Club Review of 2019

2019 turned out to be a good year for ACME members competing at numerous events around Wales and occasional trip across the boarder to England, with new Competition Records being recorded along the way. Trials,  Sportives  and  overseas Grand Tours as well as  the Road World Championship kept the membership busy and a Website and  Facebook site kept everyone up to date.

The first events on the ACME calendar was the long established 50 in 4  Reliability Trial started off the year. The 50 mile event  taking in  Newport and Cardiff on route,  luckily good weather helped as riders battled around the course.  Members Completing the Trial :- Dean Cummings, Mike Bevan & Kerry Lewis.

The next event Hilly Fondu Trial route consisted of the local mountains and the tough hilly roads around them. Rhigos and the Bwlch Mountain this year were made tougher by the Cold as members negotiated  the high exposed roads.   Members Completing the Trial :-  Mike Bevan & Kerry Lewis. Rob Davies completed half distance due to time restrictions.

The first club championship of the year for 2019 was won by GARY FLOWER despite recovering from a skiing accident at the start of the year  where he fractured is shoulder and tore a cartilage in his knee. Gary set new Championship Record for 25 Miles with a time of 52mins and 06 seconds on the R25/3h course.

DEAN CUMMINGS got off to an early enthusiastic start competing in Road Races around the country, finishing in the top 10 places frequently.  Throughout the year Dean collected points and was a worthy winner of the ACME ROADMAN of the YEAR  for 2019. Dean ended the year by being placed 31st in the British National Emergency Services Road Race, a pleasing and impressive result.

Windy conditions in The Abergavenny area was  going to make the longest TT Championship tough for ACME members started the 100 mile Championships. GARY FLOWER was once again determined to do a good ride and hoping to beat the 4hr barrier. His finishing time of 3h 57m 00s gained him 10th position overall in the WCA Championship event. Records showed later that Gary had set a New Record time for the ACME 100 Championship beating a 11 year old record time set by Colin May in 2008, improving on Colin’s time by 5 minutes and 21 Seconds. This is the second Championship Record time for Gary in 2019.

 TONY REES in August took up a challenge to cycle from Reading to the Rhondda on “Shirley the Surly” multi terrain Bike. Using quite country lanes and National cycle route  Paths  along the way.  In all Tony covered 178 miles (all into a headwind) along a fantastic varied route that took him through some lovely countryside passing interesting landmarks along the way… Just a start to more expeditions in 2020.

DAVE SINGLETON took part in the biggest multi-sporting event in Europe, the Long Course Weekend Wales. Now  in its 10th  year is based  in Tenby  the  112 mile  Sportive 2019 uses closed roads for the event. Fortunately for Dave and the other cycling entrants the weather was kind to them, although a warm humid day. This was a bonus after the changeable weather this summer. Dave time of 5hrs 42m was an excellent effort given the rolling nature of the Pembrokeshire lanes.

Members  travelled to Madrid to watch the end of the Tour of Spain, a great weekend visiting the capital city and seeing all the sights. As well the Grand Tour Finish and  other high profile races made interesting viewing. Unfortunately the bad weather was a little unexpected in a city which is renowned for bright hot  sunshine (the Welsh summer followed the members)..

The Club 10 Championship was incorporated into the Welsh Championship and DAVE SINGLETON was the man to beat over the short distance. Recording a time of  23.03  on the tough R10/17 course showed the  rapidly improving racing  ability from Dave as his name was recorded on the EMLYN JONES trophy for 2019.

In September member’s travelled to Harrogate for a couple of days to watch the World Road  Championships, an event Britain last hosted  in 1982. Harrogate was the base as it was taken over by enthusiastic fans from around the World, so much so  English became the second language around the town. An amazing couple of days of racing unfolded in a great atmosphere, and an event which as worldwide  attention.

DAVE SINGLETON recorded a personnel best for 50 miles in August with a time of 2:00:15, four seconds short of a full six minute improvement on his previous PB. Along with a time of  55.04  for 25 miles and 22.47  for 10 miles made Dave the 2019 Short Distance BAR Champion with an average speed of  26.17mph.

GARY FLOWER again competed in the Tenby IRONMAN and always does well in his category.  Competitors from across the world tackled a course, labelled one of the hardest in the world, that features a 2.4-mile swim in the waters of Carmarthen Bay, a 112-mile bike ride along the Pembrokeshire Coast, and a full marathon around the streets of Tenby and surrounding villages. Gary finished in a time of  12hrs 2mins 10secs an impressive achievement.

The Rouleur classic  Bike Show in London is an event which displays Selected Bikes/Equipment with the main attraction being  the high profile Cycling Stars past and present that attracts to it theatre. Members travelled up to the event for one day to see stars such as Cavendish, Lemond, Johan Museeuw, Phil Anderson etc.

Hill Climb Championship  is the final Championship of the year and a number of members took to the start line. In form and last years champion DAVE SINGLETON managed to ride to Victory again on the tough Barn Hill Climb. This ended a good year for Dave with three Championship Trophies to show for is performance’s.

Well Done to All the Club Champions 2019

CLUB CHAMPIONS HISTORY :- http://acme-wheelers.co.uk/index.php?cID=154

Rouleur Classic Cycle Show

Members  recently travelled up to London to visit the Rouleur Classic Cycle Show, a show where top manufacturers display their latest equipment. This is a much smaller personal event than the Birmingham Cycle Show in September.  Specialising in road bikes and equipment suppliers, the Rouleur Classic always as interesting displays to view.

The main attraction at this event is always the theatre guests where organisers attract speakers from around the world and this year was the best line up members had seen. Mark Cavendish, Australian Phil Anderson, Belgian Classic specialist  Johan Museeuw plus others and the shows highlight speaker Greg Lemond from America. All speakers give a 30+min chat with question from high profile TV Presenters.

 Johan Museeuw was a interested character as he talked about his career. He really was comical as he spoke, especially about his start of his pro career where he thought he was a natural climber on the bike. This idea was dismissed when he rode his first Tour de France when the Belgian was destroyed on every high mountain stage. Later in his career he found is true talent as a one day rider, winning numerous Classic races and gain a reputation as one of the best during the 1990’s…. World RR Champion, TDF stage wins, Classics & Short Tours – he won everything apart from Grand Tours…

The talented Mark Cavendish also had a 30 min slot, but went on well over an hour, Mark really likes to talk. They showed video clips of past Sprint Wins going back from the start of his 14 year Pro career.  Mark spoke in detail about every  video as if they were yesterday, who was competing around him, how he was feeling, the speed etc etc etc….he really can talk, and he shows the passion he still feels about cycle racing.

The show also gives the public a chance to meet with the special guest around the trade Displays. This gave the opportunity for Kerry to meet up with Greg Lemond and have a quick chat about past tour wins, then Greg went on to speak about Whisky and Wine with Kerry, not sure what that had to do with is past career, but it was good for Kerry to meet the Tour Hero who won the Tour de France  three times – it could have been more if he hadn’t been shot by his brother in law in a freak hunting accident which Greg spoke about in interesting detail during his talk on stage

A great event, the special guests will always be the main attraction to the show, allowing 1-2 hours   to look around the equipment displays.

More Photos to view @http://acme-wheelers.co.uk/index.php/gallery/rouleur-classic-london-2019

Hill Climb Championship

A little later than normal the Club Hill Climb Championship was held on Sunday 10th November. As usual two dates were set aside but this year we were lucky enough to have a lovely sunny day, though a little cold, on our first choice date.  The Barn Hill route was used, a tough climb with no run up for the riders, starting right where the road begins to rise.

With their clocks synchronised, Time Keepers, Roger and Margaret Evans were ready for riders to sign on. The sun was shining at the start and finish area with a little colder, shady section a little further up the hill. 

Four members signed on for the event, a nagging knee problem for Gary Flower meant he could not ride but he was able to take over the “pushing off” duties.  First off was Club Treasurer Dave Roberts riding his one event of the year, followed by last year’s winner Dave Singleton.  Next off Dean Cummings was having a day off from the road circuits and finally Kerry Lewis took some time off from camera duties.  All riders had to work hard on this testing course at a time of year when they would normally be winding down the training for a few weeks.

Final times were reflective of the amount of racing each of the riders have been involved in during the season with last year’s winner, Dave Singleton, posting a time of 2m 42s, this was closely followed by Dean Cummings’ 3m 03s. A little further behind Kerry Lewis posted 4m 09s with Dave Roberts finishing fourth with a time of 5m 05s.  

Well done to all riders and many thanks for those who enabled the event to take place.  The next event for Club members will be a less strenuous as we look forward to the Christmas Dinner.

More Photos can be Viewed @ http://acme-wheelers.co.uk/index.php/gallery/hill-climb-championship-2019

UCI World Road Championships

Four Acme members made the long journey to Yorkshire aiming to enjoy the spectacle of the UCI World Championships.  After a trouble free journey and a quick case drop off in Leeds, it was straight on to Harrogate to catch the end of the Junior Men’s Championship.  The weather conditions had improved from earlier in the week but the riders, and spectators, had to contend with constant showers. Dean, Jeff, Kerry and Mark caught the final circuits around Harrogate to see the American, Quinn Simmons win after a long solo breakaway.

At the end of the race a visit to the Fan Zone gave an indication of what was to come in this large field as the weather would deteriorate.  Although there were walkways set down, the grass areas were very wet making it difficult to walk around freely.

The centre of Harrogate is quite small and was easy to get around and a Weatherspoons was soon found as the likely venue for food that evening.  Before then a meeting with other spectators in a pub on the circuit clearly demonstrated the pulling power of the event as there were supporters from all over Europe, many of whom were veterans of the event.  Celebrity spotting in Weatherspoons was easy as we sat on the table next to David Millar and Peter Kennaugh, who were very happy to have a photo with us.

Friday morning began with breakfast while watching TV coverage of the Junior Women as they raced from Doncaster to Harrogate.  After a short train ride we were on the finishing circuit to see American Megan Jastrad win a hard fought battle over the tough final kilometre.  Not long after she was riding back to her hotel all alone and very willing to talk to spectators and have her photo taken with them.

The American theme continued during the day as we struck up a friendship with Wisconsin residents Matt and Gretchen Harr who shared our company during the day and even had their first taste of Weatherspoons with us.

Later in the day the Under 23 Men also started from Doncaster though the course was much longer. Local rider Tom Pidcock was well supported on the route though a recent serious fall off the bike only a month earlier would surely take its toll. The Dutch rider first over the line was deemed to have drafted behind his team car for too long earlier in the race and was disqualified and, much to the local supporters delight, the British rider was awarded the Bronze Medal.

At last the weather improved on the Saturday for the Elite Women who started in Bradford. The sun shone as we ventured into the Fan Zone which had dried up a little and the stall and exhibitions were full. Accompanied by Matt and Gretchen we took up our favoured position in the Hales Arms just inside the kilometre mark where we could view the race at several points on the circuit and get to the TV to see the finish.  The Dutch were rewarded after the previous day’s disappointment with Gold and Silver.

Sunday morning the forecast was horrendous, luckily the rain held off for the start, just five minutes from our hotel on Leeds.  As soon as the peleton rolled out it was back to the hotel for Mark and Jeff to watch Wales beat Australia.  By the time the race reached the circuit the rain had really set in but this did not deter us from walking the last few kilometres to watch the race unfold through the wet leaf strewn streets.  The break away was strong and never looked like getting caught with Pedersen saving just enough to win the gold in the last 500 metres.

Even though we were all soaked through on the Sunday, it had been a fantastic experience and an extremely well organised series of races.  We met supporters from all over Europe and UK and hopefully struck up a lasting friendship with our Wisconsin friends Matt and Gretchen.

More Photos can be viewed at http://acme-wheelers.co.uk/index.php/gallery/world-championships-harrogate-2019

National Emergency Services Road Race 2019

Dean Cummings recently competed at his final Road Race of the season in Dorset, its been a busy season for Dean travel to numerous event around the country and hopefully is good form would allow a good placing at the 2019 Emergency Services Road Race. The event was held in beautiful conditions on the fast Monkey World Circuit. The strong field made up of the best the fire, police & prison service had to offer set off from the Bovington Royal British Legion at 10am onto the 10.1 mile circuit to complete 5.5 las (90km).

A cagey start saw a few tentative breaks try and go up the road, only to be monitored and bought back with ease by DWFRS rider Julian Lockwood who was ever present at the front of the peloton all day. Eventually after a couple of laps the two strong men, Graham Crow (London Fire & Rescue) & Richard Butler (Cumbria Fire & Rescue) managed to break the elastic and set off on a two man break. The two fire service men set a tough pace in their own private two up TT and the group behind seemed to be more interested in checking out the local sights on the course and maybe even sight a monkey or two (insert Met joke).

With 2.5 laps to go Tom Clements (Dorset Police) managed to get his massive carcass across the gap and joined Crow & Butler out front. At the peak their gap reached 35 seconds, but as the finish drew near the peloton led by Blackman (West Mids Police) put their foot down and started to drag the three escapees back, only for Seb Herrod (Suffolk Fire & Rescue) to jump across and try to share the workload in the break. But Lockwood & Blackman had other ideas and quickly the peloton had them all back in the fold, setting up the inevitable bunch finish.

The last lap saw a few efforts try to get away, but the constant vigilant eye of Lockwood made sure that they never got more than 15 seconds. As the finish drew near a single rider of the front by 10 seconds the group gallop to the finish was inevitable.

One final suicide pull at 1.5km saw a surge from the group and sadly top contender James Gibney (West Mids Police) went down in a crash. The sole rider was caught by the rampaging peloton with 1km to go.

So the sprinters came to the fore. Having sat in all day long as they tend to do, chilling out at the back, sipping tea and talking about sock length they finally put their noses into the wind and sprinted for the finish, leaving all those that had put the hard work in their wake. Dave ‘Mitch’ Mitchinson (Hearts Police) crossed the line first hand aloft, followed by Jay Eastwood (Hampshire Police) and Matthew Heathcote (Met Police). Elliot Davis (Avon Fire & Rescue) was first from the Fire Service. Dean was pleased with his performance and prominent throughout the race and finish in 31st place and brings his season of Road Races to a close.