Dean Mixes it with the Big Boys

Retired police officer Dean Cummings has recently become a member of TLI Racing a Cycling organisation that caters for age related events. http://www.tlicycling.org.uk/    Five events had been organised in and around the Pershore area. Unable to enter all five, Dean selected the two held on the popular Pinvin circuit, 4 laps and a total of 36 Miles.  Being handicapped the race was spilt into  three groups on the road, Over 60, Over 40 and any younger in the scratch group. There was a further option, depending on the rider’s ability and experience they could choose to ride in whichever group they felt was suitable.  The Scratch Group mainly consisted of 2nd ,1st and Pro Circuit Series riders.

Dean selected the middle group which was required to chase the 1st group, which had a 3 min start and they in turn were chased by the Scratch group also with a 3 min gap. The race was fast as riders raced the winding country roads through and off at speeds of over 25mph.  The 1st group on the second lap and continued riding at speed to avoid the catch with the Scratch Group .

 Dean worked hard in the group and took several turns on the front, working well with fellow riders many of whom he knew from the LVRC events. As a result of the high quality scratch riders the middle group was caught with about just over a mile to the finish.  Now with about 65 riders tearing up the country roads Dean maintained a safe position and finished seconds behind the main bunch, very pleased with his racing efforts.

Stats 33 miles  1 hr 19m 34s – Av Speed 24.4 mph  Max 34.1mph – Av HR 14 – Av Watts 214 –

Max  Watts 716                                                                                                                                               

The second event was held on 24th July on the same circuit. With a Greek holiday in his legs and belly there was no certainty on form for the day. With only a handful of Scratch Group riders the organisers decided that they would start with the usual middle group and chase down the 1st group of high quality older racers with a clear 5 mins start.

 Wow!! A group of approximately 8 class racers of 2nd Cats set the blistering pace, within which Dean was able to maintain a position sitting out of trouble and protected by the body of the peloton. The pace was relentless reaching speeds over 30 mph. Sadly it didn’t last as on a straight road two riders from a Shropshire Club decided to have a chat at about 28mph touch handle bars lost control and swayed uncontrollably in front of him before both heading off into the right hand hedge. Breaking hard and almost coming to a stop, riders came flying him past on both sides, desperately trying to get his 53/14 gear going he could see the bunch speed away in the distance.  Although Dean gave chase he decided to call it a day at the Start/Finish line. When the group passed this point they were 25 seconds behind the leading group and the catch was made early on the fourth lap. The race was won by a KTM sponsored rider who sprinted away from the bunch and who went on to win the whole series on point

Stats  28miles 1hr 2 mins – Av speed 26.5 mph  Max 33mph –  Av HR 140, Max 160

Dave’s 50 Mile TT PB

Over the racing season there are eleven 50 TT mile scheduled in the South Wales District, most are organised on the R50/1B Course. This difficult course takes in two laps with some very sharp climbs followed by fast descents. The steepest of the climbs comes after 9 miles and again after 34 miles.  Club member Dave Singleton arrived at the Start on the A40 for a 9.07 am start, over an hour after the first rider. Conditions on the day were fine with not too much wind to affect riders.  Dve’s main target for the event was to improve his PB for the distance.

Just after Raglan Castle the course takes the old road towards Monmouth before returning to the A40 heading towards Abergavenny to do it all again.  Clearly the course and conditions suited Dave as he posted a time of 2:00:15, four seconds short of a full six minute improvement on his previous PB.

UCI World Championships

Four Acme members made the long journey to Yorkshire aiming to enjoy the spectacle of the UCI World Championships.  After a trouble free journey and a quick case drop off in Leeds, it was straight on to Harrogate to catch the end of the Junior Men’s Championship.  The weather conditions had improved from earlier in the week but the riders, and spectators, had to contend with constant showers. Dean, Jeff, Kerry and Mark caught the final circuits around Harrogate to see the American, Quinn Simmons win after a long solo breakaway.

At the end of the race a visit to the Fan Zone gave an indication of what was to come in this large field as the weather would deteriorate.  Although there were walkways set down, the grass areas were very wet making it difficult to walk around freely.

The centre of Harrogate is quite small and was easy to get around and a Weatherspoons was soon found as the likely venue for food that evening.  Before then a meeting with other spectators in a pub on the circuit clearly demonstrated the pulling power of the event as there were supporters from all over Europe, many of whom were veterans of the event.  Celebrity spotting in Weatherspoons was easy as we sat on the table next to David Millar and Peter Kennaugh, who were very happy to have a photo with us.

Friday morning began with breakfast while watching TV coverage of the Junior Women as they raced from Doncaster to Harrogate.  After a short train ride we were on the finishing circuit to see American Megan Jastrad win a hard fought battle over the tough final kilometre.  Not long after she was riding back to her hotel all alone and very willing to talk to spectators and have her photo taken with them.

The American theme continued during the day as we struck up a friendship with Wisconsin residents Matt and Gretchen Harr who shared our company during the day and even had their first taste of Weatherspoons with us.

Later in the day the Under 23 Men also started from Doncaster though the course was much longer. Local rider Tom Pidcock was well supported on the route though a recent serious fall off the bike only a month earlier would surely take its toll. The Dutch rider first over the line was deemed to have drafted behind his team car for too long earlier in the race and was disqualified and, much to the local supporters delight, the British rider was awarded the Bronze Medal.

At last the weather improved on the Saturday for the Elite Women who started in Bradford. The sun shone as we ventured into the Fan Zone which had dried up a little and the stall and exhibitions were full. Accompanied by Matt and Gretchen we took up our favoured position in the Hales Arms just inside the kilometre mark where we could view the race at several points on the circuit and get to the TV to see the finish.  The Dutch were rewarded after the previous day’s disappointment with Gold and Silver.

Sunday morning the forecast was horrendous, luckily the rain held off for the start, just five minutes from our hotel on Leeds.  As soon as the peleton rolled out it was back to the hotel for Mark and Jeff to watch Wales beat Australia.  By the time the race reached the circuit the rain had really set in but this did not deter us from walking the last few kilometres to watch the race unfold through the wet leaf strewn streets.  The break away was strong and never looked like getting caught with Pedersen saving just enough to win the gold in the last 500 metres.

Even though we were all soaked through on the Sunday, it had been a fantastic experience and an extremely well organised series of races.  We met supporters from all over Europe and UK and hopefully struck up a lasting friendship with our Wisconsin friends Matt and Gretchen.

More Photos @ http://acme-wheelers.co.uk/news/gallery-2/gallery-2019/nggallery/2019/world-road-championships-harrogate-2019

Singleton’s Summer Races

After his exertions on west Wales Dave Singleton returned closer to home and reduced the race distance for the remainder of July, a deserved “rest” for him.  First up was the PTW 10m TT organised on the R10/22A, an out and back course starting and finishing in Resolven.  This Tuesday evening event was designated as number 6 in the 10 event Celtic Series, and after a day’s work  Dave had a start time of 18.52 on a fine evening.  In spite of his efforts only 10 days earlier Dave’s time of 22.47 was only just outside his PB.

Just four days later the Ross-on-Wye 10m TT used the popular R10/17 course on the A40 from Abergavenny to Raglan. Although conditions were fine there was a wind affecting the riders.  Perhaps the long ride earlier in the month and the wind on the day adversely affect Dave as  he posted a time of 22.50. It would be fair to say that Dave was less than happy with his results in both these events.

To finish off his July programme the distance was increased and a return to the familiar R25/3H in the Neath Valley.  In cloudy conditions with a headwind up to the turn there was not much help for the Acme member. By his own standards, another disappointing time for Dave as he clocked in at 57.30. Determined to improve his form Dave’s next target is a 100 mile event.

Tony’s Travel Diary

I left home on Sunday morning with “Shirley the Surly” and caught a train from Treherbert to Cardiff and then on to Reading. I picked up National Cycle Route 4 and followed the Kennet and Avon canal to my first stop, The Pelican at Froxley. The canal was quite pretty with lots of kingfishers, swans and hundreds of very colourful barges. 

On the second day I followed Route 4 through traffic free country lanes that climbed away from the canal and passed through a number of pretty villages with thatched cottages and pubs. I rejoined the canal about 8 miles from Devizes and struggled along the rough path into the town. After a couple of pints (and lunch) it was a much better surface on the canal path into Bradford on Avon where I was staying that night. I was joined by my mate Ty who was going to ride back into Wales with me on Tuesday. 

After breakfast we followed the canal to Bath and after riding through the city we picked up the 15 mile railway path to Bristol. This included a working steam railway section and a ride through a refurbished tunnel (similar to the proposed cycle way at Blaencwm). It absolutely poured down while we were having a pub lunch on the wharf in Bristol and a second downpour nearly caught us out as we started cycling again. Luckily we took shelter under some trees until it stopped. It was a considerable climb out of the city and over the downs before a decent to Severn Beach. The ride over the old bridge was a bit wild with a really strong side wind. This turned into a very strong headwind all the way to Ty’s house near Magor. The undulating last few miles went past Geraint Thomas’s house (very nice too).

On Wednesday morning, Ty guided me into Newport where I picked up National Cycle Route 47. This followed the canal to Cross Keys before climbing the Sirhowy Valley along the lovely, wooded cycle track through the country park. I dropped down to Ystrad Mynach where unbelievably I lost the track and after adding a couple of miles trying to get back on course I took the main road across to Quakers Yard. Here I took the Taff Trail to Pontypridd before a final push up the valley and home. 

In all I covered 178 miles (all into a headwind) along a fantastic varied route that took me through some lovely countryside.

More Photos @ http://acme-wheelers.co.uk/news/gallery-2/gallery-2019/nggallery/2019/tony-rees-tour-2019-4