National Record Broken at Acme Open 25

The Acme Wheelers Open 25 was meticulously planned by Event Secretary Simon Kinsey, nothing was left to chance.  The only variable which could not be controlled was the weather.  Well the forecasters were on our side.  The event took place on a warm almost windless day and there was an expectation that records might be broken. Newly crowned WCA 25 Mile TT Champion Marcin Bialoblocki (NOPINZ) had signed on and after his Competition Record on the same course a week or two early Club members were excited that it could go again.  Keiron Davies (DRAG2ZERO) had also signed on to defend the title he had won the previous year with an Event Record.  The scene was set for battle.

In the end Bialoblocki posted an Event Record of 43:21, just 23 seconds off his Competition Record but setting an Event Record which is likely to stand for some time.  Keiron Davies was second with a time of 45:48.  He commented that he might need a motor bike to overhaul the new Event Record.

The 20 Lady starters had and equally tough battle with Alice Lethbridge (DRAG2ZERO) leading the field with a time of 51:22.  She was closely followed by team mate Vicky Gill 52:08.

 Lethbridge’s time was a little way off her 50:10 set on a previous visit to the course but she didn’t feel in top condition on the day.  “I wasn’t feeling very good today but considering that I took the win” she said “I was surprised to win with how I felt during the race, a win is a win.  It was also a bit more blustery than I would have liked.”

The Junior entries were of a particularly high standard, Joshua Sandman (Team Backstedt-Bike Performance) posted a time of 41:29 a mere 2 seconds off the Junior Competition Record.  Pride of place must go to Pfeiffer Georgi (Liv CC Halo Cycles) who posted a time of 52:54 to come 3rd in the Ladies Event while breaking her own National Competition Record.

Many thanks for all those members, spouses and friends who help out on the day to ensure that, once again, the event was very successful.

WCA Championships

The WCA Championships were organised by Martin Heritage-Owens’  RealTeam organisation on the very fast R25/3H course.  The event attracted high quality of entries with 171 finishes including two tandem teams. It would appear that the organiser has a good eye for the weather as the event took place in sunshine with alight breeze,  an improvement upon conditions leading up to the weekend.

Two Acme riders made the start line with both of them looking for P.B.’s on the fast course.  Last year’s Club Champion, Gary Flower, had to make changes to his regular training schedule to support his efforts to post a PB. Iron Man Triathlete, Gary, had to reduce his running in the week before the WCA Event in order to ensure that his legs would be a bit fresher on the day.  Realising that the weather conditions would give an opportunity for fast times Gary wrote “sub 53” on the back of his hand as a reminder of what he thought was possible. 

Tucking himself into an aero position on the downhill section Gary attained a top speed of 50mph without pedalling and he advises would be racers to work on their aero position.

Gary’s plan was to build up to a greater heart rate on the last 5 miles than the previous 20 and to dig deep at the end.

Dave Singleton was back on the R25/3H soon after his OVW event in April.  He too planned to take advantage of the conditions to post a P.B. after his good start to the season.  The change of weather conditions may have caught Dave out as he advises members to ensure they have plenty of liquid

The training plans and race strategy of both riders seem to have been well founded for the day as both riders achieved the target they set themselves.  Dave Singleton achieved his P.B. with a time of  56:16, with this coming early in the season it suggests that there is more to come are the season progresses.  Gary Flowers reminder on the back of his hand also seems to have worked as he posted a 52:19.  Well done to both riders and especially to Gary Flower who retains the Ken Harrison Challenge Trophy as Club 25 Mile Champion for 2018.

Dave and Gary take very different paths in the coming weeks and months, Dave travelling back up to Hirwaun for another event organised by Sportzmad.  Gary, on the other hand, has plans much further afield  with an Ironman event in Austria in July and the Ironman Wales event in Tenby in September.

Dave Singleton Gets His Season off to a Start

Second year member Dave Singleton used the Ogmore Valley Wheelers Open 25 to begin his racing season during the third weekend of April. Dave picked a windy weekend to get back into racing and finished the race having to think about a change of wheels in windy conditions.  Despite his concerns over choice of equipment Dave posted a creditable 59:38 to start his season off.

Dean’s Best Start to a Season

The first race report of the season has been sent in by Committee Member, Dean Cummings from his first road race of the season.  At the end of March Dean made a familiar trip to Pinvin in Worcestershire for the LVRC Pinvin Road Race, a 48 mile race consisting of 6 laps of 8 miles on the rolling country roads of the English county.  The race set of at a quick pace and two riders soon established a gap of 30 or 40 seconds.  The 30 plus riders in the peleton began to work together, led largely by eight riders, including retired police officer Dean, riding through and off to close the gap.

On the 3rd lap the gap was closed and for a short time the race was together. Very soon, however, 3 riders attacked and held a 5 second gap, this group increased to 7 on lap 4 with the bunch chasing hard. Dean worked with four others to pull the main group along and keep the gap at 15 seconds.  This hard work soon took its toll and by the end of lap 5 the chasing group became a little ragged and the breakaway extended their lead..

With the last lap looming the chasing group were held up by a tractor, and by the time they reorganised the momentum had been lost.  The 7 breakaway riders split on the last lap and the race was won by Cardiff’s Courtney Rowe, the other leaders crossed a few seconds later followed by the main bunch. 

Dean was very pleased with his efforts, feeling that this was his strongest performance in the first race of the season. He had raced for a little over 2 hours and averaged 24mph.  He was probably helped by the cool bright conditions, an improvement upon his cold and wet winter training rides.  Dean now looks forward to his next trip up to the Midlands with real confidence, to compete in the Enville RR in the middle of May.

Young Member Alec Morris Competes on the Maendy Track

Luke Rowe and Dani King began a series of track events during 2016 to encourage Vets and 2/3/4 Cat riders to race on the track.  The events are largely based on Maendy Track, and were successful last year so have continued this year.  Young member Alec Morris has taken part in several of these events this year as a 4th Cat. Entrants ride road bikes and ride in groups as an introduction to open road racing.

Alec has so far entered Rounds 12 to 15 and is learning a little more each time. His first race was a 25 minute event run in cool conditions under the Maendy floodlights.  Being his first start racing in a bunch, and on a banked circuit Alex had no idea what to expect but he was intent on enjoying the experience and to try and be competitive.   He certainly was competitive, finding himself leading the bunch chasing the lone leader with no one willing to give him help.  Having done all the work the bunch passed him on the final bend, though the Pengraig lad was happy that he had ridden strongly and was pleased with the feedback he received from other riders and the organisers.

Alec’s next event was affected by wet and windy conditions and only three riders entered the 4th Cat Event.  Initially they all rode together, but sensing an opportunity Alec took off with two laps to go. Feeling the others were on his wheel, he gave it everything he had and won the event only to look back and see the competition half a lap behind him.  Alec believes that this is the fastest he has ever ridden.  Round 13 was lucky for Alec.

On to Round 14 with his confidence boosted  Alec had to contend with ten entrants in the event.  They rode in a bunch with all riders taking their turn at the front and very little attacking.  Then came the bell and the pace picked up, making the mistake of going too high on the first bank Alec found himself towards the back end of the group on the back straight.  Determined to place he picked up the pace and passed most of the other riders in the final straight to finish a very creditable third.  Hungry for this type of racing he was now looking for points towards becoming a 3rd Cat.

Round 15 and Alec was determined to pick up enough points to enter the 3rd Cat races.   Eight riders tonight and a decent pace was set with most riders taking a turn on the front.  Two thirds of the way around three riders dropped out of the back, Alec remained in the group and kept up the speed.  With the experience of the previous events  he felt strong with two laps remaining so decided to go for it.  He managed to build a gap and one rider dropped off the back.  With two riders in pursuit of him at the bell Alec still felt strong and was determined to maintain his lead.  Despite some pressure in the home straight he managed to fight off the challenge to gain first place giving him the points he needed to enter the 3rd Cat events.