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 at Great Ormond Street Hospital, London. Collects and mixes ‘rare’ music. John had a good season in 2014 finishing 2nd in the LVRC National Championships and recently finishing 3rd overall in the Vuelta Majorca, winning the 40-49 age category in the process. 

Peter Cole (Denmark) - Pete is a former SCCU Cycling Champion, and silver medallist in the Nationals and a very fast, powerful sprinter. He works as a Lead Programmer for Fitch, the City financial ratings agency. Pete had a quiet year by his own high standards, the highlight being a 7th place on a stage of the Tour of Sussex.

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 and is a mechanical master with bike maintenance. Helmet at a jaunty angle, 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 also as 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.

Rob Allen - is a two time National Rowing Champion and Great Britain Junior Rower. Rob began cycling seriously while living in Australia, racing criteriums at Sydney's Heffron Park and winning bronze in the New South Wales State Championship Masters time trial in 2008. Obsessed with the 3 Peaks cyclocross race, Rob concentrates on cyclocross in the London and Central leagues in the winter and then time trials in the summer.

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.

Steve Hallam - brings a wealth of UK Sportive experience to the team. Although he does not race (yet), Steve has cycled from London to Paris helping to raise £10k for Alzheimer's Research and has taken part in the 2014 London Triathlon. He's the MD of a recruitment company.

Graham Crow - super strong, ex-Elite triathlete and duathlete, who has competed at international level. He dabbled in road racing in the past but returned to concentrate on road racing in 2011. Currently 1st cat. He works in the Fire Service. 

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.

Tom Smith - is a strong sprinter with great technical ability, making him a proficient crit specialist. He held an Elite licence for over 10 years and can boast a top 10 overall in the National Circuit Race Series, on the way to which he gained several top 5 race placings. He has also had top a 10 finish in Premier Calendars and won the prestigious Bec CC road race in 2008. He is however, an accountant...

Andrew Crimp - has had a long break from cycling but his interest in riding a bike was reignited after a stint working as the Production Manager at Handsling. He soon realised that he had never given up riding in his heart, just in practice... His main aims are to gradually increase his mileage, do a few training sessions with the team and to ride some sportives . He says he wants to learn how to climb a hill properly. Video producer.

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

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.

Matt Wallis - Our pocket-sized sprinter, Matt started properly racing in 2015. Two wins in two cat four races quickly saw him make the jump to 3rd cat, which he's keen to build on in 2016. You can often find him leading rides for Viva Velo cycle tours, when he can escape his office job advising people about injury recuperation.

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.

Gary Taylor - he weighs in at 60kgs and has a fierce sprint. He is the reigning Chaingang World Champion but is a teacher by day.

Craig Adams (S.Africa) - mild mannered off the bike but an animal on it. Grrr. Works in the oil industry.

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. Security contractor.

Victor Aguirre (Colombia) - one of our Colombian signings from 2015, Vic is fast making ground on the UK race scene. Works in the restaurant trade and likes a drink.

Jose Soler (Colombia) - came free as part of a two for one deal with Victor. Sprints a bit, climbs a bit. Quickly making a name for himself. Runs a successful pizza empire.

George Wells - awesome young superstar of Handsling Racing. He is so good he has his own support team - coach, soigneur, manager, groupies, etc. Works in the bike trade.

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.

Gary Schroeder - from party prince to cycling legend in just a few short years, Gary has come a long way. He is racing well  and recently did a solo 24 hour ride round Regents Park to raise money for a little girl. Legend.

Will Campbell-Jones - he doesn't care about cycling tradition and isn't here to just fit in. An ex-rower and engineer, he loves competing and is obsessed with go-faster gear. Everyday he shaves another second here, another there... He works as the world's best barman.

Alvaro Alves da Cunha - After a successful cycling career with many wins in his native Mozambique, Alvaro thought he'd offer London his talents. He is very fertile and has more children than anyone else we know...

Tristan Grigalis Having started racing in 2013 and gaining his 2nd cat in just 7 races on the crit circuit in Hampshire, Tristan left to sail around the world in the world's longest ocean yacht race. Back on dry land, 2016 is his first full season of racing with the aim of gaining 1st cat. He's shown early promise, with a hat-trick of 8th places in the Archer CC crit, Surrey League and Full Gas crits...

William Bourne - our resident hill climber, Will really comes to the fore when the gradient pitches upwards. After placing 14th in his first National Hill Climb champs in 2014, he turned his hand to road racing in 2015, focusing on hilly parcours with tough, uphill finishes and challenging stage races. He also enjoys adventure cycle touring and spent much of 2015 cycling around South America and India.

Simon Tuck "Anything I put as a bio will look well disappointing compared to this lot!!". Simon reviews products for CycleTechReview.com when not managing the London bus network.

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.

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. Works for some magazine.

Simon Whiten - 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, and has ridden the track extensively. He has a strange passion for turbo training... Has worked within media for many years and now runs Handsling.

And finally, Dan Saunders (Portland, USA) also occasionally represents Handsling in Portland cyclocross races, when he is not too busy brewing beer.

Special mention also to:

James Kelly (Australia)

Tim Granshaw (California, USA)

Rob Enslin (South Africa)

all Handsling Racing at heart if not when racing nowadays...