19th November

The Club Cyclo Cross Championship was for the first time to be decided at one event anDSC_7643d the Brecon Cyclo Cross was the chosen event to find the 2014 champion. Over 120 riders lined up for the event, incorporating bank run-ups and slippery descents and various obstacles for the riders to negotiate during this one hour race. A classy field assembled including Julian Winn a past British RR Champion and former colleague of Roger Hammond in the British Cyclo Cross Team and Paris Roubaix winner Magnus Backstedt.

Club riders Jeff Rees and Tom Stoddart lined up to take on the challenge to become the Acme Cyclo Cross Champion. Considering both were coming back from illness and had missed the two previous events it was surprising that they were looking forward to competing against each other and battling for the title! The race got off to a fast start and Jeff with all his past experience managed to get ahead of Tom on the furious opening lap. Tom, however, calmly paced himself from the line and by the second lap managed to catch and overtake Jeff, opening a 45 second lead on him as the race progressed to the mid stage. Tom found his new cross bike to his liking as he set a blistering pace while many riders crashed on the slippery surfaces. Unfortunately 40 minutes into the race Tom started to experience a problem with his bike and as a result his saddle began slipping down, resulting in him having to ride out of the saddle, a very difficult thing on the tricky terrain. The mechanical problem finally caused Tom to disappointingly retire from the race, having worked so hard to establish a lead over Jeff who had now closed the gap considerably. This left Jeff in a position where all he had to do was to avoid crashing over the final laps and reach the finish. He battled on as the course became more and more hazardous while Tom sportingly cheered him on over the final laps. Jeff skilfully remained free from incident and managed to finish in fine style to successfully claim the Club Cyclo Cross Championship for 2014 and receive the Dominic Gambarini Memorial Trophy which he had previously won 14 years ago in the 2000 season.

11th November

Twelve members of the club left the Welcome Inn on Saturday 11th October for the start of the annual ‘Social Ride’. Following the success of last year, the destination was once again The Dragon Hotel in Swansea. The route took the riders on a circuitous route of the Vale of Glamorgan before heading to Porthcawl for lunch. Eddie’s planning reached new heights when the rain, forecast for the whole day, started and finished during the break. The second and quite undulating part of the route went through Margam, Skewen and Llansamlet before winding into the city centre to reach the hotel after 65 miles.

The group took full advantage of the leisure facilities (and bar) at the hotel before sharing an excellent three course meal. After a night on the town, the group left Swansea the following morning for the shorter ride home via the Neath Valley and Glynneath Bank. At this point some of the riders continued down the Cynon Valley while the majority rode over the Rhigos.

All the riders would like to thank Eddie for organising an excellent event and top class food and accommodation. In addition – many thanks to ‘the Blayney Crew’ of Darren and Fletch for carrying the baggage and providing support.

The Wednesday turbo training sessions are proving popular but with increasing numbers, the large hall downstairs was used for the fifth week when everyone submitted themselves to a twenty minute threshold test following a thorough warm-up.

Dan did a good job of mopping the floor afterwards, essential despite the fans working at top speed !

The sessions will continue through the winter and all club members are welcome to join in whatever their state of fitness.