News & Features
As the Man from the Beeb said “April Showers in May”. After the amazing Bank Holiday weather we were greeted with heavy rain and strong winds across most the UK.
Whether it was riding the mighty Fred Whitton in the Lake District or a 100 mile TT in the Fens. Squally hail storms combined with strong winds meant conditions were tough out there.
Last week the press report was lead out by the MTB Riders. This week the Sportive Riders start us off out of the neutralised zone.
Some people say Sportives are not proper bike riding. They are not races. If you have taken part in the Fred Whitton Challenge in the Lake District you will smile with a smile that masks the pain of finishing this event. 30% climbs left to the last part of a 100 plus mile ride. Imagine putting a plank up your stairs and then trying to ride up it for several hundred metres. That what 30% looks like.
Over to Simon Oxenham for his account of this years event and his attempt to get under seven hours.
The Fred Whitton Challenge
2013 was Fred number six for me – I thought I’d experienced most weather conditions. I knew it was going to be windy, we had that last year and I knew rain was forecast at around midday so I set off early(ish) at around 06:50.
I love this event, everything about it is just inspirational. I’ve said I’ll do ten in a row, but I’ll probably just keep going My aim was the same as last year, to break 7hrs. This usually involves me going off way too fast and dying on my arse. This year was no different, but for slightly different reasons.
I felt great up to Whinlatter Pass at around 60 miles, but then it started to rain. From this most northerly point the route turns south and into the wind. The weather steadily deteriorated and Cold Fell wasn’t a good place to be on a bike! By the second feed stop at Calder Bridge I was very cold, so I dibbed and kept going.
The final 30 mile stretch is usually okay. Hardknott and Wrynose are hard work after 100 miles, but they make the event a bit special. By this stage I wasn’t able to squeeze to drink from my bottles and I was stuck in the small chain-ring, unable to operate the shifter or brake properly All thoughts of a good time went out of the window, as anyone who has ridden down Hardknott and Wrynose will know, in the wet with steamed up glasses and dodgy brakes it’s not the place to push your luck!
109.0mi 11,289ft 07:03:48
Paramedics at the finish said I was borderline hypothermic. They wrapped me in a space blanket and three jackets and it took me a good hour before I felt warm.
Toughest ride I’ve done by some margin.
Can’t wait to do it again
Hampshire Hilly Hundred
David Smith Reports From The HHH
5th year in a row for me doing this event and on Saturday night I loaded the car with a variety of types of kit for whatever the Sunday might bring. As it turned out it was not as cold as I had feared and it looked like the rain would hold off until around my projected finishing time.
This year there was significant changes to the route which was billed as being 163.25km and 1075m of climbing. I’ll agree that the distance was there or thereabouts but I had rightly taken the elevation with a pinch of salt- 2188m according to Strava.
The ride was, as usual, well organised with good feedstations and we got into a decent group midway round. I was struggling on the hills and had to chase back on a few times. I knew I had to move up in the group to give myself more margin to drop back on the climbs but some of the roads were very narrow country lanes with oncoming cyclists/traffic. Eventually I lost contact but was happy overall with a ride time of 6hr 08 and official time of 6:23. The rain started falling as I made my way back to the car park.
My legs are in pieces today!
Nick Calkin decide May was a good time to organise a TrailQuest. Despite the weather on Saturday many days of dry weather meant that Nick was able to spend the huge number of hours required to set the course out for this type of event on dry and fast trails. Despite the downpours on the Saturday riders were still able to enjoy great riding conditions.
Wizzer (AKA Richard Wise) Reports from the depths of the woods somewhere in the Chilterns.
Having only ridden one Trailquest before and not really being an MTB mud plugger, I wasn’t sure how I would cope with Nick’s 5 hour Chilterns event because:
1) I’m a lardy who struggles to get up hills
2) My bike is a heavyweight that struggles to get up hills
3) I’ve never done more than 3 ½ hours on a mountain bike
So with that in mind, we headed for Frieth on Sunday morning, not really knowing what to expect. The idea of a Trailquest is simple enough – you are given an OS map segment with in this case 32 locations marked on it. Before starting there is chance to plan a route in which you can visit as many points as possible, allowing enough time to get back to the finish before penalties are applied after 5 hours. At each location you will (or should) find a pair of orienteering clippers with which to mark your time card as proof of visiting.
What you don’t know until your start minute is exactly how many marks each location is worth – for the top riders this is all important but for me surviving the day and getting to as many as possible was all that mattered.
At 09.56 I set off, my first chosen check point being number 4. There is nothing more annoying than not finding a location and for some reason despite being in the right place, at the right bench in the right wood, I couldn’t find it – first check, no points – bugger! Fortunately it would be the only one I searched for that I couldn’t find. Two more checks, two more big hills, an hour and a half gone and I was already coming to the conclusion that I had messed up and chosen a route which was completely the wrong one for me. Still over three hours to go, onwards and unfortunately still upwards!
At check 11, I met Geoff, Helen and Ralph who were all searching, albeit in the wrong place. Eventually we did find it and set off down a steep mud track towards Stonor – in an instant they were all gone, proving that I’m not much cop at going downhill either!
My route now committed me to a five mile hard going off road slog, which in hindsight was another poor decision, but once up on the ridge at Pishill I really had no option but to continue around collecting as many as I could before the climb up to Bix – on my road bike this would be ok but on the Belgrano it really was tough going.
Two hours left and I’m heading towards Nettlebed (away from the finish) for a loop with three more check points, but by the time I had completed these, I found myself in Highmoor with an hour to get back to Frieth, knowing there would be at least one more big hill somewhere. I therefore chose to skip the next planned part of my route, so from Nettlebed I hammered along the A4130 into Henley as fast as I could but my legs and head were already telling me I had done enough.
If I took the back road up to Rotten Row, I had a chance of getting to two more locations before getting to the finish on time. but this obviously meant another climb – by this time I had really had enough but the thought of a cup of tea and getting off the bike spurred me on. The two checks found, I raced up the last road into Frieth, getting there with a couple of minutes to spare and no penalties.
So at the end of my longest duration MTB ride, I had done 62.2km. 966 metres of climbing and a Strava suffer score which ranked equal 8th on my all time list, being beaten by various Pyreneen climbs and French sportives.
So what have I learned? Well,Trailquests are a great way of forgetting everything else in the world as you don’t have a moment to think about anything else.
If I do any more such events in the hills, I really do need to change my gearing as my Alfine hub gear is brilliant for the flatter stuff but I end up walking on the steep climbs as it is way too high for these hills.
Secondly, I think my route shows that spending time planning the best way around the course is all important and on this occasion I cocked it up.
Finally more time on a mountain bike is needed because it really is a huge different to what I am used to – but there are only so many riding hours available in a day!
Huge thanks to Nick, Will, Zeta, Toni, Jade and anyone I have missed for the event – it really was tough but I think it was enjoyable.
Colin Steele joins Wizzer with a report on his first MTB TrailQuest:
Wizzer said it all really but I’ll add my experience. The trailquest was my first mountain bike orienteering event, it really started the day before when trying to fix my bike. The gear hanger on my steel framed bike had bent quite badly and I was trying to straighten it, I failed, I just couldn’t get the rear mech hanger to straighten enough and the gears were just not aligning correctly. I tried to go single speed but was having no luck, the chain kept on slipping so I was forced to use the spare bike, the girlfriends PINK Orange EVO2. It was my only option and gave it a quick service and hoped for the best.
So I turned up with the ill fitting pink bike, I didn’t really know what to expect out of the bike or the event. I had read the Midland Trail Quest website and had spoken to Nick about the event before hand so understood the concept but once I arrived at the village hall it all seemed very alien. I was very happy to see Pete and Pat with there heads over a couple of maps planning there route, I sat with them and started planning my own. I came prepared with a pink highlighter and started planning my route, I chose do do a large loop and fit in a couple of the high scoring locations.
During the ride the bike was being a pain, the seatpost was rubbish, it would not hold the saddle tight, the V brakes scared the hell out of me on the descents and I got a puncture about 3hrs into the ride. But I began to love the bike, we were on an adventure together, some of the singletrack was amazing and includes places I’ll definitely be going back to. i’m not sure how many locations we got to, but the bike did get me to the finish eventually about 15 minutes late. I checked my score before I left and scored 440, 1 point more than Pete and Pat, I was happy with that it’s probably the only time i’ll ever beat them two on a bike.
Nick – That was a quality event, thanks for organising it, I’ll be doing a few more of them. I couldn’t find location 5, apparently attached to a ‘Yew Tree’ – I have no idea what a fecking yew tree looks like so gave up but was happy to hear that other couldn’t find it either.
This weeks TT report comes in two parts from Andy Halliday who is now really starting to show the results of some very dedicated and hard training over the winter.
Part 1: The Cat is Finally Out Of The Bag
Well most of the TT world in the UK now know the F11/10 designed by VC10 is one of the fastests 10 mile TT courses in the UK.
Andy’s report from the VTTA event on Wednesday 8th May:
So another day for a time trial and its a, well its actually a Wednesday afternoon! Local trip to the F11/10 for what turned out to be a pretty amazing day.
Steve Irwin won the event with the 11th fastest time trial in UK RECORDED HISTORY !!! with an 18:39 , A PB and course record for him.
Pete Lawrence rode 19:02 PB to gain 4th place – You had to ride an 18 to get top 3 !!! However Pete’s ride is currently the fastest ever VTTA London & Home Counties area solo 10 mile TT
I rode a 20:07 PB while VC10 riders posted the following times:
Greg Lewis 20:54
Neil Pugh 22:24
David Lancaster 23:49
Saturday morning and a number of people looking out windows getting ready to do Saturday afternoon time trials, Known for the warmer weather than a silly 0 clock Sunday event, and often at a time that any wind has started to calm down. I was clearly not the only person who fooled themselves with that sales pitch!
The following Strava quotes
Richard King headed for the E2/10 and reported a “strong headwind out”.
Greg Lewis to the A25/11 where he reports a “Massive storm before the start. Dry start then after 5 miles all hell broke loose. Shot to bits by hail. 30 mph head wind then torrential rain. Body temperature dropped so much HRM stopped working. I have windsurfed in water when ice was forming on the surface. Today I was colder. Actually pleased with my ride. Do not feel the cold. But Blimey almost passed out in the car trying to get changed”
Myself to Norfolk for the B100/9 where without doubt it was the hardest ride I have ever done, The course is a little lumpy but nothing silly steep, the weather was just brutal, I’m a fair weather cyclist – Happy to admit that. Rain on the first lap was enough for me to want to stop, rain stopped and I managed to kid myself that would be all the rain for the day, I was almost right! Hail came next! Had to laugh if the hail was not drumming on my TT Helmet it was trying to break the visor – That took my mind off the stinging of hail on my legs. Another break from the weather but what came next was most undesirable and almost indescribable – Rain so strong I lost any sight of actual tarmac due to volume of water. Thought I was on a MTB ride at one point as I could see the water running down the road against me. Lost feeling of hands and feet way before the finish maybe 30 miles to go, Might have even lost my mind but too cold to know!
Not knowing many names on the start sheet I took a guess that Stuart Birnie (Who finished second in 2012 National 24hr TT) might take first place. I was wrong he took third with 4:18:51, First place went to Charlie Nurse in 4:14:48. An infamous person once wrote “Every Second Counts”…………In this event Second place over Stuart by ONE SECOND was me in 4:18:50 also first VET, First Handicap and a most welcome PB. Riders of the day have to be those on Trikes. Out longer than the rest of us and so braved so much more.
Following words mentioned on timetriallingforum from various people which although sum up the general B100/9 weather were experienced by others elsewhere………..
“Just got back early from the 100 saw 2 laps of the three, gave a shout to all riders….Just as I left the course the skys opened up and within half a minute there was an inch of water all over the road and with my wipers going full blast I could not see. The wind was it`s normal nasty self especially for the first 12 miles of every lap. Top marks for all riders today Well Done.”
“Wind was horrible on the first 12 miles, straight into it. Defo going to be a race of endurance and attrition. Cold temp too, lots of arm and leg warmers and longsleeve jackets among the riders.”
“I am utterly broken, was going well and on target for 4:30 till the last lap, lost 20mins on last lap due to the terrible conditions and limped home in 4:51 gutted”
“Only pure stubbornness got me to the finish, stopped at my support on the last lap to put some winter gloves and thermal jacket on because I was so cold, couldn’t even change gear…..Well done to everyone really, even those that didn’t finish it was horrible out there.”
“Man that was a tough ride. Torrential rain kicked in with 30 to go. I don’t think I have ever been so cold, was fine on the first two laps. Lost about 6-7 minutes on the last lap, couldn’t really change gear with frozen hands. By the time I got back to the hq I was shivering so much … I had to get stripped by my wife and sit on the heated seat in the car for 30 minutes before the shaking stopped. Never seen a results board show so many dnfs. ”
“Tough day on a tough course. Many thanks to the organisers and marshals for putting on a good event. This was my first 100TT and it was probably the hardest ride I have ever done. The rain and cold on the last lap was truly numbing. Did a 5h 01m 00s which was gutting as i was heading for a comfortable sub 5hr. The combination of the weather on the last lap(did everyone else notice the lovely tailwind home disappearing?)”
“How on earth I finished that I have no idea… again got caught by the rain/hail as I headed up the A148 for the last lap, again once the numbness set in it was hopeless, dare not ride on the tri-bars as i couldn’t tell if I had hold of them or not. 5:24 in the end, I’m not too unhappy given the conditions and I know that this might sound a bit mean but I’m glad i wasn’t the only one who had numb hands, I was diagnosed with MS in 2009 and I was worried I had over done it a bit and brought on a relapse, thankfully it appears not.”
“First two laps were fine even if a little tough on the outward leg to Hillington. Last lap was a nightmare. Couldn’t see anything as my visor had steamed up so much, was wet through with only my skinsuit and thin arm warmers on. I think it was the coldest i’ve ever been. I could barely shift gear or even grab my bottle. I lost a ton of time on the last lap but still posted a 4.49 which i was chuffed with given what we’d all been through! Funny thing (looking back) was me trying and failing to even unclip my helmet strap and my girlfriend having to strip my clothing for me in the carpark.”
“Well, after reading the comments here I’m even more glad I not just took part, but finished. Pure bloody-mindedness got me round the last 30 miles after the downpour. Passing the warm car of my support at 80 miles was especially tough, getting a thumb up and a grin from them and just meekly shaking my head but carrying on carrying on. Seems we were part of something that people will remember for a very long time.”
Thank you to all the riders who put pen to electronic paper and write a report. They are superb. Reading about your exploits is motivational. So please keep them coming.
In last weeks press report the MTB riders led the report. This week it is the Triathlete’s turn to start the press report. Anna Holder pictured above reports from the Hampton Court Tri.
Over to Anna:
Thames Turbo Sprint Triathlon – Race 2
Report by Anna Holder
Bank Holiday Monday saw the second of the series of sprint triathlons run by London-based Thames Turbo Triathlon club. Race HQ was Hampton Pool, a 36m outdoor pool heated to a toasty 28°C and open all year round.
The swim course was interesting in that you swam 2 lengths in each lane before moving up to the next, making it a 12-length (426m) swim altogether. This meant it was easy to lose time moving from lane to lane, but a tumble turn with a push off under the next lane rope worked out okay in the end! Competitors were seeded by swim time and set off at regular intervals in 4 ‘races’. This meant there was no official start time for each competitor which gave the organisers more flexibility but was a bit frustrating as it was hard to plan out any pre-race nutrition and warm-up. Nevertheless, even though it was early, the sun was out and so waiting around by the side of the pool wasn’t so bad.
The bike course worked its way up to the roundabout by Hampton Court Palace and then back along the edge of Bushy Park before turning left onto a quieter road that passed through Sunbury-on-Thames and Shepperton. Then we turned just North-East of Chertsey before retracing the route back towards Hampton. The organisers had added a non-competition zone between the end of the bike course and T2 back at Hampton Pool in order to avoid a right turn onto a busy road with traffic lights. This meant that we rode over a timing mat after 21.5km and then had 7 minutes to get back to the pool at non-race pace, although there wasn’t time to be too relaxed!
The run took place in Bushy Park; mainly on grassy tracks and tarmac, with two loops passing through a central spectator area where the finish also was. By now it was pretty hot, but the course was nice and flat and well marked out so it was easy to pace things.
All in all it was a great event; really well marshalled and well organised, suiting a range of abilities. I particularly enjoyed running in the park and the bike course was flat but there were plenty of speed bumps and roundabouts which meant it wasn’t a quick course. I would definitely recommend it if you’re just getting into triathlons and are looking for a well organised, pool-based event. There are two more events in this series in May and August. See the website for more details: http://raceseries.thamesturbo.com/our-races/sprint-race-series/
Total time: 1:14:36
Swim (426m): 07:13, Bike (21.5km): 40:18, Run (5k) – 24:41
19th out of 143 women
7th out of 40 in the F30-34 category
Next weeks blog should include Ed Janes report from Majorca and his efforts in the Ironman event held at Alcudia.
Ed is in great shape and having trained for 10 days in March on the actual roads that the run and ride will take place on is feeling confident of posting a great time.
Go Ed and Good Luck.
Sorry for the delay but unlike Mad Mr H and DJ who can write reports as fast as they ride their bikes I write mine even slower than I can race. This weekend was the Gorrick MTb Enduro where you have a choice of entering either a 3,4,5 or 7 lap race, each lap consisting of 10 miles of excellent mountain biking terrain. Tricky single track, leg breaking climbs and swooping descents. The course was on army land near Aldershot one section ran along side a firing range I’m sure we looked like fairground ducks bobbing up and down very tempting for the snipers. I opted for the 5 lap race. A good solid race for me, with no mechanicals this week completing the 5 laps in 4:18 taking 5th spot
Rick Feathestone entered the 4 lap race with amazing consistency all four laps within 20 seconds, total race time 3:27 giving him 8th place
Allan Simmonds made the journey up to Cambridge to ride one of his favourite 10 courses. Allan always seems to go well on the course using the new dual carriageway running west on the A428 at Caxton.
Despite squally weather Allan managed a 22.13. 2nd claim member Mary Twitchett encountered a huge hail storn on the outbound leg with a strong head wind. Turning at the 5 mile point hoping for a wind assisted return the storm had passed and Mary was becalmed. Despite the freak weather Mary managed to post an excellent 26.44 to finish fourth lady.
Andy Halliday writes about his preparation for the 100 mile TT.
F1/30 on 5/5/2013 A 30 mile time trial based on the more well known F1/25 with one extra southbound roundabout. I finished just over a minute behind my PB in 1:07:14 , Happy with that, my main reason for doing this event (Instead of Wales 25) was to get used to the course in preparation for the F1/100.
Andy Halliday also reports from what turned out to be one of the fastest 10 mile TT events of the year.
F11/10 on 6/5/2013
WOW! what an event and where to start…………….
This course designed by VC10 will feature heavily in the 2013 VTTA season, This was the first of many this year and what a way to start. (Forgive me if I miss anyone)
Steve Irwin won Men’s event in an impressive 18:58, Danuta Tin the Ladies in 21:48 and Ian Greenstreet the Vets with a plus 7:19
At the end of the event Team Westerley and the VC10 team were both hopeful of a team victory. Cliff did the maths and a handful of seconds between the two teams with Westerley just the victor -
Always best to wait for the official results and in our excitement we all missed the Kingston Wheelers CC team , Mainly because you really shouldn’t be that fast !!! A recalculation and Kingston Wheelers TEAM was under the hour !!! with 59:27
Westerley may have the VETS TEAM with +15:52
While many people did PB’s on this day I was a little slower, 42 people went under 21 minutes and 11 of those under 20, 1 under 19!
Peter Lawrence 19:38
David Johnson 20:38
Andrew Halliday 20:50
Richard Palmer 20:54
Martin Grant 21:18
Neil Pugh 21:51
Ralph Dadswell 21:56
Dave Lancaster 23:40
Emily Young 29:29
MASSIVE thanks go to all the helpers from VC10 who made the event possible, I should have taken a picture of the cake & tea ‘shop’ . Never seen such an amazing array of cakes, THANK YOU.
Thank you Andy for the two write ups. Ride of the day must go to Emily. Who has only been riding a short time and on a road bike in her first TT does a 29 minute 10. Superb.
Kev Holloway reports on this weekends MTB race
Round 2 of the National points series, what a contrast to round 1 which was held at Sherwood Pines on the 24th March where it was deep snow, slush and heavy mud!!! This course a few miles from Lands End, was at the site of an old Copper mine so there were massive slag heaps, jagged rocks and lots of dust, plenty of vertical drop offs and steep rocky climbs. It was the most frightening yet satisfying course I have ever ridden
As I finished 13th in round 1 that would be my grid position for this weekend, anyone who has raced cross country knows how hard the start is, you go from being cold waiting on the start line to flat out, oxygen debt and lactate filled legs to try and get to the first bit of single track in the lead group, unfortunately my starts are never great so came in to the first section of single track in about 15th, no worries I thought it’s a long race and there is a lot of climbing on each lap, I’ll be able to pick my way through the field. By the start of the 3rd lap I was in 8th position feeling strong and pushing to get into top 5 but then as it is with MTB racing I had a mechanical the bike was stuck in top gear. The inner cable had come dislodged in the rear mech (poor bike building on my part) after several minuets of fiddling and swearing managed to re route the cable and get started again picking my way back through the field until half way trough the 5th and final lap when I’d got back to 9th position it happened again this time managed to fix it a bit quicker but still lost a few more places crossing the line in unlucky 13th…. Again
Still it was a great weekend and looking forward to round 3 in Shropshire on the 2nd June
Nick Calkin Reports from Last weekends TrailQuest
Nick Calkin and Will Dixon teamed up once again in their quest to win the Midland Trailquests spring league. This 3 hour event was based in Aldsworth, Glocestershire and is the 3rd event of the 7 part series.
After spending an hour or so planning what was hoped to be a winning anticlockwise route, Nick and Will set off, aiming to collect the checkpoints in the west of the area, before swinging around the bottom of the course. Then, taking advantage of the south westerly wind, head over to the east collecting as many high scoring checkpoints as possible and returning within the 3 hour time limit.
The pace was fast on the bone dry trails and the first two controls were collected without problems. Then they rode straight past a checkpoint losing valuable minutes retracing their steps. Another two controls visited then Will punctured in Bibury. Changing the tube cost another 5 minutes. The next 5 checkpoints were punched without error and confidence was growing, then more time was lost trying to find a checkpoint. The map reading error was rectified and the punch clipped then they were off to try and make the most of the remaining controls.
With time nearly up they had a problem. The direct way back to the finish was fairly devoid of controls, but with a small detour 70 points could be collected. Penalties for being late can be hefty but with a win now out of the question the detour must be worth a try.
The detour was worth it for the trails; fast rooted singletrack, downhill through woods following a gently flowing river.
However, an uphill slog back with tired legs and crippling penalties mounting by the minute left Nick and Will finishing in 3hours 18 minutes.
The final score was 410 points after 70 penalties, which left them in 6th place overall and 3rd in the series.
With the league counting the top 4 scores only the series is still wide open.
If you’d like to try a trailquest the next Midland Trailquest is being organised by VC10 in Frieth near Marlow on May 12th.
http://app.strava.com/activities/49919960 http://www.midlandtrailquests.co.uk/index.php http://www.midlandtrailquests.co.uk/eve … s.php?l=16 http://www.midlandtrailquests.co.uk/eve … .php?e=166
Wordsmith Dave Johnson reviews his ride at Brogborough
Sunday morning was one of those “what the hell do I wear?!” kind of mornings. On waking at a miles earlier than my comfort zone time (dark sky at night? Night; dark sky in the morning? Still bloody night!), I looked out, like good King Wenceslas, on an ice-bound world, and packed kit accordingly – arm warmers, long-sleeved skin suit and Helly, leg warmers, both long and short, wool socks, heavy overshoes, full fingered gloves. Extra large, centrally heated pointy hat – you know the sort of thing. On arrival, it had warmed up. After collecting my number and being affected in the time-honoured way by the smell of shit and embrocation, I drove to my warm up point near the start at the top of Brogborough hill. The wind howled, the wind chill plummeted. The half hour turbo based warm up cooled me down to life threatening levels. I started, downhill, and anything left moveable instantly froze and snapped off. The slow puncture in my rear tyre got faster. The borrowed wheel was fatter and rubbed the brakes. The power meter read over 300 for almost all of the 15 miles. 34.24 ( an approx 23 minute ’10′) suggested otherwise. 5th. 2nd vet on standard time. Entry fee – £7.90 including Internet entry processing fee (!). Prize money – £7. Grand Prix? Non. Grande cahones? No. They froze off
Andy Halliday reports from a windy E2/25
Saturday 27th and the weather kept changing cold/hot/rain/hail, I decided to take a chance and headed out to the E2/25 Cambridge course. Same course/time last year I managed a 55:50 in what I thought was a ‘very good’ day. Anything close this time and I would be happy. Tail wind out and the first 10 miles completed in 19:58 (If only that counted!) which include the first 5 miles as a slight rise. Final time 54:14 and a course PB Winner Steve Irwin 50:37 1st on Standard Ian Cammish 51:57 (+17:22)
Pete Lawrence rode his new Cervelo P5 on the slow and bumpy H25/4 course at Great Missenden. Having taken a few weeks to perfect his aero position. Pete now seems to have found great form with a winning time of 55.32. Beating HWCC’s Steve Golla into second pace by 2 minutes.
European Duathlon Championship Horst, Holland 2103
If you are a regular reader of VC10 Race Reports you will have seen that three VC10 members had taken part in the qualifying event for the European and World Duathlon Championship at Althorpe in February.
Depending on your finishing position it was possible to qualify for both the European Championship and World Championship. Suzy Robinson, Mark Patterson and Greg Lewis managed to gain entry for both events having raced in the sprint distance.
So eight weeks later the three set off to see how they compared with Europe’s finest.
It was going to be a tough weekend because Suzy could not travel until the last minute due to her brother’s wedding being the day before the race. So Mark, Suzy and Greg left for Holland at 9pm on Saturday evening hoping to get to the hotel close to the event at 4am in the morning. This would allow for 6 hours sleep. Some breakfast and then a last minute signing on and racking of the bikes in transition before the event start time of 2.35pm.
All went to plan with a super smooth journey through France, Belgium and Holland. Greg enjoying the musical tones of Suzy and Mark snoring as the 235 miles rolled by. The hotel was clean and quiet and we all managed to sleep okay considering how nervous we were.
Horst is a small market town close to Eindhoven. It is in the Roman Catholic part of Holland and the shops and town were pretty much shut for Sunday. So running an event with closed roads and big transition area in the town centre seemed straight forward. Infact many of the local people came out to cheer.
Whether it was the effect of the Olympics or the popularity of triathlon in the UK at the moment, Team GB had a huge turnout in the field in all age groups.
So how did the race go?
After a short warm up we made our way to the start area. Mark was feeling good and felt he was coming into good form post Majorca. Suzy did not feel 100% with a few digestive upset issues (ahem). Greg was also doubtful as his hamstring had been cramping as a side effect of driving and being sat down for such a long period of time the night before.
We funnelled into the starting chute in what seem like a sea of GBR trisuits. Suddenly we were off. It was like a MTB race with the sprint at the beginning to get position for the single track section. But there was no single track section since the run was on closed wide smooth Dutch town road.
Mark made a fast start but after about 2,500 metres Greg eased up to Mark shoulder and checked to see if Mark was feeling strong. Suzy had a tough first run, having a problem with stitch for the first time in a long while and had to ease the pace to make it through to T1.
Greg arrived at T1 first 10 seconds ahead of Mark in a time of 18.05. Suzy still managed a good time 20.50 despite her stitch, but it was slower than desired.
Transition went well for all three. With Greg trying the shoes in the cleat method for the first time. This seemed to give Greg another few seconds over Mark and Suzy in T1.
The bike ride was two laps of a course which took in some tight turns of the town centre followed by and out and back loop of roads that can only be described as straight out of the Tour of Flanders. They were flat with some modern cobbles. It was windless, but if the wind had been up it would have been brutal.
All three posted great bike times and clawed back plenty of time over the specialist runners who seem to really struggle to use their amazing V02 capacity to go effect on the road. The general standard of riding was poor and people were all over the road and there were several crashes on the more technical sections of the course.
Greg was back in T2 with a bike time of 31.51 clawing 40 seconds back from his main age group rivals. Mark chasing hard and clocked an excellent 33.13. Suzy again showed her winter training has really improved her cycling pace with 34.14 only 45 seconds slower than the winning lady in Suzy’s age group.
T2 is where it can all fall apart. Training shoes do not go properly. Cramps or stitch coming on.
Again all three had faultless transitions. On exiting T2 Greg started to suffer with bad right calve cramp. It seemed to be the curse of the day for Team GB with the guy just in front of Greg stopping straight away with the same problem. Greg changed his stride shape and used a rotational movement and a high knee lift for 150 metres and the cramp cleared. However, caution was required and Greg opted to keep a lid on his pace for the first 1,500 metres. A number of runners came past at this point.
Mark had no such troubles and settled into a good pace and felt confident that a good finish was insight. Suzy had no reoccurrence of the stitch from the first run and managed a good pace for the second run.
So with 1,000 metres to go you could hear the commentator saying team GB are looking really good for some great finishes.
Greg now felt confident about his cramp and pushed for home overtaking several of the people who had passed at the start of the run. The GBR team manager Joan Lennon was on the last corner shouting with other GBR supporters we all grabbed mini GBR flags to run over the line with. The finishing chute was awash with GBR skin suit wearing athletes. Germany, France, Spain, Austria and the Netherlands were also represented.
Greg was first back with a time of 1:02:19 giving him fourth place in the 50 to 54 age group and 35 seconds off a medal, placing 69th overall.
Mark was close behind with a 1:04:06, giving Mark a finishing position the 40 to 44 category of 17th. Placing 94th overall.
Suzy arrived a few minutes later with an excellent time of 1:08:38 giving a final position of 5th in the 25 to 29 age category. 150th overall and 14th Women overall.
Having done so little running up to the event I had no expectation of doing well. We prepared well and had thought things through. So we seemed to dialled out most of the issues.
Using the shoes in the pedal technic was a good move and certainly helped my transition times.
The event was superb and when I started cycling in 2005 I never thought the opportunity to take part in a European Championship would ever happen to me. Mark and Suzy have inspired me to take part in multisport disciplines. Travelling and competing with them was an honour. Being part of Team GBR was totally humbling.
On the way back we reflected that there are a number of people in the club who should try for qualification next year.
It was a truly memorable experience and worth all the effort to take part.
Finally thank you to Joan Lennon and British Triathlon. Very helpful and professional support.
Qualifying for a GB age-group event has been an aim of mine since I left university 3 years ago, so I was absolutely thrilled to qualify this year. When I did my first multi discipline event 2.5 years ago I was pretty slow! It’s taken a few years of steady quality training but it’s been totally worth it.
Having worked hard on my running over the winter and made some good progress, I went into this event having done next to no running in the last 6 weeks. This wasn’t ideal and unfortunately my old stitch problem reared its ugly head when I went off a bit fast in the first run. This made for a somewhat uncomfortable run and I had to take it steady in the end, but I felt strong going into the bike and enjoyed overtaking lots of people (though as Greg says the quality of the riding was fairly bad at times and I almost got taken out at the start of the ride by a guy who wobbled straight into the crash barrier!). The second run wasn’t as painful on the legs as Althorp, partly because I hadn’t been able to push so hard in the first run, so I managed a better pace for this though still way off the pace to podium.
If I was 3 years older I would have come second. Sadly, my age group was rather competitive!
The event was extremely well organised and it was great to race on closed roads. It was a pleasure to race and I was really proud to wear a GB suit. I need to improve my running to a fairly serious degree to become seriously competitive in any future age-group events – a good bike time alone is not enough! Some of the girls can run amazingly fast – a target for the future.
It’s only 4 years ago that I began this journey….
At the age of 36 I was a typical blokes bloke, 20 Malboro Red a day, with most evenings sat in front of the telly with a can of Stella watching Sky Sports, nothing wrong with that I guess but I could see that I needed to make some changes. Hugely encouraged by my wife, kids, family and friends I finally got on a bike in 2009 for the first time, the rest they say is history….
I’ve since found I’m surprising myself (& others) every time I go out, whether it’s on the bike, running or swimming. I find it hard sometimes to realise the changes you make not only impact on your fitness but have just as big of an impact on your life.
Incredibly this weekend I found myself racing for my country (albeit my age group).. I could write about the race, I could tell you that I ran the fastest 5K of my life but for me the point is that I was there actually doing it, unbelievable.. I have the photo.
Sometimes it difficult reflecting on races as I’m always looking at the stats, always looking for improvement but I can only echo Greg & Suzy’s sentiments, it’s a real honour to wear the kit and to race for your country..
Pos Name Country Time R1 T1 Bike T2 R2
Report from the H10/181 AW Cycles 10 mile TT
By Andy Halliday/Martin Grant
After a disappointing return to time trialling 2 weeks ago Martin Grant and his long suffering Dad Cliff made the trip back to the H10/181 in Witney to see if they could make the most of the warmest day of the year so far. Andy ‘Mad Mike’ Halliday was also back, with his own ghosts to lay to rest (over excitedly going for a 102 inch gear, falling off on the way to the start and then being late!).
Cliff was keen to see what a couple more weeks training had done for him, knowing that he never gets going until June anyway and that the cold is his biggest enemy, (other than age, as he is very very old). Coughing away at the end, Cliff was reasonable pleased with a 24:58 a big improvement on the 26:45 from 2 weeks ago.
Martin had high hopes of improving significantly on the 24:34 from 2 weeks ago and started steadily to ease his way into it. This was probably a good move as yet again he put far too much effort into the long drag half way to the turn and found himself slowing significantly on the return leg with the tank somewhat empty, final time was 23:07, which was better, but still not quite what he was hoping for.
Andy riding a geared TT bike this week made things look easy compared to last time out. He didn’t fall off, made it to the start on time found he could ride up the hills and finished with a rapid 21:52. Just think, your target event is only 10 times further….simples!
St Georges Sportive and London to Brighton
Report: Phillip Hassell
I cycled from London to Brighton with Sky Cycling Programme, started from Hampton Court, at the back riding with Team Sky Pro Ian Stannard. We started last group, suited my speed and finished at the front with about 10 riders, 3 hours 54 mins over the 102K course, well below my average. I had multiple cramps at Ditchling village, so I had to ride steady up Ditching, stopped twice as traffic stalled (due to football match traffic along with cyclist up front), then steady to Brighton Pier and stayed there from 2pm to 4.30pm, returned home to recover for next day sportive.
Turned up for Princes Risborough Sportive next day (Sunday 21st April) medium route and my legs were OK so I had to be careful. Enjoyed the ride and meet Ben at the 2nd feeding station then at Fingest Lane before Bolter End the right shifter mech failed then headed back to Princes Risborough School with 2 gears via Chorley Road, Slough Lane the nice way. Back at home, the gearing in the shifter was broken and I had to order a replacement shifter as parts aren’t available for this type. Finished 100K with detour, just over 4 hours with mech failure.
Report: Ben Mathews
Great effort Phillip – two sportives in a weekend. You must be feeling the effects – just like your gears! I did the longo 135km course with a couple of friends yesterday. It’s a good route even if the 50km from the second feed station involved the most climbing of all. Got in a good time of 4 1/2 hours on my Garmin, having carried a “wheelsucker” over the last 40 km who then flipped past me as I was wolfing a gel (aka jelly baby!) three km before the finish. Just two punctures and a flint slashed tyre – otherwise we did fine! See you Thursday/next Sunday
I signed up for the full event but was riding with my mate, Charlie, who was doing his first long ride of the year so I was pretty sure we would check down onto the mid route when the split came. I always struggle early in these rides so it was no surprise that Charlie was doing most of the work early on. I was having a bit of a mare (up Kingston Hill I think) when a streak of white VC10 kit came past me, later established as Pete Lavery who in turn was chasing a blur called Simon Oxenham! I found my legs at that stage and we proceeded to pick off groups for the rest of the ride with roles reversed as Charlie faded towards the end. One puncture on ther way round on the sketchy descent after the second food/timing stop which was quickly fixed by the support guy stationed at the bottom. Ride time on the Garmin of 4:18 with an official time of 4:34. Room for improvement but bring on the next one- Hampshire Hilly Hundred on May 12!
VC10 Club TT Series
Three years ago VC10 designed a new course on the A41 at Tring with the help of the F District Cycling Time Trial Committee.
The course was named the F11/10. After just a few events we realised the course was going to be fast and produce many personal bests.
In 2013 VC10 will be running 11 Club Events on the course and two Open Events. As per last year 1st and 2nd claim members will be able to pre sign on via the VC10 forum and book ride times up to 5pm on the afternoon of the event.
The Club/Open event calendar dates are:
|Tuesday 1st January 2013||10.30||F11/10||10||40||Y|
|Monday1st April 2013||12.00||F11/10||10||60||Y|
|Monday6th May 2013||14.00||F11/10||10||150||Open|
|Tuesday14th May 2013||19.30||F11/10||10||45||Y|
|Tuesday21st May 2013||19.30||F11/10||10||50||Y|
|Tuesday4th June 2013||19.30||F11/10||10||55||Y|
|Tuesday11th June 2013||19.30||F11/10||10||60||Y|
|Tuesday18th June 2013||19.30||F11/10||10||60||Y|
|Tuesday2nd July 2013||19.30||F11/10||10||55||Y|
|Tuesday9th July 2013||19.30||F11/10||10||55||Y|
|Tuesday16th July 2013||19.30||F11/10||10||55||Y|
|Tuesday23rd July 2013||19.30||F11/10||10||50||Y|
|Tuesday30th July 2013||19.30||F11/10||10||45||Y|
|Monday26th August 2013||14.00||F11/10||10||40||Open|
|Wednesday 1st January 2014||10.30||F11/10||10||40||Y|
Open Events run by VC10 are:
Monday 6th May 2013 VTTA 10 mile TT
Monday 26th August 2013 VC10 Charity Event 10 Mile TT
Details of these events plus the Hemel Hempstead Open 10, The Bossard Wheelers Open 10 and two VTTA week day events will appear in the CTT Handbook.