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.

Dave’s 50 Mile TT PB

Over the racing season there are eleven 50 TT mile scheduled in the South Wales District, most are organised on the R50/1B Course. This difficult course takes in two laps with some very sharp climbs followed by fast descents. The steepest of the climbs comes after 9 miles and again after 34 miles. Club member Dave Singleton arrived at the Start on the A40 for a 9.07 am start, over an hour after the first rider. Conditions on the day were fine with not too much wind to affect riders. Dave’s main target for the event was to improve his PB for the distance.

Just after Raglan Castle the course takes the old road towards Monmouth before returning to the A40 heading towards Abergavenny to do it all again. Clearly the course and conditions suited Dave as he posted a time of 2:00:15, four seconds short of a full six minute improvement on his previous PB

Dean Mixes it with the Big Boys

Retired police officer Dean Cummings has recently become a member of TLI Racing a Cycling organisation that caters for age related events. http://www.tlicycling.org.uk/ Five events had been organised in and around the Pershore area. Unable to enter all five, Dean selected the two held on the popular Pinvin circuit, 4 laps and a total of 36 Miles.

Being handicapped the race was spilt into three groups on the road, Over 60, Over 40 and any younger in the scratch group. There was a further option, depending on the rider’s ability and experience they could choose to ride in whichever group they felt was suitable. The Scratch Group mainly consisted of 2nd ,1st and Pro Circuit Series riders.

Dean selected the middle group which was required to chase the 1st group, which had a 3 min start and they in turn were chased by the Scratch group also with a 3 min gap. The race was fast as riders raced the winding country roads through and off at speeds of over 25mph. The 1st group on the second lap and continued riding at speed to avoid the catch with the Scratch Group .

Dean worked hard in the group and took several turns on the front, working well with fellow riders many of whom he knew from the LVRC events. As a result of the high quality scratch riders the middle group was caught with about just over a mile to the finish. Now with about 65 riders tearing up the country roads Dean maintained a safe position and finished seconds behind the main bunch, very pleased with his racing efforts.

Stats 33 miles 1 hr 19m 34s – Av Speed 24.4 mph Max 34.1mph – Av HR 14 – Av Watts 214 –

Max Watts 716

The second event was held on 24th July on the same circuit. With a Greek holiday in his legs and belly there was no certainty on form for the day. With only a handful of Scratch Group riders the organisers decided that they would start with the usual middle group and chase down the 1st group of high quality older racers with a clear 5 mins start.

Wow!! A group of approximately 8 class racers of 2nd Cats set the blistering pace, within which Dean was able to maintain a position sitting out of trouble and protected by the body of the peloton. The pace was relentless reaching speeds over 30 mph. Sadly it didn’t last as on a straight road two riders from a Shropshire Club decided to have a chat at about 28mph touch handle bars lost control and swayed uncontrollably in front of him before both heading off into the right hand hedge. Breaking hard and almost coming to a stop, riders came flying him past on both sides, desperately trying to get his 53/14 gear going he could see the bunch speed away in the distance. Although Dean gave chase he decided to call it a day at the Start/Finish line. When the group passed this point they were 25 seconds behind the leading group and the catch was made early on the fourth lap. The race was won by a KTM sponsored rider who sprinted away from the bunch and who went on to win the whole series on point

Stats 28miles 1hr 2 mins – Av speed 26.5 mph Max 33mph – Av HR 140, Max 160

West Wales Long Course Event

Billed as the biggest multi-sport event in Europe, the Long Course Weekend Wales is based in Tenby, Pembrokeshire, in early July. The event is run over three days based partly on the Wales Iron Man course. On the Friday evening is the 2.4 miles open water swim, on Saturday the 112 mile Wales Sportive and finishes on Sunday with the full marathon distance. Competitors can enter for all three events or just one of them. For those who enter all three the winner is the competitor with the fastest overall time.

2019 was the 10th anniversary of the event and to cater for the expected high numbers the organised have been able to arrange closed roads for the cyclist. A further addition to this year’s event was an entry from Acme member Dave Singleton in the 112 mile Wales Sportive.

Fortunately for Dave and the other cycling entrants the weather was kind to them, although an energy sapping warm humid day, it did stay dry for the riders. 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, this might encourage him to enter the WCA 50m Championships.