Two Members Enjoy Unusually Pleasant CX Weather

 

The “Dune ‘Cross” was the 3rd Round of the Welsh Cyclo-Cross League held at Pembrey on October 2nd.  This was the event selected for the Club Off-Road Championship for 2016.   Unfortunately only two Club members lined up at the start but the competition between them was no less keen.  The weather conditions were very different to the “normal” CX rain and cold, Pembrey was bathed in sunshine.

Each lap was about 1.25 miles with a start on a long tarmac section leading onto a _dsc0354sharp left turn over sand  followed by a section of twisting compact sand/gravel dirt tracks. After this more familiar CX terrain appeared with a short steep stepped run up section of about 20 yards, not too far but enough to force riders to to jump off and shoulder the bike in the traditional CX running fashion.  More twisty compact tracks led into another steep bank which would see riders having to dismount for the final 10 yards. Jumping back on the bike the riders finished the lap with a fast flowing, rutted descent into the main grassy start/finish area.steve 2

As a result of the large numbers entering the race had been spilt so that Vets had a separate race start to Seniors and Youth riders.  The Vets were then spilt up further, meaning that V50 Jeff Rees had to consider his tactics carefully because V40 Steve Davies would start 2 minutes in front of him.  Jeff saw Steve get off to a decent start and had to wait what seemed like an eternity for the 2 minute gap before he could start from the second row which kept him out of the initial gridlock.

After the first half lap the V50 began picking off the back end of the V40’s on the stepped run section.  Jeff felt that they it would not be too long before he was able to catch Steve.  Jeff  realised that Steve was having a good day as there was no sign of him after three laps.  dsc_7643Eventually Jeff spotted the distinctive Acme Jersey in front of him and made the junction on the fast tarmac section.  Trying to catch Steve off guard Jeff attacked but Steve latched onto his wheel as they weaved their way through the field.  Luckily, Jeff says skilfully, he was able to nip past the rider in front when there was not enough room for Steve to follow.  A big effort on the climb and a kamikaze descent saw him open a gap and “snap the elastic”  For Jeff it was then a matter of staying focussed and avoiding mistakes to claim the off road title.

In the end Jeff finished 6th of 32 V50’s and Steve a creditable 47th from 65 V40’s, a great achievement in only his second CX season.  Jeff ‘s result means that he is the Club Off-Road Champion for 2016.  Well done to him.

 

 

Dean Climbs to Victory Once Again

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The Hill Climb Championship was cancelled in 2015 because or poor weather conditions on both days, weather for the 2016 event could not have been more different.  Under sunny blue skies on a warm September morning a mixed age range of Acme members fought out the Hill Climb Championship on the Barn Hill Climb between Tonyrefail and Penrhiwfer.  This is a difficult 0.6 miles which starts on the hill but does have a flat section to finish off.

Ever present time keeping duo Roger and Margaret Evans took charge of the event after signage had been put in place by Wayne Morris  and Chris Thomas.  

At the start line all riders were supported by Mark Nicholls before they had to go it alone and fight gravity. First off was Mike Bevan, coming out of retirement, and raced off up the climb.  Next off the start line, making a comeback to Club events after a long injury enforced break was Dave Roberts. Dave was followed by Rory Jenkins who, after a curtailed racing season, was up for this challenged.  Last off the start line was favourite and Hill Climb Series Champion, Dean Cummings.

When the results were read out Dave Roberts posted a very creditable 3:12, not sure what the Vets Std would be on this course.  Next best was the returning Mike Bevan with a solid 2:49  while youngster Rory Jenkins posted an excellent 2:10.  But leading the field was favourite and Hill Climb Champion for 2016 Dean Cummings with a time of 2:00.

The R&M Trophy was presented to Dean by Club Chairman Jeff Matthews, though Dean decided not to take possession and have to cycle home with his prize.

 

Two Members Take ON WCA 50 Championship

On the 25th September Acme members were involved in the second WCA Championships of the month. It was back DSC_0726bup to Raglan to ride the R50/1b Course for Simon Kinsey and Chris Woolley. . The East/West nature of the course means that riders go from a tail wind to a head wind at each turn, and riders will be aware that there is never a calm day.

Simon had already clinched the Club BAR Champion so this event was all about his personal goals, the main one being to “shave a few seconds off his PB”. Knowing this course and area well Simon knew he needed to use the first lap to gauge the conditions and his own form. Simon knew he could gain time on the first and third quarter but soon realised that he was not gaining the time which he would lose on the second and fourth quarter. In the end Simon missed his PB by 40s, posting a 2:13:35, in an honest assessment of he performance he realised the PB was not going to happen quite early on. Nevertheless, Simon has had an excellent competitive season and deserves his off-season break before he starts his winter preparations for next year.

Even with a later start Chris Woolley still had to contend with the changes in wind direction at each turn. Work and family commitments have limited Chris’s starts this season so he was determined to put in a good effort in the Championship event. In the end Chris posted a 2:02:01 – 24.59mph. This was a very good performance being only 2.47mins off his PB. This result makes Chris the Club 50 Mile Champion for 2016.

September is a Mix of Distances for Acme Racers

September got off to a wet and windy start at the Sportzmad 10 on the R10/17 Course between Abergavenny and Raglan.  Nadine Cannon was fortunate to have the first five miles dry but the rain and wind arrived for her return five.  Despite the unfavourable conditions Nadine posted a PB of 23:56.

Neale Lewis, with a later start, had to contend with the poor conditions in both directions.  His advice to members racing is to “pray to the sun god”.  In the end Neale posted a very respectable 23:23.

Taking no time off for a rest this month Nadine Cannon was again on the R10/17 Course to compete in the Cardiff 100   10m TT.   The weather was a bit wet at the start but she did see some sun towards the end of the ride.  The conditions certainly suited her and she used her knowledge of the Course to come in 3rd Lady and post a PB of 23:24.  It seems every time Nadine enters a 10 she is posting a new PB.

_DSC0177rAlso riding this event was Club member Neale Lewis, he was targeting a long 22 in the wet conditions and eventually posted a 23:01.  This seems to complete Neale’s racing season as his target now is to “get fat and unfit over the winter then struggle to lose weight and get fit for May”.  He looks to have used this training programme before.

The third Club member to enter this event was Jeff Rees, leaving home in quite pleasant _DSC0703bconditions he arrived in Raglan in the mist and rain.  This would be Jeff’s last TT of the season as he moves to the CX circuit.  His recent rides had been a mix of  roads, CX, MTB and a heavy roller session.  Hoping for a finish between 23:30 and 24 he was a little concerned about the mixed build up, however, they appeared to have made no difference to his riding as he posted a 23:52.  This is his 6th event on this course this season, which have all resulted in times between 23:48 and 23:53.

Tweb (2)wo days later and Nadine is racing again, now with the carrot of two weeks in Benidorm in front of her.  This time it was the PTW 25 on the R25/3H Course based at Hirwaun.  Taking advantage of the unusually perfect weather conditions, sunny and very little wind, Nadine posted yet another PB.  In finishing as 4th Lady she finished in 57:01. Nadine’s first three 25’s this season were all just over the hour but as a result of hard work and determination she went under the hour at the end of July and has now posted four sub 1 hour  25’s. 

Simon Kinsey really mixed up the distances during September,  after his WCA 100m efforts he dropped the distance down to 30 m.. This was a VTTA(South Wales Group) event on the R30/7 Course, you guessed it, based on Raglan and Abergavenny.  Conditions were ideal, warm with a little wind, and Simon reckoned he could complete in around 75-80 minutes, but quietly hoped to be in the lower part of the range.  Simon’s PB over this distance was 1:29:38 two years ago on a much tougher course, so his expectations were high.  In the end he posted an excellent 1:14:05 to put him the Club Standards range.  Simon would recommend this distance to other members who are regularly competing in 25’s as it is only a small increase and this new course is much quicker than the Bynea course.