SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling stage memorial race for Bourne rider Tim James (23) as British Cycling and UCI pay respects to aspiring pro who died from rare cancer
The cycling community came together to honour an aspiring young rider who died from a rare form of cancer earlier this year.
Tim James, from Bourne, had been on the brink of turning professional when he was diagnosed with a cancer which has less then a handful of recorded cases worldwide.
He died in May aged just 23.
On Sunday, riders from across the country, as well as Tim's family, headed to Upton, in Yorkshire, to pay tribute to one of their own at the inaugural Tim James Memorial Road Race.
British team SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling, whom Tim joined ahead of the 2020 season, organised the National B series race in little over a week.
The loss remains difficult to bear for Tim’s family, but they have found comfort in the sport's response.
Cards of condolence have arrived from the the head of cycling's world governing body, the UCI, and British Cycling president Bob Howden.
“The whole cycling community and world have been amazing,” said Tim’s mum Janet.
“It is hard to put into words. We are so grateful to SwiftCarbon for putting this together so quickly in memory of Tim.”
Prize money from the race will be donated to the Teenage Cancer Trust and Clic Sargent charities which helped Tim during his battle.
“We are just very heartened and moved by the response," Janet added.
"It has helped to show us exactly what kind of impact he had on so many people.”
A minute’s silence was held before the start, while the SwiftCarbon team, sporting black armbands, lined up at the front and removed their helmets as a mark of respect.
While based with an Italian junior team, Tim had regularly competed on the Continent alongside Tour de France champion Tadej Pogacar.
He got into cycling through hometown club Bourne Wheelers who are hoping to hold their own tribute event from next year.
“It is really important to keep Tim’s memory alive," said SwiftCarbon team principal Carolyn Nelson.
"The tears started flowing when our riders took their helmets off.
"And when the whistle blew at the end of the minute's silence there was a spontaneous round of applause."
Tim's team-mate Ollie Peckover made the podium after finishing third and was allowed to claim the prime sprint prize, while winner Sam Watson dedicated his victory to the talented climber.
"A lot of the riders had personal connections with Tim," Carolyn added.
"There were also those who had never met him, but cycling is a big family and we all come together.
"In cycling you go from being serious competitors to the best of friends off the bike.
"Tim was a lovely kid - genuine, generous and would do anything for anybody."