Club Hilly Fondo
Eight members started our annual Fondo, in conditions which could not have been different from those experienced at the Open 25 the previous Sunday. The eight members were joined by former member Mike Bevan who is looking to improve his fitness.
The nine riders set off together and rode as group as far as Ferndale when they took on the first climb through Blaenllechau and over the top to Llanwonno. Here the group split up never to regroup during the morning. First over the top was Steve Williams and Thomas Stoddart, looking very comfortable, with Ross Morgan third rider around 50 yards behind.
Dean Cummings and Tavis Rees were the next two over, not too far behind closely followed by Jeff Rees. New member Craig Weeks came next with Mike Bevan and Kerry Lewis finding this climb very steep.
From the top all riders were able to take a breather on the fast descent through the forest and on to Ynysbwl. Jeff Rees forgot his sat nav and took a right at the junction in the forest taking the climb to Mountain Ash and down the Cynon Valley before picking up the route again just after Abercynon.
At the top of the incline from Treforest the order had changed a little, Steve and Thomas were still riding well together at the front, a few minutes up on Dean and Tavis who were now riding together. Ross had lost a few places but was determined to get back up the front. Then, amazingly, along came Jeff who had added quite a distance to his route. Kerry, Mike and Craig made a very photogenic group as they topped the incline.
The pace quickened up as the riders went through Tonteg and Llantwit Fadre. The next climb was over Southgate on down to the lights in Talbot Green. Dean and Tavis caught Thomas and Steve but as the quartet went towards Thomastown Thomas and Steve pulled ahead again before climbing “Boot Hill” to Gilfach and on to Blackmill.
Tavis lost a bit of time in the Ogmore Valley drag as he ran out of water and needed to refill at a garage, he also helped another rider with a puncture problem. Just before the Clock climb Steve eased away from Thomas, who was beginning to feel the heat. At the final big bend on the climb Steve was looking very comfortable a short distance in front of Thomas. Ross had ridden with Dean along the Ogmore Valley but pulled away from him on the climb riding about 4 minutes behind Thomas. Dean followed shortly after. The other riders were strung out over the climb. The order on the Cwmparc side saw Jeff Rees first down followed by Tavis Craig and Kerry.
By this time Steve had finished followed by Thomas, Ross and Dean.
The Club 30 Championship this year was contested by five members. Fastest was Dan Taylor with an excellent 1.12.27, an improvement of 40 seconds on his personal best set last year. In second place was Gary Flower, with a later start to his season, who powered around in 1.14.14. Only a minute behind was ever keen Kevin Bartlemore with 1.15.14 for third place. Dai Long finished in 1.17.08 which was a personal best by over a minute followed by Dean Cummings, still enjoying the thrill of competition and finishing in 1.28.08.
News from the circuit series at Maindy is that Steve Williams [3rd Cat] gained a 3rd place last week followed by 4th place last night which earned him enough points to qualify for a 3rd Cat licence. Well done Steve ! Meanwhile, Dan Taylor [3rd Cat] took a 9th place in his event last week and was possibly in the top ten again last night.
A warm welcome is extended to our newest member of Acme Wheelers, 40 year old Carl Middleton of Gelli. We look forward to meeting you and enjoying your company on the road, Carl.
Please note that the clubroom will be open this Friday from 7 pm and Dave Roberts looks forward to meeting up with everyone for a cup of tea and all the latest news . For those who are interested, he will be bringing lots of result sheets dating back to the 1930’s which form a great part of our Club’s racing history.