LOOKING back to the week that was January 29 to February 4, five years ago...

A PROFESSIONAL cyclist was lucky to escape with his life after being catapulted from his bike and down a ravine in a crash with a van, in January 2019.

Scott Auld, from Stockton, rides for Ribble Pro Racing, and was near Benidorm, Spain on a training ride when the accident happened.

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Auld and his team-mates were cycling in a group at about 50kph when they were confronted by the van which they said was partly on their side of the road.

“We were riding two abreast and around a swooping left-hand corner, doing 50 to 55kph,” recalled Auld.

“A van came around in the opposite direction, about a metre or two onto our side of the road.

“I remember seeing him coming as clear as day.

“We braked, readjusted and for a split-second I thought ‘we’ve missed him’. I was second wheel and my friend’s arm caught the wing mirror. It completely smashed apart.

As I was turning he has clipped my back wheel and I have flown over my friend.

“The last thing I remember was flying towards this sign post and thinking ‘this is really going to hurt’. I clipped the sign post and, we are in Spain and so the hills are quite large, and I have gone off the side and landed on rocks and stuff.”

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Auld was discovered by a team-mate lying face down. I will take it day by day, but I want to be back training as soon as possible, I don’t want to be missing too much time for a stupid accident like this.”

Hundreds of people turned out in Yarm on January 29, 2019 for a public show of affection in memory of Luke Jobson.

The 22-year-old a trainee engineer from Thornaby went missing on the morning of Saturday, January 26, 2019, after a night out in Yarm. His body was discovered in the river by police the following Monday.

A social media post written by his family invited people from across the region to come to Yarm’s riverside and pay tribute.

At about 7pm, members of the public gathered alongside Mr Jobson’s family, who hosted the tribute as a celebration of his life.

At the riverside, pieces of red ribbon and red balloons, with personal messages were left as a reminder of the region’s huge support.

More than 200 individual pieces of ribbon had been tied to the railings of Yarm Wharf, whilst hundreds more were tied to railings and lamppost’s near Sainsbury’s car park.

A floral tribute, decorated with candles and pictures of Mr Jobson, had been carefully put together for the evening.

The eyes of the sporting world were set to be on the North-East after two of the region’s football stadiums were confirmed as host venues for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup.

In January 2019, it was announced that Newcastle and Middlesbrough were successful in their bids to host Rugby League World Cup games.

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St James’ Park was chosen as the venue for the opening ceremony and England’s opening match to kick-off the tournament, whilst the Riverside Stadium would host a men’s fixture.

York was chosen as one of the major hubs for the women’s tournament, staging group games and both semi-finals.

Organisers believed the region would receive an economic boost of up to £8m as a result of the successful bid, as well as attracting tourists from across the world to the area.