National Masters Track Champs

After a frustrating June of illness and DNSing I was finally well enough to race this Newport-20140629-00396(1)weekend at the National Masters Track Champs. In contrast to other years of managing some dedicated track time, my preparations couldn’t have been much more frugal, just a week of commuting trying to get the legs working again but not do too much damage. I just raced on the Sunday, in the 3k pursuit and the points race. It was warm in the track centre so I did a 20 minute pre warm up once I had lugged all my equipment in and then a shorter more intense warm up just before the start so as not to overheat. I made a clean start out of the gate and got settled into a good pace, unfortunately my body just wasn’t playing ball and I just gradually fell off the pace and finished with a 3:39. That was enough for 3rd by 2 tenths of a second but a few seconds away from my gold medal target. Since I’ve only ever done 3:34 or 3:35 it was disappointing but knowing what I had (or really hadn’t) been able to do in the lead up then it was nice to at least get a medal. I considered calling it a day there as I couldn’t see how I’d be able to perform in the points race with that form but I convinced myself to stay on and give it a shot. The points race in the afternoon was a combined A and B race to make a full field, that meant it would be tactically important to read the race and who was in which category. The obvious strongest rider was Alistair Rutherford who has been selected for the Scottish Commonwealth Games Track team, so I knew that if i could get into a break with him as last year then something might happen. I normally hang back the first few sprints so that I can hit it more when people are getting tired, though with the race being shortened from 120 to 100 laps because the electronic scoreboard wasn’t working I would have to get involved a bit earlier. I really didn’t feel good int he first laps though so I wasn’t sure how I’d do anything. As time went on I decided that since I hadn’t gone home I’d better get involved so I nipped off the front to try to pick up some points in one of the sprints. Someone followed em of the front but  nipped past instead of working together so I ended up with 3 points and us both being caught. A couple of sprints later I had another go though and this time Rutherford and a few others came across so we had a group of 5. Once dropped off so 4 of worked together and took a lap. Only one other was a B rider so that put me in 2nd. I was somewhat struggling by this stage so though I tried to slip way or sprint round the other B rider to take some points he was both aware enough and strong enough to hold off my attempts to close the gap. Still I was very pleased to come away with a silver in the points to go with the pursuit bronze, considering the preparation I had and the vagaries of the points race.
This week I also got back to time trialling this week with a run out in the Maidenhead club event. I didn’t want to push too hard while still recovering my form, with an open 10 coming on Saturday but it was quite a quick night so I actually did one of my quicker times on that course with a 20:38.

MSG Rd 4 Ickworth House

MSG Rd 4 Ickworth House

MSG Rd 4 Ickworth House

On Sunday I raced in the fourth round of the Mud Sweat and Gears series which was held at Ickworth house near Bury St Edmunds.

Despite the hot weather on the day the previous day’s rain storm had had an effect and I could tell from the bikes of riders that had already raced that much of the course was very muddy, which was a shame as I had only brought summer tyres with me.

A quick reconnaissance lap revealed that there was s drying line over much of the lap but there was still one section where I was going to be forced to push due to a lack of grip. The rest of the wooded section consisted primarily of tacky mud which managed to sap any feeling of speed. Near the end of the lap, the course exited woods and headed down across a grassy field towards two bombholes with multiple line choices either through or around each of them giving the opportunity for a bit of airtime before returning to the start finish straight via the feed zone.

As usual, the Masters racers were gridded behind the Elites, Experts and Juniors but set off at the same time as them. Off the start I seemed to get away well but within a two pedal strokes there was a coming together ahead of me and riders were flying in all directions to avoid hitting each other. I had to come to a stop with a foot down before I could get going again. By the time I got moving I had been swamped by the rest of the masters field and going uphill into the muddy woods I was unable to find space to move up.

Once we hit the mud, riders slowed down but passing was still difficult as the drying line meant that going off line to pass others was both hard a sketchy. I was taken out by other riders twice in the 1st lap before I managed to get away and find some clear track.

After turning down the offer of a bottle after lap one, I looked down to take a drink only to find that I had lost my bottle in one of my crashes on lap 1. The hottest race of the year wasn’t the best day to race the first two laps without a drink but by lap 3 I had a bottle and was taking some big swigs to get my hydration back in order.

Due to my poor start, I was slightly down on where I was in rounds 1 and 2, I treid to bridge back up to Paddy Atkinson, and caught sight of him during lap 4 but he took advantage of his 5th lap being his last in order to pull away.

 

Going into the 6th lap I could not see any other Masters riders so I concentrated on staying ahead of Tom Ward and made sure I got round to the finish in one piece.

I the end I was a few seconds up on Tom and about 3 minutes ahead of the second placed Masters rider Nick Drew.

In the Elite races, Jon Pybus took the men’s win by almost 3 minutes from Richard Dunnett with Callum Riley in third while Hollie Bettles won the female race ahead of Anna Buick.

A catch up on my early season races

A catch up on my early season races is a little overdue. After a good winter I decided to get started a bit earlier than usual, beginning with a Newbury RC club event in March. We had a really nice sunny day for the afternoon event on the H10/3a which is the same course as was used for the National 10 a few years ago. It is a quiet single carriageway with a few rolling hills. I got stuck into a good ride and won the event by almost a minute from Ian Greenstreet. My time would pleasingly have put me right up there on the National 10 day so it was a good start to the season. The very next week I came down with a cold which I’d been managing to avoid but I was able to recover in time to ride the Farnbrough and Camberley 10 on the Bentley bypass course. We had another pleasant spring day and I was able to record a mid 20, enough to give me a win by 40odd seconds from John McClelland.
I ride quite a lot of the Maidenhead and District club events, and even spoke at their club dinner, so it was nice to be able to ride their 15mile TT round the drift road course. There was a good field but unfortunately the favourite, ex-pro, Wouter Sydbrandy was unable to start due to illness. It was a windy day so the course record was well out of reach but I managed to win again by 1min17s. I had a short break from racing then with Easter and a family holiday, I managed to take my bike and the turbo but then picked up another cold so couldn’t make too much use of it and also had to DNS from riding the fast Welsh 25 course, that maybe worked out for the best as the weather was horrible and not many fast times were recorded.
It was all hands on deck then for the event I was organising, a 10 mile TT on the Witney bypass, which went by without a hitch despite the threat of poor weather. I also started riding some club events during the week with 3 wins in the Maidenhead events and a win in the Newbury club 25 on Easter Monday.
The day after my event I rode one of my favourite events, that I have been trying towin for a number of years, the Bath Road Club hilly on the Bucklebury course, it s a 30mile race, 2 laps of the club course that Reading CC use. The last 2 years have been canceled because of rain and roadworks so I was keen to ride this year. Unfortunately I only got 2/3 of the way round the first lap before I punctured my disc. I walked for a bit, then a kind passing cyclist offered me a spare inner tube, but despite my best efforts we failed to get his 28-32mm tube into my 20mm tyre so I walked a bit more until word got back to the HQ and the organiser picked me up. I’ll have to wait another year to try to win, though I will get another ride on the course as part of the RTTC Series event that is running on there tomorrow.
The next thing to look forward to was a fast 10 on the F11/10 course near Tring, there was a VTTA National Championships and then a second event for the ‘youngsters’ like me! It was a blustery windy day, not ‘float’ but this course seems to give some fast times on windy days so I was still optimistic. I felt I had an Ok rather than great ride but I did get a 19:11 to win the 2nd event, equaling my second best time ever, with just 2 riders in the VTTA National quicker. Hopefully I’ll be back on there mid June to try to chase that 18!
Then last weekend I raced the WLCA 10, it was a small field but with Tejvan Pettinger the National Hill Climb champion, and Mark Jones of Drag2Zero on the startsheet then it promissed to be a challenge. The weather also wanted to play it’s part with a very strong westerly blowing. That meant hitting speeds of 40mph on the way out with a much more challenging return.I was 4s down at the turn but dug in on the way back, overhauling Tejvan to win by 13s, perhaps my extra weight was a bit of a help that day! Mark Jones was one of a number who decided it was too windy to ride.
That brings us pretty much up to date with just a mention for the start of track league and making it through to the pursuit final this Monday, and last Thursday Ken, Alex and I had a run out in our 3 up combination for the National Team Time Trial at the Maidenhead club event, it was good practice and we were a good bit quicker than any of use (or anyone on the course in fact) had ever been solo, so very much looking forward to that now.

AWCycles.co.uk 10 mile Open time trial 26th April 2014

Organiser: Nick English

Timekeepers: Marion Fountain—Didcot Phoenix CC, Mark Scanlan—Newbury RC

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Mark Jones

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Nicola Meadows

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Jan Newman & Peter Oliver

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The above photos of the category winners were kindly taken by Jun Ashima – the rest of his pictures can be found at

https://www.flickr.com/photos/biker_jun/sets/72157644343139034/

Feel free to use for non-commercial uses.

I’m sorry that once again we had some mixed conditions. I hope everyone enjoyed their rides nonetheless. It was tight at the top with Mark Jones of Drag2Zero pipping National Hillclimb Champion Tejvan Pettinger by just 3s, Tejvan was ahead at the turn after the slight climb on the way out but Mark was quick enough on the way back to snatch the win. With the new standards helping the young vets a bit more than the old standards then Mark and John Simpkins featured on the podium on standard as well as overall. Angus MacInnes took 3rd on Standard and a share of the team prize, which was won by the RAF CA. The Ladies was also very close with Nicola Meadows just 2s ahead of Mandy Hibberd, with Amiee Fenwick only a futher 6s back. Jan Newman and Peter Oliver were the fastest tandem and Peter Oliver also deserves a mention for riding the solo was well, apologies for not giving him a bit more time between rides.

A quick reminder of Reg 14(g) – Deep section rims, tri-spoke and wheels of a similar design may be used. The front wheel must have at least 45% of the surface area open.

(This prohibits use of eg Mavic IO, Zipp 1080 and H3 Deep)

And also the dangers of head down riding, even DC’s can have stationary vehicles.

 

Prize Winners:

Prizes

Overall:                1st  £40 + £10 AW Cycles Voucher – Mark Jones

2nd  £30 + £10 AW Cycles Voucher – Tejvan Pettinger

3rd  £20 + £10 AW Cycles Voucher – Jon Simpkins

Vets on standard:

1st  £30 + £10 AW Cycles Voucher – Mark Jones

2nd  £20 + £10 AW Cycles Voucher – Jon Simpkins

3rd  £10 + £10 AW Cycles Voucher – Angus MacInnes

Ladies:

1st  £30 + £10 AW Cycles Voucher – Nicola Meadows

2nd  £20 + £10 AW Cycles Voucher –  Mandy Hibberd   

3rd  £10 + £10 AW Cycles Voucher – Amiee Fenwick     

Tandem:

1st  £10  – Jan Newman & Peter Oliver

Team of 3: £30 – RAF CA - Angus MacInnes, Rob Gray, Stuart Tipton

 As no juniors finished, the £10 voucher is a random spot prize going to James Hunt.

Position Name Club Time Vet + Out Back No.

1

Mark Jones www.drag2zero.com    20:32  5.37+    11:47     8:45  60

2

Tejvan Pettinger Sri Chinmoy CT    20:35      11:38     8:57  70

3

Jon Simpkins Drag2Zero.com    20:38  5.35+    11:40     8:58  50

4

Ken Buckley AW Cycles.co.uk    21:17    11:54     9:23  40

5

Robert West RST Sport/Aero-Coach    21:20    12:08     9:12  10

6

Thomas Yeatman Oxonian CC    21:40    12:22     9:18   6

7

Jim Mcloughlin Gloucester City CC    21:46  4.46+    12:24     9:22  61

8

Angus MacInnes RAF CA    21:53  4.48+    12:21     9:32  66

9

Rob Gray RAF CA    22:03    12:23     9:40  65

10

Tim Davies Icknield RC    22:04  4.23+    12:33     9:31  30

11

Michael Ford Blazing Saddles Cycles Ltd    22:18    12:39     9:39  16

12

Simon Wix Worcester St John’s CC    22:28  4.22+    12:51     9:37  20

13

Tony Costello Corinium CC    22:29  3.35+    12:36     9:53  35

14

Phil Ember Kingston Wheelers CC    22:41  3.18+    12:44     9:57  25

15

Malcolm Rose Oxonian CC    22:47  3.12+    12:55     9:52  55

16

Mark Eyre Banbury Star CC    22:49  3.20+    12:40    10:09  29

17

David Evans Worcester St. Johns CC    23:00  4.20+    13:00    10:00  31

18

Julian King Welwyn Whs    23:14  3.09+    13:17     9:57  56

19

Michael Bennett Bicester Millennium CC    23:20  3.03+    13:11    10:09  37

20

Adrian Mason Bicester Millennium CC    23:24  3.08+    13:19    10:05  26

21

Stuart Stow Houndslow & District Whs    23:26  3.10+    13:10    10:16  51

22

Nigel Jones Gloucester City CC    23:32  3.42+    13:28    10:04  63

23

Jonathan Hobby North Hampshire RC    23:43  2.53+    13:29    10:14  36

24

Roger Foster Club Corley Cycles    23:44  3.20+    13:39    10:05  47

25

Stuart Tipton RAF CA    23:50    13:44    10:06  11

26

Martin Stanley Didcot Phoenix CC    23:50    13:13    10:37  18

27

Martin Prior Oxonian CC    23:53  2.16+    13:30    10:23  23

28

John French Oxford City RC    24:08  3.30+    13:42    10:26  62

29

Stephen Parfitt Oxonian CC    24:09  2.55+    13:48    10:21   8

30

Paul Carpenter Houndslow & District Whs    24:11  2.16+    13:37    10:34  52

31

Neil Morris Didcot Phoenix CC    24:15  2.08+    13:42    10:33  33

32

Peter Tantrum Didcot Phoenix CC    24:19  2.22+    13:59    10:20  67

33

Matt Robinson Westbury Whs    24:31    14:02    10:29  22

34

Cliff Voller Newbury RC    24:52  3.07+    14:03    10:49  27

35

Paul Allday Oxonian CC    25:11  0.48+    14:38    10:33  17

36

Barry Quick Reading CC    25:13  3.39+    14:14    10:59   7

37

Cameron Foster Club Corley Cycles    25:20    14:07    11:13  41

38

Stewart Harrison Andover Whs    25:36  0.56+    14:34    11:02  28

39

Olly Gould Oxonian CC    25:53    14:17    11:36  24

40

Paul Nicholls Oxonian CC    26:20  0.34+    15:01    11:19  59

41

Nicola Meadows (W) Velo Club St Raphael    26:21      15:13    11:08   4

42

Mandy Hibberd (W) North Hampshire RC    26:23      15:09    11:14  58

43

Sam Arnold i-team Cyclists Club    26:27    14:44    11:43  19

44

Aimee Fenwick (W) Oxonian CC    26:29      14:44    11:45  39

45

Clifford Grant High Wycombe CC    26:36  1.56+    15:17    11:19   3

46

Chris Lowe Swindon RC    26:43  0.26+    15:00    11:43  12

47

James Hunt Oxonian CC    26:47    14:47    12:00  38

48

Michael Murkin Swindon RC    27:28  1.04+    15:24    12:04  14

49

Joanna Wells (W) Houndslow & District Whs    27:40  1.29+    15:36    12:04  43

50

Ken Stevens South Pennine RC    28:20  4.29+    16:01    12:19  34

51

Chris Jones Oxonian CC    28:25  2.56-    15:58    12:27  49

52

Peter Oliver Fairly United CT    31:03*  4.02-    21:11     9:52  45
Andrew Payne Maidenhead & District CC D.N.F.  32
Mike Zuill Reading CC D.N.F.  54
Martin Grant VC 10 D.N.S.   5
Aidan Galvin Hillingdon CC D.N.S.   9
Nick Lowe Cotswold Veldrijden D.N.S.  13
Eamonn Deeley Mid Oxon CRT D.N.S.  15
Mark Woolford Chippenham & Dist. Whs D.N.S.(A)  21
David Scott Welwyn Whs D.N.S.  42
Neil Ferrelly Hounslow & District Whs D.N.S.  44
Andrew Wright High Wycombe CC D.N.S.  46
Shin Braich Leamington C & AC D.N.S.  48
Heather Mackay (W) Maidenhead & District CC D.N.S.(A)  53
Robert Frowen Team Cherwell D.N.S.  57
Adrian Littlebury CC Topp D.N.S.  64
Peter Cookson Willesden CC D.N.S.(A)  68
Zoe Ludwig-Tantrum (W) Didcot Phoenix CC D.N.S.  69

Number  45 contains  8 min late start penalty.

Vets on Standard

Position Name Club Time Vet +

1

Mark Jones www.drag2zero.com    20:32  5.37+

3

Jon Simpkins Drag2Zero.com    20:38  5.35+

8

Angus MacInnes RAF CA    21:53  4.48+

7

Jim Mcloughlin Gloucester City CC    21:46  4.46+

50

Ken Stevens South Pennine RC    28:20  4.29+

10

Tim Davies Icknield RC    22:04  4.23+

12

Simon Wix Worcester St John’s CC    22:28  4.22+

17

David Evans Worcester St. Johns CC    23:00  4.20+

22

Nigel Jones Gloucester City CC    23:32  3.42+

36

Barry Quick Reading CC    25:13  3.39+

13

Tony Costello Corinium CC    22:29  3.35+

28

John French Oxford City RC    24:08  3.30+

16

Mark Eyre Banbury Star CC    22:49  3.20+

24

Roger Foster Club Corley Cycles    23:44  3.20+

14

Phil Ember Kingston Wheelers CC    22:41  3.18+

15

Malcolm Rose Oxonian CC    22:47  3.12+

21

Stuart Stow Houndslow & District Whs    23:26  3.10+

18

Julian King Welwyn Whs    23:14  3.09+

20

Adrian Mason Bicester Millennium CC    23:24  3.08+

34

Cliff Voller Newbury RC    24:52  3.07+

19

Michael Bennett Bicester Millennium CC    23:20  3.03+

51

Chris Jones Oxonian CC    28:25  2.56-

29

Stephen Parfitt Oxonian CC    24:09  2.55+

23

Jonathan Hobby North Hampshire RC    23:43  2.53+

32

Peter Tantrum Didcot Phoenix CC    24:19  2.22+

27

Martin Prior Oxonian CC    23:53  2.16+

30

Paul Carpenter Houndslow & District Whs    24:11  2.16+

31

Neil Morris Didcot Phoenix CC    24:15  2.08+

45

Clifford Grant High Wycombe CC    26:36  1.56+

49

Joanna Wells (W) Houndslow & District Whs    27:40  1.29+

48

Michael Murkin Swindon RC    27:28  1.04+

38

Stewart Harrison Andover Whs    25:36  0.56+

35

Paul Allday Oxonian CC    25:11  0.48+

40

Paul Nicholls Oxonian CC    26:20  0.34+

46

Chris Lowe Swindon RC    26:43  0.26+

52

Peter Oliver Fairly United CT    31:03*  4.02-

Tandems

Position Name Club Time Vet + Out Back No.

1

Jan NewmanPeter Oliver Fairly United CT             21:57      12:48 9:09  2

2

Roger GardnerTanis Hand Leamington C&AC 28:27  2.51-    15:46 12:41  1

Many thanks to all my helpers – especially the non-cyclists. Hopefully see you all next year. We raised £63.30 for Sue Ryder Care homes, AWCycles supported Charity.