Finally after around a month of writing on here someone has given me a report on road racing. In fact, just like buses, as soon as one came in a second arrived. I will take little credit for the report on Tom, it was all Liz’s doing and Keith Walton did the majority of the Swindon one. Read on dear club members…
“I really enjoyed it” are not words you’d normally associate with a time trial, particularly one which produced such slow times by the majority of the field, but Declan Logue was doing his first ever one in Stratford CC colours and clearly was still riding a wave of euphoria after competing in such a prestigious event.
I’ll start off with the thank-you’s for a change. Thank you to Nick for organising, everyone who baked (brought, stole) cakes, stood on round-a-bouts waving lovely red flags, timed, pushed us off at the start and any other volunteers. You are all good-eggs and the event couldn’t have been such a success without your time – thank you.
Ok, so the Aston Cantlow TT course on 9th May may not have actually been flooded, but it was a pretty dire evening and it brings me nicely on to a non-cycling topic, as the parodied title of the 1986 Slayer classic indicates – more to follow!
On Sunday 5th May five members of Stratford Cycling Club took on the impressive Somerset Gran Fondo. For those that don’t know – the event is 120-miles long and starts with an ascent of Cheddar Gorge and gets progressively more difficult from there! The final “big climb” of the sportive has a section which is 25%. It is not a Sunday run for the faint hearted.
It is here? Has the summer finally arrived? Yeah I don’t know either – the weather seems to be changing from season to season almost daily which is wreaking havoc with training and racing alike – particularly for the fair weather cyclists amongst us…you know who you are!
Some of you may have noticed my ramblings last week on this very website and a keen-eyed few may have seen that last week’s Herald report had my very name attached to it! This is because I have been given the (dubious) honour of being volunteered to be the Senior Press Secretary for SCC. Therefore, like it or hate it, you will be reading more from me in the coming weeks and months.
Somebody once told me that athletic greatness was achieved by hard-work, determination and dedication – well I did a 24-minute “10” at the weekend on little more than training once a week and a diet of beer and curry! Unfortunately it wasn’t quite enough to win the race (that honour belonged to Jon Simpkins in a not-too-shabby 20.21), or indeed to be fastest Stratford rider as Nick Green flew around the course in 22.01. Clearly I need to re-think my training regime…and definition of greatness!
Sir Edmund Hillary once said of Everest, “It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves”, well on Saturday 7th July 2012 four Stratford CC riders took time out from their usual racing schedules and went after their Everest and to conquer individual battles on the way, writes Lloyd Walton.
The Halesowen Friday Night Track League will be taking place this year and the first night will be the 11 May with the last racing night being 7 September. There will be fixed bike racing and also the freewheeler racing, all Freewheelers will need to be accredited. Freewheeler accreditation will take place on Saturday 21 April and Saturday 28 (you only need to attend one session) at 10am. Please note there may be a small charge for this.
A reminder that through the month of March we are trialling a Sunday B ride after numerous requests for a more relaxed pace ride from some members. This ride will be lead by our own team of ride leaders, and will be a 25/30 mile out and back ride from Box Brownie in Henley Street at 9am (meeting at the same point as the A ride).
The first Roadman’s of the year saw new member Tony Kiss challenging fellow club mates for a top position in the Stratford CC title race. Despite a fast ride he was unable to improve on Pete Ward’s winning time of 25.17, having to settle for joint second with Mick Stallard and a time of 25.34
The second round of the Victoria Park Criterium in Leamington took place last Saturday with local Stratford CC riders John Meehan competing in the third category races and Tony Kiss in the fourth category.
The 12th Year of the Betty Pharoah Memorial Legstretchers Road Race, held on Sunday 28th March, was the inaugural ride for local Stratford CC rider Tony Kiss. With 79 ‘3rd and 4th category’ riders competing over a hilly 52 mile course near Cardiff, Kiss was in his element.
Keen to get the first race of the season out of the way, Stratford Cycling Club riders travelled over to Severn Stoke for a 10 mile time trial in bright but breezy conditions. The VC Sevale course is not known to be a fast course due to the undulating terrain, however there are several opportunities where it is possible to make up time including a fast descent in the closing mile.
The first open race of the season, organized by Stratford Cycling Club went without a hitch. Under the expert organization of Graham and Heather Sims, they even managed to arrange perfect weather for the challenging event. In beautiful spring sunshine the various category riders were split in to two races to test their climbing ability on the tough and undulating course.
Last weekend saw over 300 riders brave the wet and windy weather to attend Stratford Cycle Club’s annual Cyclo-Cross held at Norgren Social Club at Shipston on Stour. On arrival, riders were pleasantly surprised to see that conditions were in fact much dryer and firmer than expected, even though the course had received heavy rain in the few days before. Consequently racing was fast and furious throughout on an improved course which gave all riders plenty to think about all the way round the circuit.
Perfect conditions and a top field of Olympic riders, ensured an exciting and enjoyable day out for the many spectators who lined the H10/3A course near Hungerford to watch the National Championships over the Bank Holiday weekend. Time trials are usually quiet affairs with minimal fuss, however this was not the case for this race. Attracting the strongest and largest field ever of Junior’s, Women and Men riders from all over the country, the feeling of anticipation was overwhelming.
Thursday was the first in the 2009 series of Stratford Cycling Clubs time trial series. The traditional opener is a single lap of the Long Marston course which is very suitable to complete novices yet a fast enough circuit to allow the competition for the club championships to start in earnest.
The weather forecast was for rain, wind and showers which meant for a nervous night for organisers and riders alike for the Stratford Cycling Club open time trial. The reality was quite different, the temperature was warm and it stayed dry, the wind was quite strong and seemed to be a head wind in all directions. The conditions led to a competitive time trial.
The SCC Club Reliability ride is a winter 54 mile event through the Cotswolds, usually held in Feb as a "warm up" event to the road racing season.After thick snow caused the first ever postponement it was held a month later on 8th March, however the winter weather also made it's last appearance.. The principle of the event is that the riders must predict their time as accurately and fast as possible.
Sunday 22nd February saw the last round of the West Midlands Cyclocross League which had been delayed 2 weeks because of the snow. The race a Daventry was a race which required power and endurance which suited the SCC riders. The event was a top priority for Luke Turnbull who was leading the League.
L’Etape du Tour is a cyclosportif for amateurs which was first organised in 1993. It is an opportunity for amateurs to cycle the same route as the professionals cover on one of the stages of the Tour de France. It takes place during the Tour, often on a rest day through closed roads with many ferocious climbs. 2008 was no exception with 167kms of riding and 2114 m of climbing - Laurent Four came home in just 5 hours and 38 minutes. Over 7500 cyclists come from all over the world to take part but most of them don’t do what Tchavdar Kostadinov, known as ‘Kosta’, undertook.
Dark rain clouds, thunder and lighting would have been enough to put of the bravest of cyclist but thankfully there was a 12 hour weather window of 20 degree sunshine that allowed the 2007 edition of the Stratford Cycling Club Century ride. This year 3 start times were organised and the first group leaving at 0830 contained 7 cyclists, lead by Tony. In the second group at 0900 were 4 cyclists including John Bill, a century debutante. The final group was supposed to leave at 0930 but were still ordering coffee at 0935, eventually when they left the group was 9 strong.
I decided to travel down to Thruxton after a couple of guys who I knew had also decided to go down. Being my first closed circuit race I was rather anxious about how the race would pan out. The weather report the night before did not look too promising. Gale force winds on an open race track can't be good. However the Saturday before I went out with my dad and did a short ride involving a couple of sprints to get my legs turning.
As the riders for the 8 hour group assembled at Shakespere’s Birthplace at 0830 there was an eager anticipation for the day ahead, the weather forecast was good and the route promised interesting and varied riding. There was a mix of riders in the group including club veterans and novice riders who were using this ride as a practice for the Etape in just under a months time.
On a cold and Icy November morning 13 members of Stratford CC boarded the salubrious luxury of a National Award winning Johnson’s Coaches Mini coach and were whisked to the International Velodrome in Newport, South Wales. Arriving at the velodrome we met with our cycling chums who had made their own way to this fantastic lottery funded facility.
The League of Veteran Racing Cyclists provides a full season’s programme of competitive cycling events starting at the end of February and running until the middle of October. Events are organised in regions and Stratford Cycling Club (SCC) have been hosting one of the races for several years.
The opening road race for Stratford CC members last Sunday, was a testing one and accomplished veteran rider Keith Walton realised he has yet to find his race legs for the season. Racing in the 55 plus category, Keith found strong winds and a fast pace broke up the riders on the second lap with over half the field trying to hang on to the rest of the pack.
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