Home Counties. His services to cycling were officially recognised when he was awarded the prestigious gold badge of honour by the BCF in 1978.
In other club news, Kenton members Brendan Heaslip and Dave and Des Gayler competed in the British Cycling National Masters Series at Hillingdon on Sunday. The 55-mile course, one of the longest events in the series, saw Heaslip finish in 20th. However, the course claimed Des Gayler around the 40-mile mark, at which point he developed breathing problems in the searing heat. The race was won by RAPHA Condor's Matt Seaton.
Des recovered, to take fourth place out of 39 entrants in the Hemel Hempstead 10-mile time trial, with a time of 22.31.