The Commonwealth Games road race in the streets of Glasgow proved a real showcase for Welsh riders on a deceptively tough circuit. Combined with pouring rain it decimated the field of 139 riders with just 12 finishing. When you add 6th [Luke Rowe] and 10th [Scott Davies] places to Geraint Thomas’s gold it says something about the quality and mental toughness of our riders. No other country even had three finishers !
At club level, our own members continue to make an impact and push their own boundaries. In the last couple of months, Fiona in her occasional forays into time trialling has beaten the club silver standard for 10 miles to add to her earlier bronze at 25 miles. There is currently no female standard for 50 miles but she would surely have been close to it with her 2.31.14 in the 100 milers 50. Jeff, in his comeback season is producing 24 minute rides at 10 miles. His intention was just to get fit enough to participate in his beloved cyclo-cross again but he is so keen that he has purchased a TT bike. The secret of his improving performances has been leaked, however. It seems that Dan insisted Jeff would pay for the cakes after an event if Dan caught him before the turn. Petrified at the thought of unsealing his purse, he managed to hold off Dan until just after the turn, afraid to look over his shoulder ! Mark is believed to be contemplating a return to CX racing so maybe he should be threatened with ” Last man buys the teas ” at the cafe stops.
Simon, so keen that he is attempting all distances as well as completing a solo, non-stop ride from North to South Wales has already lowered his 25 mile time from 1-07 to 1-04 to claim a bronze standard. He has also beaten the bronze standard for 10 and 50 miles this year. Steve W, before his road bike was stolen had been mixing TT’s with circuit races and haven broken the hour in May, beat the bronze standard in the Bynea 50 with his 2-18-41. Dai Long, like Steve, has improved greatly this year, his improved confidence netting a 5th place at Llandow, breaking the hour at 25 miles and just missing the silver standard at 30 miles with 1-18-40 in the club championship. On 2nd August he also gained silver at 10 miles with his 23-34.
Kevin B is having a great season and pushing the younger riders with his two 57 minute rides at 25 miles, a 23 minute 10 and 2-08-47 for 50 miles. This weekend he rides the 100 Championship together with Simon and Fiona. We haven’t seen much of Gary this year, having spent some time working abroad and concentrating on training for the Tenby Ironman event. However, he has been riding many of the Merthyr club events in the Vale of Neath, where there seem to be more Acme riders than anyone else and has done a 59 minute 25. Tom has claimed a bronze with 1-05-17 at 25 miles and Rory has achieved 1-08-20. Having been keen enough to enter the Port Talbot 4-up where they clocked 1-04-32, next season should see big strides from them.
Steve B continues to show his abilities with two 55 minute 25’s one of which added the club 25 mile championship to the 30 mile title he claimed in April. Last month he also gained more points at Llandow with 3rd place in a field of numerous other 2nd Cat riders. Dan, already contemplating his return to cyclo-cross, has achieved gold standard at 10 miles [21-33] and 25 miles [54-24] since closely challenging Steve at 30 miles and has also turned out a 2-07 ride at 50 miles. A last minute decision to enter the Gateway to the Beacons road race at the end of July was a good one. Attacking early in the race, he broke away on a climb but his companion being unable to share the work, they were eventually hauled in. The race later split with Dan in the second group which worked hard and rejoined. He made another attack on the final climb and although he was caught, still ended up with 6th place, just pipped at the line for 5th.
Welcome to new member, Neil Mousdale, already known to many of us having ridden a number of our club events this year. He is keen to get seriously involved with racing next year and living on Penrhys should have no fear of hills !