Monday, 27 October 2014

The Cog TTT - an apology

We 'won' the 2nd Cog TTT yesterday. Yes, those are inverted commas, because we had a Servizio Corse scooter, unlike [as far as we know] the other teams. It was an 'unfair' advantage, but we thought in a 'just for fun' event, it would be just that - fun. Spare wheels were used, junctions were confirmed clear, gates were pre-opened and we clearly gained a decent amount of time.

So we took the advantages and 'beat' CC Luton by 2 seconds, and then were presented with a significant sum of money, which came as a bit of a surprise. By that point, the 'winning' riders had parted their ways and there was no opportunity to discuss the ill gotten gains. So our remaining representatives took the winnings amid one or two voices of concern. Having originally assumed we'd be disqualified, we were simply going to go with the organiser's decision; not least as a pic of the offending vehicle was already on the twitter feed!

outside the unwritten rules - the offending vehicle
Over the afternoon, it became clear that we'd upset one or two people and after a very short discussion between the offenders last night, we agreed a disqualification with Richard of Arbis Colbert. Internal debate continues over the details and format of a non-sanctioned 'just for fun' event, but the team is in complete agreement that we misinterpreted the concept of a Gentlemens' Time Trial and therefore shouldn't take home any money!

Particular apologies go to the superior athletes of CC Luton /  CC Ashwell / Arbis - Colbert who obviously are the rightful winners and were denied the presentation on the day. It really wasn't the intention chaps and we're sorry for any upset caused.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Redbourn fête du vélo 2014

Eugene bosses the Vets

top team finisher - 2nd for Eug

Neil & Eugene rolled down to Redbourn yesterday for the 2nd Fête du Vélo on the common. It's the idea of Simon Barnes from The Hub and, despite late permission to close the roads for the criterium circuit, there was a great turnout which created a fantastic atmosphere.

Following a morning of family and challenge events, there were a few crits later in the day, which was handy as the weather turned out to be rather pleasant.

Eugene's Vets race was run as a handicap. Having sat tight for a while, he worked in a small group with Mark Booth of Corley Cycles to reach Paul Cackett at the head of the race. 

Once they caught Paul, however, Mark countered and Eug quickly realised he wouldn't be able to follow on his own. Doing his fair share of work in an eventual group of three, he attacked out of the final corner and came in 2nd.

elimination consternation - Neil

Neil was racing with the seniors and made top ten in the first race which qualified him for a start in the elimination race A. For many riders, it was their first experience of the 'devil' style of racing. 

"Definitely not my favourite format," joked Neil after being eliminated early on. "But a great idea from the organisers, it was all about entertaining the crowd and it was a fantastic race to watch!"

Monday, 30 June 2014

Report – TMG Horizon Trophy National B Road Race June 29th 2014

TMG Horizon Cycling Team staged their 4th annual Road Race on Sunday. Upgraded to National B Status for 2014, organiser Neil Wass explained that the team wanted to help higher categories of rider develop; particularly the younger riders who often struggle with travel to find sufficient fixtures.

The pace was high from the off and within half a lap, a break developed which looked like it could well succeed. Crossing the line for the The Plough Amersham Prime with 5 to go, last year’s 2nd place Danny Axford looked comfortable, although it was James Phillips of Dream Cycling who took the spoils. Locals Mike Jackson and Jonny Shuster were also in attendance and when they were joined by Mark Baines of Spirit Racing who put in a massive acceleration to bridge and one other, things looked good for the break with a one minute gap.

With 4 to go, Jackson had been joined by team mate Ashley Cox but the pace of the break had clearly taken its toll as many of the original group had been dropped. Baines and Axford were driving hard as Jack Beezer of Arbis Colbert and Ben Stockdale of Metaltek Kuota started a huge 2up effort to bridge with the bunch strung out just 10 seconds behind them.

Stockdale led the break over the line with 3 laps to go for the Redbourn Physiotherapy Prime and the strain was beginning to show, with gaps opening up in the break and an advancing peloton eating into the 40 seconds advantage. Things were looking ominous and it was this situation which led Danny Axford of Arctic Tacx to attack off the front of the break shortly afterwards.

In characteristic style, Axford backed up the attack with a measured effort and carved out a gap of 26 seconds to the original break which was holding steady with 2 to go. A lone effort was always going to be tough on such an exposed course though and he was caught by the widely fancied Beezer of Arbis, once again on the offensive as the front of the bunch started to explode with Mike Debney of Cadence pushing over the line in 3rd.

 It all came back together for the finale though. With many of the bunch struggling, it was looking like a possible bunch sprint up the finish hill but Ben Stockdale and Kieran Brady of City Centre Cycles opened up a gap of 5 seconds over the bunch as Stockdale took the win, clearly having conserved his resources judiciously.
“I was delighted with the win,” he said afterwards. “It’s a great, well organised event with a testing course that’s clearly going from strength to strength and we thoroughly enjoyed it.”

a ferocious acceleration nets Ben Stockdale the win
Junior Winner Oliver Maxwell,Windmill Wheels
James Phillips, Ben Stockdale, Kieran Brady,
lots more pictures in our flickr album
1st Ben Stockdale - Metaltek Kuota 142km 3h25m22s
2nd Kieran Brady – City Centre Cycle
3rd James Phillips – Dream CC at 5”
4th Tom Neale – Corley Cycles
5th Tony Gibb - CSE Racing
6th Oliver Maxwell – Windmill Wheels
7th Peter Cocker – Pedal Pushers RT
8th Mark Baines – Spirit Bikes RT
9th Rob Yeatman – BH-Soulidor-WAM
10th Ed Palfreeman – Corley Cycles
11th Jake Hales – WyndyMilla
12th Malcolm Smith – St Ives CC
13th Ben Allen – Dulwich Paragon
14th Gareth Jones – Mammoth Lifestyle
15th Jack Beezer – Arbis Colbert RT
16th Ben Rowe – Wyndymilla
17th Colin Bailey – North Road CC
18th Craig Wallduck – Dream CC
19th Mike Jackson – CC Luton
20th Phil Peters – CSE Racing

Junior Winner - Oliver Maxwell – Windmill Wheels
The Plough Amersham Prime - James Phillips – Dream CC

Redbourn Physiotherapy Prime - Ben Stockdale - Metaltek Kuota

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Win for Skipsey at Hillingdon

Mick lined up at Hillingdon last night for another round of the fortnightly Masters Series. With him this time were Chris & Neil, who, after an early discussion, decided it would be fun to 'animate' the race a little. The pace was a bit stop-start to begin with but the team ensured they generally had someone in each move while the others recovered and about 20 minutes in, a move with Mick in it

"We were thinking this could be good," recalls Neil. "But you never know what the reaction of the bunch will be. There were plenty of strong riders left in the main group." As the break accelerated away, the bunch didn't seem too concerned and the gap stretched to about 30 seconds, but there was generally enough impetus to hold it there; a widely used tactic with the aim of wearing out the break whilst keeping them close enough to pull back.

And it it was in this state of equilibrium where Neil & Chris started to weigh up the situation: "We could see Paul Crook of Beyond Mountain Bikes  and Gray Turnock of Finsbury Park CC in our group," says Chris. "And they weren't too chuffed that they's missed the break. I don't think they expected it to stay away so the frustration started to rise after 40 minutes." 

Turnock started to rally other riders in the bunch to ride, getting help from Scott Holmes of Hillingdon CC but Chris & Neil were always in the first 6 riders or so: "We weren't blocking," explains Neil. "But we made sure that whenever there was an acceleration, we were part of it and everyone knew they would have to count us out of any bridging effort. What was great was that we knew Paul & Gray would be the main challengers to Mick in a sprint finish so the possibilities were good if we could keep them back in the main group."

With 5 laps to go, Turnock made a last desperate effort to cross the gap, but Neil was tight on his wheel and he had to sit up and accept the break was going to stay away. And sure enough it did, with Skipsey taking a finely judged Sprint Finish. "I was surprised because it almost felt too easy," he says. "But I've been through this scenario thousands of times in my head and trained for it hundreds of times so I guess that's part of the reason!"

No pic found of his win, so here's the big man at Hillingdon [where else?] in April
Turnock was gracious in defeat: "That was a well deserved victory for Mick. He's always up there in the finale so good for him, but also good for the team because the other two never lost focus in managing us lot in the bunch." Holmes agreed: "I reckon the other two in the bunch made the difference today. So many times we had the break in our sights, but they managed to slow us down. Great teamwork."