14th August

Gary Flower powers to another Club Championship win riding in the Welsh 100 mile Time Trial Championship on Sunday 11th August on a course which included 3 laps of the Abergavenny to Monmouth dual carriageway circuit. On a dry and warm day he had no one to feed him so had to stop to collect drinks and was further hampered when, on the back road at Mitchell Troy, he unshipped his chain which got wedged between the bottom bracket and chainset. Undaunted, he fininished in 4 hours 28 minutes and 51 seconds for 20th place, an excellent time for his first event at this distance.

Unfortunately, he will not be able to ride the Welsh 12 hour and collect the club BAR award becuse he will be competing in an Ironman event, his main goal for the year. Also riding in the championship was Dan Taylor. Unable to ride the West Wales 100 because his car failed its MOT, this was his only chance to challenge for the club BAR. At approximately 40 miles he punctured near Hardwick and lost 10 minutes or so waiting for a spare wheel to be brought from Raglan. He carried on but at about 83 miles he went off course, arriving at a confused timekeeper from the wrong direction. He still intends to ride the 12 hour and this Sunday joins Steve Bennett, Neale Lewis and Paul Griffiths in the Welsh [and Club]10 mile Championship.

Following his upgrading to 2nd Cat road-racing licence, Steve road his first open time trial of the year on 18th August, the Cwmcarn 25 mile event. From a full field of 120 competitors and 98 starters he took 18th place with an excellent time of 54 minutes 39 seconds, the fastest Acme time this year.

No doubt inspired by Steve’s achievements, Dai Long, riding in a 4th Cat criterium at Maindy, attacked from the bunch with a couple of laps to go, chasing a lone breakaway. Dai just got pipped on the line but still took 3rd place and collected enough additional points to be upgraded to 3rd Category.

Samples of the new design Club Clothing were approved by the committee last week. There will be an open evening at the clubroom on Friday 30th August between 6 and 8.30 pm when members will be able to drop in to view the range of summer and winter garments and try them for size. All orders for the first batch of clothing must be placed by 10th September. There will be no late orders accepted and no other bulk order will be placed until late spring 2014. Members will be able to order individually, direct from the manufacturer but the cost will be substantially more.

Tony Rees now has entry forms for the 5 Valleys Gran Fondo charity sportive on 1st September. Please contact him for further information.

The Valleys Velo Sportive takes place on 29th September and a link to it can be found here.

This is a final reminder to members that anyone wishing to book a place for our autumn weekend ride needs to contact Eddie Blayney as soon as possible. All members have already received full details from the chairman.

10th August

This year’s Club Hill Climb Championship was held on Thursday 8th August in dry but not the most favourable conditions. That did not prevent junior rider, Ethan Derrick, giving a super performance and finally cracking senior rider, Paul Harries to become 2014 Club Hill Climb Champion by 21 seconds.

Eight Club riders and two guests faced starter, Carole Dietman before racing to the top of the Bwlch where they were pleased to see Gwyn Humphreys back in his traditional role of finish timekeeper.

Tony Rees [ finish time 15mins 48 secs] was first rider to challenge the mountain but 16 year old Kyle Adams, riding his first hill climb, soon had him in his sights on the long straight after the cattle grid. He relentlessly closed the gap to overhaul Tony and cross the line first with a ride that eventually gave him equal 4th place with experienced competitor Jason Dodd in a time of 14.20. Ethan [12.40 ] starting at number 5 caught and passed his minute man, Dean Cummings [14.28] while number 6, Paul Harries, battled to hold off Tony Derrick [13.26] who valiantly fought his way to 3rd place on the podium. Simon Kinsey kept himself away from the action until last week but made a great effort up the tough climb to finish in 19.05. Times and current overall positions for the hill climb and time-trial series may be found in the results section.

There has been a flurry of activity in recent months. In early July, Simon Iles rode to 16th then 10th places in the Forza Cycles RT criterium series. On 17th July, Steve Bennett, riding in the first of the Cardiff JIF Summer Criteriums took 1st place in the 2/3/4/vets category event to add another 10 points to his 3rd Cat licence. He followed this up in the second race of the series on 24th July with a 2nd place and Simon just behind in 6th. Steve had now accumulated enough points to be upgraded to 2nd Category. As a result he was invited to ride as a composite team with Matt Beckett and Adam King of Cardiff JIF in the 2 day L’Etape de la Defonce stage race in the Vale of Glamorgan. Day one,20th July, began with a team time trial and they took 3rd place out of 18 teams. Then in stage 1a, Steve took 12th place in a field of 69 riders. Dat two saw Steve take 18th place, which was good enough to place 9th overall out of 55 finishers. He was also 5th Welsh rider. Well done Steve, we all recognise you as a classy rider.

Our younger members have also been mixing it in circuit races with Ethan taking 13th spot in the Under 16’s at the Wales Open Criterium Youth Support Races on 12th July. His cousins Evan and Freddie Rickards have been competing in the Celtic Criterium Series where Freddie gained 4th place in the under 8 age group in round 2. Evan, unfortunately, has been temporarily sidelined by a knee injury following a fall.

Our club jerseys were well to the fore in the 4th cat. race at Llandow on 7th August when Dai Long gained another three points for his 7th place and Hywel Morgan one point for 10th. Steve Williams missed out on the points following a mistake at the last chicane but finished strongly in 14th place.

Dan Taylor was the sole Acme representative in the Cardiff 100 miles RCC 50 mile Time Trial on the Abergavenny/ Monmouth course last weekend. In his first ever ’50’ and in very wet conditions he recorded a creditable 2.03.59 for 23rd place and set the fastest club 50 time this year. This Sunday he rides the Welsh Championship 100 in the same area and is joined by Gary Flower who has recorded very good times at all distances in this, his first season.

15th July

Second place in the Welsh Schools Track Championships. Fifteen year old Ethan Derrick is reaping the benefits of his weekly battles with his dad in our club events [Ethan always wins!] and arrived at the start of our last 5 mile time trial sporting his medal and certificate. He represented Treorchy Comprehensive in the Championship but continues to wear his Acme colours with pride.

Neale Lewis has moved on from his Club Championship-winning 59-11 for 25 miles recording 57-49 in the Real Team 25 on the 30th June, competing against the likes of ex world champion Wendy Houvenaghel who finished third in 54-10.

Also competing in the event was Steve Williams who just missed out on our bronze standard time of 1-06-00, recording 1-06-18 in his first 25 mile time trial.

In the Cardiff 100 miles RCC 25 mile event on 6th July, Dan Taylor finished in 58-16 for 41st place out of 82 finishers. Not a bad result on his standard road bike with everyone else on TT machines. His mistake in not entering the non-aero section delighted Dai Long who won that competition by one second in 1-05-16, also beating our bronze standard.

The Ross-on-Wye & District 10 mile TT the following weekend saw both Dai and Neale representing Acme. Neale recorded an excellent 22-22 while Dai was pleased to take 40 seconds off his personal best, finishing in 26-09.

Riders in the club evening events have been enjoying the long awaited summer weather and wish to thank Carole for pinning-on numbers as well as timekeeping and fee collecting ; unsung hero Chris Thomas for erecting / removing signs and marshalling ; Jason Dodd for going as last man in order to push-off all other starters ; and all the others who turn up and help. More photos from the events, care of Jeff can be seen in the Gallery. Dan Taylor wishes to thank everyone who contacted him directly or inquired after his health. He is recovering well from his injuries and riding his bike but still shaken by events.

Jamie Rowlands of the Bicycle Doctor in Porth is organising a sportive in September. Click here for a link to the website.

11th July

Our members wish to express their great sadness at the death of Ben Carroll, Cardiff Ajax

Cycling Club, following the accident at the Abergavenny Road Race earlier this week.

We offer our condolences to all members of his family for their terrible loss.

23rd June

Dean Cummings made a late start to his season due to work committments. However, he was quite busy in May with a circuit race at Llandow, George Greaves Memorial road race, Ramin Minovi Memorial RR organised by the LVRC [League of Veteran Racing Cyclists] and the President’s Handicap RR. He says the only outcome was pain and suffering but he felt his form coming by the end of the month. This led him into the 2-day Dragon Two road race on 1st and 2nd of June which he describes here :

A 3.5 mile TT , followed by a 48 mile RR around a shortened version of the Presidents Course ,then the following day a 58 mile RR on the full course the following morning .The TT at 13.00hrs went well and was within a minute of the leader at the start of the afternoon stage which took us up the Rock and Fountain 5 times A bit tricky to get your fluids , food and energy right between events but thats all part of the competition . The RR of ABC age cats 40 to 59yrs with a quality field included a number of ex pros started at 14.30hrs with various attacks throught the event . 5 times up the climb was going to take its toll and on the last time around cramp was becoming an issue , but with screaming quads finished the race just a few seconds behind the bunch . The main prority now was recovering for the next day . Drastic measures were required and decided to sit in an ice cold bath to get rid of the lactic in my legs ,it wasn’t just my legs were painful after that , followed my a self massage (on my legs) and then more ice packs ,great sport this cycling .

Any way it seemed to have helped and after a good warm up started the next day knowing that most of the others were in the same boat , Another fast start up to 37mph before the first climb, followed by various attacks and changes of speed and after four and half laps and only 4 times up the climb the bunch were together to the end revving up to a massive sprint to the finish which was just prior to the small bridge that links the both roads . Sadly the race was halted in the last mile and half as the road needed to be closed following a serious crash in the EFG group when several riders came down . so we all had the same finishing time . Picture the scene 40 or so riders in a bunch travelling at 30mph towards a Police Support Officer waving his yellow jacket frantically in the air .

In total 110 racing miles both RR averaged over 23mph reaching speeds of well over 35, i`ve calculated my total time to have been arround 4hrs 40 gave or take . Then went to work till midnight shattered !!!!

Maybe some other Acme vets who should be racing will enter next year it really is an event not to be missed . A couple of Llandow events next ,the Aber handicap which will be great preparation for the Police & Fire Worlds in August .

Also in May was the Club 25 Championship, incorporated in the Welsh Champs. The 64 riders in the overflow event, which included three Acme riders, faced the toughest conditions of the day. Paul Griffiths forced his way around in 1-06-17 while younger veteran Kevin Bartlemore finished in 1-00-05, wishing he had gone six seconds faster. Fastest Acme rider on the day was Neale Lewis who, in one of his infrequent forays into racing did an excellent 59-11 to take 20th place [5th Welsh rider] and become our Club 25 mile Champion for 2013. Congratulations Neale.

Recently, Gary Flower [or should it be Flier] has been using his new TT bike to good effect, chasing faster times in Merthyr CC club events in the Vale of Neath. Having reduced his time to 1-00-58 in the Ogmore 25 in May, he comprehensively broke the hour in a mid-week event with 57-48 and followed it with 22-59 for 10 miles. In his first year of membership he has now beaten the club silver standard at 10 and 25 miles. His second 50 mile TT is today’s Club, Welsh and British Championship near Abergavenny where he hopes to improve on his 2-15-48.

Breaking News : Gary just texted to say he recorded 2-09-10 this morning in very windy conditions. Paul Griffiths 2-37-54, Kevin Bartlemore DNS. Congratulations Gary on becoming our Club 50 mile Champion for 2013. Look out for more good performances from him as the year progresses.