On Thursday evening the first event in the Hillclimb Series was held on the Bwlch. With more members racing in open events this year and having to fit in their training there was a smaller number of riders in our club event. Despite this and the headwind on the climb, five members were keen to put themselves to the test. Craig Weeks was first off in his first attempt and completed the course in 15 minutes 30 seconds. New member, Carl Middleton, chased him to the top to finish in a very good 14.47 with Steve Williams powering up just behind him to win in 13.10. Veteran, Dean Cummings, finished in 15.07 and Rory Jenkins finished in 16.33, surprising himself on such a tough evening.
It is pleasing to see our riders representing Acme in a variety of cycle-sport’s branches these days and achieving good results.
Ogmore 25, 26th April
Dan Taylor 56.00
Anthony Redman 57.53
Steve Bennett 55.06
Gary Flower 55.51
Anthony Redman 55.52
Dai Long 56.52
Kev Bartlemore 57.11
Ross Morgan 59.17
Jeff Rees 1.02.44
Simon Kinsey 1.06.56
Eddie Morse 1.13.33
Rees Morse 1.22.40 inc 1.16 late start.
Welsh Road Champs, 3rd May
Dan Taylor 19th place and first 3rd Cat rider. Average speed 25.2 for the 85 miles.
On Tuesday 12th May some of our riders competed in the Cwmcarn 10 mile Time Trial where the battle for Club honours was again very close. Neale Lewis came out on top in 23.39 with Kevin Bartlemore just 13 seconds slower in 23.52. He, in turn, had to fight for his position with Ross Morgan snapping at his heels in 23.55. Jeff Rees was the oldest and last of our riders finishing in 25.10 on a very windy evening.
The VTTA 10 mile event on the R10/17, Abergavenny to Raglan course on Saturday 16th May was also affected by fairly strong winds. Five Acme riders competed with Anthony Redman coming out at the top of our riders this time with his 23.12. Kevin Bartlemore recorded 23.47 to take 1.05 off his best for the last three seasons. Jeff Rees also produced a best LTS with 24.45. In the non-aero section, Steve Williams finished with 25.21 while Alec Morris recorded 26.17, taking 57 seconds off his Personal Best.
Thomas Stoddart, concentrating on his preferred sport of mountain biking, competed in the Pembrey XC [Cross Country] Series over the winter and was very competitive throughout. In the first two races he gained a 7th place and then, despite a bout of illness, still achieved 11th place in the third event.
Tom achieved his highest placing in the fourth and fifth events of the series where he fought to an excellent 6th place in both. The fourth round race was also used as the first race of the Welsh XC MTB Series.
Congratulations are due to Tom for these results which have earned him Overall Winner in the Pembrey Winter XC Series in the Sports Category.
Tom is shown here competing in a cyclo-cross race.
Acme seems to be regaining its status as a racing club this year with many more members participating. Tom Stoddard is focusing on his mountain bike racing this year and we hope to have a report on his exploits soon. The circuit racing at Llandow is popular and road racing is also part of the scene. The first of our club championship events, the 30 mile Time Trial, was contested by six members while many more have since made a start to their TT season. In the Ogmore Valley Wheelers 25 on 26th April, Dan Taylor was our fastest rider in 56.00 with Anthony Redman in 57.53 the only other Acme rider to go under the hour. Jeff Rees showed early form with his 1.01.58, Neale Lewis recorded 1.02.25 and Simon Kinsey 1.11.04.
Action then moved onto the Port Talbot Wheelers 10 mile TT on 2nd May. This event incorporated the South Wales District GHS 10 mile Championship where Alec Morris set off in the rain in the 15 year old boys category. This course is tough with rough road surfaces and the Rock and Fountain climb to contend with so his time of 27.14 in his first ever open TT was an excellent one which beat nine riders in the main event which followed. Having won his medal on the day with a gutsy performance he will have to travel to the North London District to participate in the National Final on 12th September. In the main event, Jeff Rees, very keen again this year, recorded 26.47, evergreen Kevin Bartlemore 24.52 with Ross Morgan close on his heels with 25.14. That led us into our Club 25 mile TT Championship, incorporated in the Welsh Champs the following day. Bad weather again threatened to spoil the occasion but times were surpisingly good. An unprecedented [in recent years] ten riders competed for our championship, five in the main event and five in the overflow. Simon Kinsey took over four minutes off his time in the Ogmore event, recording 1.06.56. Eddie Morse, making a comeback, finished in 1.13.33 and Reece Morse 1.22.40 which included a 1.16 late start. Jeff Rees, feeling the effects of his efforts the day before, slowed a little to 1.02.44 while Ross Morgan surprised everyone by going under the hour in his first season to record 59.17 and claim his club silver standard for the distance. The main event which followed was a close fought challenge where Kevin Bartlemore finished in 57.11, Dai Long in 56.52, a personal best by minutes, Anthony Redman, regaining form with 55.52 and Gary Flower 55.51 for second place in our Club Champs just as in the 30 Champs. Fastest Acme rider was, unsurprisingly, Steve Bennett, 55.06, claiming yet another Club Championship to add to his palmares. Winner of the Club 30 Champs, Dan Taylor, was unable to challenge Steve having entered theWelsh Champs Road Race held on the same day. Feeling quite intimidated by the long distance and elite and pro riders in the field, he acquitted himself well to finish in 19th place, 30 seconds behind a small group chasing the break with an average speed of 25.2 mph for the 85 miles ! Acme are now 9th in the regional points table.
It is still early in the season so everyone is keen to build on their performances as the weather improves. Ross has now brought his 10 mile time down to a short 23 and Alec has entered his next event, looking for a faster time. The Port Talbot Wheelers 4-up 25 mile TT, always looked forward to by our riders, will this year have four Acme teams competing. The club is certainly progressing.