The bitterly cold weather finally gave up its grip and the frozen streams and waterfalls above Llyn Fawr were flowing again on the day of the Bryn Griffiths 25 mile Time Trial. Unfortunately, the change in the weather also brought heavy overnight rain and strong winds which caused half of an already depleted field to stay in bed. Maybe they should have been more intrepid because Kieron Davies of Bynea CC still managed to win in the incredible time of 49 minutes and 56 seconds, closely followed by RAF CC’s Justyn Cannon, an Acme member in his youth, with a time of 50 mins 28 secs. Not to be outdone, the only junior entry, 17 year old Luke Davies riding for VC St Raphael, recorded an excellent 55-24.
Once again the Acme members showed how well they pull together with the event superbly marshalled and signposted. A great bunch of ladies in control of a vast supply of sandwiches and home-made cakes [ even some special Acme ones in club colours! ] kept riders and tired marshals well fed and watered. The atmosphere at HQ was of the usual friendly variety as riders gathered for the presentation of prizes by that good friend of our club, John Pritchard MBE, himself a former winner of the event on five occasions.
Organiser Tony Rees, taking the reins for the first time was more than pleased with the support he received from members, with even former organiser Chris Clements in charge of the result board and wife Caroline still overseeing the signing-on procedure. Riders once again commented on a well-run event and Tony’s friend Steve who kindly transported the result boards and accompanied him around the course said he had really enjoyed the whole experience.
Three of our riders competed in the event. Veterans Paul Griffiths and Kevin Bartlemore have been concentrating on endurance miles in their build-up to the longer BAR events so were happy enough with their times of 1-09-04 [Paul] and 1-03-45 [Kevin]. Gary Flower, off as first man, certainly did his Acme vest proud, recording 1-02-50 in his first ever 25 mile TT having recorded a 25-26 the previous weekend.
Riding their first Time Trials in that West Wales Cycling League 10 mile event. were Dai Long and Dan Taylor, both taking a rest from the road racing scene. Dai recorded 28-27 while Dan did a 25-04, mentally kicking himself for not going five seconds faster! Gary and Dan beat their bronze club standards for 10 miles. Gary then did the same for 25 miles and was only fifty seconds outside the silver standard. That should soon be within his grasp.
Our club vest has been proudly displayed recently in the circuit races at Llandow too, with five senior members joined by juvenile riders Ethan and Evan in the freezing and windy conditions that have marred all the races so far this year. Switching circuits, Dai Long competed in the criterium at Maindy Stadium last Wednesday where he gained his first point with 9th place and is now keen to collect more.
The first of our Club Championships, the 30 mile Time Trial incorporated in the Bynea event was held on Sunday 21st. Road works and traffic lights due to subsidence near Llandovery caused a change of course, riders starting at Manordeilo and following the A40 to Abergwili roundabout near Carmarthen where they turned and re-traced. Early weather prospects were good with no wind and a temperature of nine degrees but by the time of the 09.01 start a breeze had sprung up which steadily strengthened and reduced the temperature considerably. Three members only, contested for the Championship over this very tough and hilly course which was typical of some of the continental professional races and definitely a strongman’s course. First of our riders to start was Gary Flower, keen to beat a club standard and challenge for the championship following his excellent showing in our Open 25 mile. He rode on his new TT machine but was uncomfortable in his new position although he still recorded 1hour 19 mins 09 secs, beating the bronze standard by almost five minutes. Our eldest rider, Paul Griffiths, as keen as ever, struggled on such a hilly course to record 1-33-22, slower than his 2012 ride on the usual course but is looking forward to the rest of the season, flatter courses and warmer weather. Dan Taylor, on his standard road bike, made a strong start and at the turn was only 45 secs behind his minute man, number 25, Dan Colman. His road race background was of value on this hilly course where he continued to claw back the seconds to finish just ten seconds behind his quarry in an excellent time of 1-15-23, beating the silver standard by just over a minute and securing the Championship trophy for 2013.
Photos from the events can be seen in the Photo Gallery.