Monday, 16 March 2015

Win for Paul at Flèche Waltonne

Hitting the top step with some early form

It was a longer than usual trip up to Leicestershire for Paul yesterday but he's a regular at the Flèche Waltonne event which, using quiet roads and a few segments of rougher stuff, has become a well established favourite with a spring classic feel amongst a select group of hardened 'specialists'.

Thankfully, the weather was a bit kinder than 2 years ago


"I really like the circuit," he explains. "It's demanding enough to get rid of any passengers. The sections of rougher surfaces are like mini climbs - that's where it starts to line out a bit."

By the finale, the main field had been whittled down to a pretty select bunch. Paul was careful not to be over confident and bided his time: "You have to time the sprint absolutely right," he continues. "As a group, we were all pretty closely matched so there wasn't much margin for error."

"He'd been looking fresh and dangerous all day," a fellow rider said afterwards. "It was a well deserved win."


Just time to raise the arms

Thanks to Paul Burgoine and velouk.net for the pic. More pics here and full result here

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Greg saves the day

Top ten for our newest rider

That Jacket is a bit too warm for Racing
With Ian and Neil crying off the Imperial Winter Series this week after a liberal sprinkling of excuses: "I've got a wedding, "I think I've got a sniffle" etc, Greg donned his new Fluo Winter Jacket and got down to business.

"I've spent a lot of time in the shed," he reflected, referring to his own personal pain cave with turbo and the recent cold weather. It would appear to having an effect. That and his growing confidence. After all, this was only his 5th race.

Having watched many efforts escape only to be pulled back, he sat in the main group and saved a bit for the final effort. "I'm not too ambitious right now," he muses. "But it gets better every week. I'll certainly be starting the main season a step above last year."

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Baynesy Off and Running

Round 5 of the Imperial Winter Series saw Neil and Ian take to the start line again, Neil having wolfed down a McD's 30 mins earlier [long story], but that din't stop him pursuing his usual agenda of trying to get in a break. 

Despite one or two useful looking rider combinations, it didn't come off, perhaps not helped by a higher number of quality riders in the field than usual, and the fact that it turned out to be quite a still day.

Ian meanwhile, was sitting pretty in the main bunch, not getting too excited and saving it for the almost inevitable gallop. As with Round 4 there was a crash with 1.5 to go and some run -offs on to the grass but he positioned himself nicely and took 4th place behind winner Adam Thompson of Reading CC who was 2nd to Neil last week.




Baynesy finds his way through the closing metres. Thanks Dave Hayward @digidave




a bit of the early action from Neil's back wheel

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Neil Wins Again!

After his win on December 13th last year, Neil was passing it off as a fluke. (He doesn't need the pressure you know). No chance of that now. Having uncharacteristically bided his time at that back of the bunch for 40 minutes, he was paying attention at the right moment when Alex Tinsley, this (off) season's super diesel clipped off the front. "I'd seen him stay away all the way to the victory on December the 20th so I thought he might be a good wheel to go with," he explains.

This did not go unnoticed by another former winner, Graham Crowe of Handsling racing who quickly jumped the gap along with Adam Thompson of Reading CC. 

The quartet worked well and refused to give in, staying within 10 seconds of the bunch for 5 or 6 laps but the elastic seemed to give way soon after as they were joined by Steve Golla of High Wycombe CC. "Once Steve got across to us, I started to believe it would work." said Neil. "He's pretty handy."

And so it did. Neil got a bit tactical (well, for Neil) on the last couple of laps and in so doing, beat Graham and Adam for scratch 3rd. Steve pulled off a sharp move to get the better of Alex for the 'proper' Win, but Neil wasn't far behind, actually managing a sprint.
Neil on the left. Testing his sidewalls. Baynesy's banking also on the left.
This being a Winter Series Article, we shouldn't miss the crashes. One on the back straight with 1.5 to go and a bit of a palaver in the finale. Unluckily for Ian, he was forced off the circuit in the closing metres but was happy to exhibit his bike handling prowess, taking a detour up the grass/mud bank, back down before the line and managed a wheelie over the line. Anyone got that picture? Thanks to Jackie Irvine for this picture. Skippy may be a Saddle Drunk now, but she still wears the TMG Hoodie.


Another grateful mention to Imperial Racing Team. More organiser's nightmares for them as the finish camera broke down. Congratulations on the result you lot. Yes, actually working out the result.