News From the Road

The Club’s evergreen “roadie” Dean Cummings has been busy again this season with four starts already under his belt.  In March it was off to Malvern in Worcestershire for the Pinvin LVRC Road Race, this 46.5 mile race was made up of 7 laps of a 6.5 mile circuit.  The course was undulating with one longer clamb around 500 metres long.  Dean felt he was riding well but became boxed in on the last climb and lost contact with the bunch.  In cool, breezy conditions he finished just behind the main bunch with his aims of finishing and gaining race fitness met.

Early April saw Dean returning to Worcestershire for the Echelon Cycles LVRC RR, this time three laps of a 16 mile circuit on a rolling course. Feeling strong, in the pleasantly warm conditions, Dean was able to cover all the attacks and small breaks and was in the sprint at the finish.  He lost a bit of ground in the last 40 to 50 mts but was pleased with his overall 16th place.

The following week Dean had a shorter trip for the Abergavenny Handicap RR, three laps of a 15 miles on the old Handicap Circuit.  A strong field had been assembled meaning the race was run at a fast pace, made more difficult with the cross winds on the Abergavenny to Raglan course.  Dean was keen to finish the event but after being dropped as the bunch was sliced apart by the cross winds he, unfortunately, packed after two laps. 

Keen to improve his performances later in the season Dean took off to Mallorca on the South Wales Police warm weather training camp, accompanied by former member Hywel Morgan.  In five and a half days they covered  480 miles (770Km)  and a massive 29000ft (8800mts) of climbing. During the week the Mallorca 312 Sportif was taking place and Hywel and Dean took the opportunity to ride on the closed roads, but maybe without officially entering. Another former member Dai Long was spotted on the way, he had entered the event.  Dean recommends this week to other members with the weather quite pleasant, though a little cool.  The one day of rain felt more like Maerdy than Mallorca.  Dean’s aim of getting in some quality miles in warm sunshine was more or less met.  Lucky him.

To test out the effect of his training week it meant another trip tp Worcestershire’s Little Wittle.  The was a tough course of four 12 mile circuits on hilly, winding difficult roads, with one  mile long climb being negotiated five times.  After riding well in the strong field Dean lost contact on the third climb, but event though he was feeling the Mallorca miles in his legs he managed to get back into a group and finished just over a minute behind the bunch

Welsh Championship 25TT April 30th R25/3H

The following weekend it was back up to Hirwaun for the WCA Championships on the R25/3H which also serves as the Club 25m Championship.  Four members had entered a big field but only two left the start line with Simon Kinsey and Anthony Redmond both, unfortunately, having to withdraw.  First off was Jeff Rees on a new bike with new tri-bars, ever the pessimist Jeff told Club members, who had ridden over to offer support, that he was concerned that he was in the main field. Another member feeling that recent training had not been enough for this event, Jeff did not have great expectations. Although often seen out on his road bike, Jeff would have us believe that his recent training consisted of riding MTB and trundling up the Taff Trail.  In his first 25 of the season Jeff finished in a time of 1:03:35, a good start to the season but Jeff points out he was 1 from last which reflects the high standard of the field.

Our 30 Mile Champion Gary Flower was looking for his second Club Championship of the year on a cold and windy day.  Gary was hoping to get into the 53’s but soon realised it was not a day for PB’s.  Pacing was difficult on the day with a following wind out and a blustery headwind on the return leg.  In the end Gary posted a 54:16 and was quite pleased with this for his first 25 start of the season and hopes to improve in the near future with more favourable weather.  Gary was pleased to see support from Club members on the course.

Congratulations to Gary on becoming the Club 25 Champion for 2017 and taking the Ken Harrison Challenge Trophy.

April Race Reports

Picking up from last season we are grateful to racing members for their cooperation in completing the race reports in order that these more detailed reports can be compiled.  All members are encouraged to submit a report when they take part in an event whether it be an Open/Club TT , a Sportif or Charity Ride, members and visitors to the site are interested to read what we are up to.

The Ogmore Valley Wheelers Open 25 on 23rd April was ridden on the often used and fast R25/3H Course, it is a second home to many of our racing members.  Trying to work his way back from knee problems Simon Kinsey has no serious expectations for this event, using it as a training ride.  Even so he finished in a creditable 1:02:14,  just over 4 minutes off his P.B. after an injury disrupted  pre-season training plan.  Missing out on his usual pre-season programme Simon did not leave enough in his tank for the final three miles and paid the price.  He intends now to enter two events each week and use these are training in this first part of the season.

Another member suffering from disrupted training is Anthony Redmond. No need to  guess what has contributed to this disruption when we see him on the Welsh news fighting the grass fires earlier this month and in March.  By the time Anthony hit the course the wind had picked up and although it was mild the wind was gusty which will always cause riders a problem.  Anthony was a little disappointed with his 59.06, which he put down to the lack of training.  The “sidewinders” going down the Glynneath Bank were an unwelcome difficulty on Anthony’s return to racing this season.

30 Mile Championship

The first of the ACME club Championships took place recently, a tough test over Thirty miles to compete for the D.J.JONES Trophy. This championship first competed for in 1950 and won by E.JONES with a very respectable time of 1.19.38 many years ago, a result which as been beaten numerous times since then.

For the 2017 championship only one member took up the challenge and after an impressive 2016 season where Gary Flower  received  awards for  various Championship Events.

ACME’s 30 Championship is incorporated into the Bynea CC event based around the undulating road of Llandovery where riders negotiate a testing route. Gary like many members admitted to be behind on his training schedule for this time of the year started the trial at a steady pace and  just hoping he could improve on last years’ time of 1:13:39.

Gary coped well once the miles started to roll by through narrow villages and avoiding slow moving farm traffic along the way. Approaching the finishing timekeeper he could see that he was going to beat last years’ time which was always going to be a personal challenge.

Back at the HQ his time was revealed, a 1.11.44 almost 2mins quicker than his 2016 time and 5th Overhaul in the event, a pleasing performance  and  will receive the 30m Champs Trophy for the first time.

Unknown to Gary at the time, this is a “New ACME Championship Record” beating  Kevin Bartlemore impressive time of 1.12.04 set in 2000.

Club 30 mile Championship History:-

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 sharp 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.

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.  Eventually 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.