Over the first two weekends of May, Road Race specialist Dean Cummings made the relatively short trip to the Vale of Glamorgan, Llandow Race Circuit. The Welsh Cycling Spring Race Series attracts many riders for different reasons and Acme Wheelers’ Dean Cummings was there for training in a race situation. These events are fast and furious running for 35 minutes plus 3 final laps, and can be very difficult, averaging 23 and 25 mph on a technical circuit is not everyone’s idea of a good day out. Dean, though, was very happy with his effort in both events which took place in sunny weather, finishing 23rd in each race and picking a 3rd/4th Cat point.
The first of the 2019 Club Championships recently took place in the Neath Valley. Dry condition greeted the two ACME members entered the Club 25 Mile Championship incorporated into the Welsh Championship. A stiff breeze around the course was going to cause difficulty for Gary Flower and Dave Singleton as they prepared to start at their allocated time, Dave first at 10.16 am
Last years champion Gary returning to good form, despite recovering from a skiing accident at the start of the year where he fractured is shoulder and tore a cartilage in his knee, but still hoped to repeat and hold on to the 25 mile champion title. Gary knew thou he could have a tough challenge from Dave who constantly improved throughout the 2018 season could steel his 25 title away from him. Dave riding his first event of the season was hoping to record a good time after a tough winter of valuable training.
As the both members rolled away from the start line 44 minutes apart they soon realised the stiff breeze was going to cause a challenge, Side winds are common on the R25/3h course and it seemed every direction turned there was no let up on the curving dual carriageway road winding its way down the Neath valley.
The turn point at just over half way provided a brief break from intense dual carriageway riding as Gary and Dave negotiated a slight uphill and roundabout section before returning to the dual in the opposite direction for the homeward leg. Again the side winds was not helping as they sped along the final miles.
Soon the finish was in sight for both members as the road gradient slightly ramped up to the chequered flag where times would be recorded by timekeeper and finally the challenging test would be over.
Back at the headquarters the times being posted on the result board showed that times were affected by the conditions for the 150 riders entered into the Championship event. Dave’s time appeared first on the board, 57.10 a great time on a difficult day. Gary time appeared soon after with an excellent time 52.06 which secured the Club 25 Championship again for 2019.
Soon after the event records showed that Gary had set a New Club Championship Time. Beating the previous record by 13 Seconds, which had been set by Gary in 2018 championship. Once again a great achievement for Gary in a club championship which as been competed for since 1935.
Previous Club 25 Mile Champions :-Press Here
All Championships & Celtic Series Dates for 2019 :-Press Here
The next Club Championship will take on 16th June to decide the 100 mile Title.
The 2019 Celtic Series as been designated as the Championship which will decide the winner of the “Dudley Thomas Memorial Trophy” this Year. The ACME Member who accumulates the most point from 5 events will be champion.
The Road Racing season started at the end of March for Committee Member Dean Cummings with two visits to Worcestershire to compete in League of Veteran Racing Club (LVRC) events. http://www.lvrc.org.uk/
The first trip across Offa’s Dyke was for the Pinvin RR in the Pershore area of Worcestershire, Dean was competing in the D cat 55-59yrs section.
The course was an 8mile circuit along undulating country roads which is completed six times. This regular LVRC event is always a good one to test the legs and form for the early season. The Race went from the gun with four riders away and the strong team from Bath CC blocking any efforts to bridge the gap. The fast race pace continued with several attacks from the bunch over the undulating circuit with a difficult easterly cross-wind to deal with. At 2 miles to go two riders were well clear though they were being chased down by three riders hovering a few seconds in front of the bunch. Though very tense, the final mile saw no change in the overall result. With 300 metres to the finish the road opened up in front of ambulance driver Dean and he went for it only to be swallowed up with 20 metres to the line.
In a very competitive field Dean finished in a creditable 23rd position with an average speed of 23.8mph over the 48 miles.
Dean’s Second Drive up the M50
Another regular event in the LVRC Calendar this 48 mile route is broken down into three laps of 16 miles. It is known as the Welland Circuit, after one of the villages on the course, which is in the shadows of the Malvern Hills. All the riders expected a fast pace but that was likely to take its toll because of the strong easterly wind. The course wends its way through agricultural countryside with hedges providing the occasional shelter from the wind. In other areas these same hedges would create “head-wind tunnels“ for the riders to contend with.
The first lap went well for retired policeman Dean Cummings and all riders were together after a few attacks were pulled back. As the bunch travelled along the open common road the cross wind caused a split in the Bunch. Dean chased back taking several riders with him and managed to get back on before the start of the 3rd and final lap.
The pace quickened and Dean knew he would pay for his efforts on the previous lap. As the final miles came he could feel the fatigue his legs. As the riders negotiated the final bend onto the common road into a now strong head/cross wind the bunch kicked. Digging in to stay with the front-runners Dean managed to finish 23rd for a second time. However, this put him into an excellent 10th in his age group.
For the “Statos” amongst the readers Dean completed the 48.58 miles in 2hrs 6min with an average speed of 23.1mph. His average power output was 213w with a maximum of 742 watts.
Members recently attended a special evening at the Parc & Dare Theatre where Twice around the world cyclist Mark Beaumont visited the Rhondda venue, as part of his British Isles stage tour.
1350 Metres of climbing with 50 miles of riding was the challenge to complete the ACME 2019 Hilly Fondo Reliability Trial. Dry weather was forecast with a cold stiff wind, especially on the high mountain roads.
While other members were away racing only three members decided to take on the challenge, leaving Tonypandy at 9.30am were Mike Bevan, Kerry Lewis & Rob Davies. The immediate tough warm up miles up through Penygraig and upward to Penrhiwfer before descending Barn Hill into Tonyrefail. The Gilfach climbs caused a few splits before regrouping on the fast descents into Blackmill. The Tailwind was very welcoming on the rolling hills up through the Ogmore Vale valley, passing the village of Nant-y-moel before the first major climb, up the high Bwlch mountain road. A steady pace was taken on the winding ascending road as the temperature’s started to drop. Finally the top was achieved as an ice cold temperatures were felt, a quick stop to add extra clothes before the long decent down into Cwmparc.
Rob decided to take the shorter route option on arrival back into the Rhondda and headed back to Tonypandy to complete the trial due to personnel time limitations.
Mike and Kerry cycle on, up through Treorchy and onward to the start climbing to the highest point of the Fondo ride, the 509 metre Rhigos Mountain. Both mainly stayed together but after the two thirds distance Mike started to pull away to reach the top first. Once again temperatures started to drop, a quick regroup on top before the fast speedy decent down to Hirwaun.
The rest of the trial now consisted of rolling fast roads through Aberdare, Mountain Ash, Abercynon and onward to Pontypridd. The previous mountain climbs were now starting to their toll in the final miles, but Mike & Kerry kept a high pace wanting to finish the trial in a respectable time. Through Trehafod Town to climb the final short climb passing by the Rhondda Heritage Park with only a mile left to the Finish. Finally the end was in sight at the War Memorial in Porth.
Mike and Kerry finish time was 3 hours 45 minutes, both felt they rode well throughout to complete the trial. The extra couple of weeks of training since the 50 in 4 and longer Sunday Club rides had benefited them both on this tougher reliability trial.
Photo from the Event:- Press Here