Sunday, 6 April 2014

Icknield Hilly - Podium & Team Prize

A quick note to report on today's local crono around Cheddington, Mentmore and Wingrave. We had 8 entries, but unfortunately only 5 starters. Maybe the wet & windy weather didn't help Tony, Matt and Steve...

Local Strongmen Roy Chamberlain and Richard Wood crashed the party for Ross & Luke but that still meant that that Ross made it to the podium with 45:19, and with Neil making a mini comeback on his 12 year old TT bike, the trio took the team prize by a comfortable margin.

Icknield Hilly Result 29km

1st Roy Chamberlain, Corley Cycles
2nd Richard Wood, Arbis Racing Team
3rd Ross Clarke 45:19
5th Luke Clarke 45:48
Neil Wass 47:55
Steve Clarke 50:09
Darren Powell 51:03

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Sid Latchford Memorial TT

The Weather. Always a topic for discussion at any bike race, but TTs have a particular dependence on the weather. There's nowhere to hide. Some might say at least you don't eat the whatsit off a load of back wheels, but for most that seems to be a relatively minor consideration. It's all about what time you can post and when you're in the wind all the way round, it feels a darn sight worse than a road race. More on that later.

Our riders. And a bloke who nipped down the road for 10 minutes to see what happened

So, to this morning. Two degrees as dawn broke with a brisk Northerly Wind. Not exactly appetising, but we can report with pride that an unprecedented seven TMG riders took to the start line to face the first 4 miles straight into that very headwind.

Matt Rushton had the worst of it, setting off just after 8, followed shortly by Darren Powell. Matt clearly wasn't thinking of anything more than a hard hour of training as he decided to use his winter bike. Darren's a powerhouse, but no mountain goat, and he suffered more than most on the climbs over Bison Hill and Ivinghoe Beacon. Hilly TTs like this are particularly demanding, mainly because just when you settle into that somewhere-around-threshold-on-the-limit zone, the gradient sends you into overload and screws the whole thing up.

For Michael Skipsey and Stuart Auger, this was their first open TT and something of a shock to the system: "I'm not used to pushing that hard for extended periods," said Mick afterwards. "On the plus side, I'm sure I can get a lot better at it, not that I'm desperate to have another go at this precise moment. It's just such ****** hard work!"

Luke and Ross, on the other hand, are masters at the Chrono business and, whilst it was a pretty nasty morning for everyone in the cold and wet, they seemed to enjoy the challenge, coming home with 5th and 8th. "It's nice to have an event close to home," said Ross. "And a lot of decent riders came out to test themselves, which added the local derby feel."

Chris Grange stepped up to the challenge and got nicely under the hour, despite not having tribars, which netted TMG the team prize: "Pleased with that," he grinned afterwards. "Makes it a bit more worthwhile!"

Luke, Ross & Chris - winners of the team prize

 Our thanks go to the organiser Sam Williamson and the team from Hemel Hempstead CC for making such a success of a new [resurrected] event and doing it right on our doorstep. Maybe the weather will be kinder next year...


1. Michael Broadwith  Arctic Tacx 50:03
2. Danny Axford Arctic Tacx 51:23
3. Richard Wood Arbis-Colbert Cycles RT 51:55
4. Douglas Coleman CC Luton 52:07
5. Ross Clarke TMG Horizon CT 52:43
6. Roy Chamberlain Team Corley Cycles 52:45
7. Jack Steven East London Velo 52:50
8. Luke Clarke TMG Horizon CT 53:02
9. Jason Gurney Arbis-Colbert Cycles RT 53:20
10. Tim Davies Icknield RC 54:56
21. Chris Grange TMG Horizon CT 57:48
36. Darren Powell TMG Horizon CT 1:01:37
38. Michael Skipsey TMG Horizon CT 1:01:59
43. Stuart Auger TMG Horizon CT 1:03:45
51. Matt Rushton TMG Horizon CT 1:07:01

Monday, 6 January 2014

Spluttery Start to Winter

We're almost half way through the Imperial Winter Series, and things have not exactly gone swimmingly, although with the amount of water around at the moment, that might be quite an apt word.

Canny Chris Grange, smooth in the bunch; no reintroduction needed

Neil has been joined by Chris, Ian and Mick, so in terms of numbers, we've had a much stronger presence than last year. Sadly, the new format of one peloton, two races seems to have created a touch of added tension, which in turn could have made our riders a bit more cautious.

Chris has managed two races so far. His round one was notable for the way in which, having not raced since summer, he slipped back in to the heart of the bunch seamlessly and coolly made the top 20 in a packed field.
Skippy - committed, determined and only one hungover withdrawal

Mick continued where he left off in the summer, having found form and regular placings at Hillingdon in the Masters Series. Generally always up there and having made it every round so far, he had only one withdrawal which is believed to be hangover - related. Worth noting also that he was coming back from a knee op

Baynesy (far left) our highest placing. Fearless.

Baynesy made his debut at pre-christmas round 4 and proved to be the exception to the 'cautious' approach. A post-race conversation was overheard - Neil explaining how nervous he was getting, especially in the last few laps. Baynesy replied "that's my favourite bit." Probably helps to explain why he took 5th place. Nutter. Although, to be fair, he does seem to have found a clear run down the windy side in this pic.

Wasser. Nice new Bike, Off the Front. Or Back
Neil, thus far, is a bit of a damp squib. Happy to burn a few muscle fibres in a break; not so comfortable in the bunch finale. Especially as he doesn't want to scratch his new bike. He says he hasn't got time to clean it [he has yet to show on a wet day], but we all know he would probably cry if it got dirty. A baptism of dirt required there.

He didn't see the Jan 4th race either. A serious crash on the 4th lap meant the race had to be cancelled. It generally takes a lot for a cancellation, but when an Air Ambulance has to land on the track, well...

A note of thanks to the Organisers at who turn out for 11 events over the winter in some of the worst weather of the year. They deserve better competitors and fewer crashes!

So we'll go for the 'game of two halves' theory. Put the Air Ambulance from last week out of mind, hope the weather improves and reboot for the Winter Series Part 2. To be continued.

Monday, 4 November 2013

It's Not Over Yet

Yes, the main racing season is quite a way back, but for 'hard core' head cases, there are still a few 'select' events out there, even if you discount the complete insanity of cyclo cross.

Neil decided to venture down to Hillingdon on Saturday in search of a few late points. New boy Baynesy decided to tag along for the Inverse Autumn Circuits.
Ian Baynes & Neil Wass - late season placings at Hillingdon

After a fairly uneventful first half, things hotted up a touch and having tried the 'one two' move and some solo surges, the duo decided a bunch sprint was most likely so restrained themselves for the last 5 laps or so.

The result? 3rd for Neil, 4th for Ian, so it looks like Neil will be up to 2nd Cat next season with Michael Skipsey.

Says Neil: "I didn't expect to do quite so well today if I'm honest - that's only my 3rd Road event since August! I was a bit more organised than usual though - I even had time for a warm up on my rollers."

Ian: "That was a great way to kick off riding with the TMG boys. It's great to have team mates who work with you through the race and play around with different tactics. I'm really looking forward to next season."