This weekend was the rescheduled Harp Hilly 100 reliability ride. BCC were in strong attendance to defend the shield from last year. The ride starts in Kings Langley, Herts and follows a challenging route through the Chilterns via Bovingdon, Berkhamsted, Whipsnade, Ivinghoe & Tring and included the climbs of Bison Hill near Whipsnade, Aston Hill just outside Tring and Ivinghoe Hill past Ivinghoe Beacon. With over 30 riders in the field, BCC retained it’s shield for another year.
BCC also received news that the Berkhamsted Castle Revolutions Festival will go ahead on July 10th, as part of the Tarmac Tour of Hertfordshire Series. It’s family day out celebrating cycling and will also include closed road racing around the iconic Hertfordshire heritage site. This will be a fabulous day out for all the family, the first of it’s kind in Berkhamsted.
The Saturday morning club ride went ahead as normal with a slight change in routes to take in Toms Hill. Primarily as the club hill climb has been approved by Cycling Time Trials (CTT). Fantastic news for the club 🙂
Traditionally the hill climb season doesn’t get into full swing until September when the summer race season is just about over and the club hill climb date of 22nd October 2016 fits well with this.
The climb is only 0.6 of a mile long starting from a small lay-by at the bottom of Toms and finishing at the 50 mph sign at the top. Start and finish points are in the pictures below. More details will be published nearer the event
On Saturday afternoon Chloe Goulding competed in the Full Gas series race at the Olympic Park in Lee Valley. Chloe did very well in appalling conditions finishing her first race for the club. Chapeau Chloe 🙂
On Sunday the club academy team had a training ride focusing on hill work. Sundays are becoming a regular training event for the academy so contact the academy team if you are interested.
More details of the academy will be published to the club over the next week or so.
The date for the Harp Hilly 100 is fast approaching, 6th March 2016, and there are 1 or 2 spaces that the club has available. Please contact Neil Barnes if you would like to participate in the ride. We have our shield to retain from last year!
Work on including Berkhamsted in the Tour of Hertfordshire series is still in progress. The club are hopeful of a positive outcome but there are many factors in play. If it is agreed it will be a fantastic bicycle festival for the town.
Unfortunately the weather forecast for Sat 13th Feb meant that the club ride was cancelled but the weekend saw many informally organised rides via the clubs FaceBook page.
Three member’s set-up a Zwift group ride that (as a first group ride) was successful. If any club members want to try Zwift it’s initially free and is a great way of indoor training. More info on how it works here Zwift.
Later in the morning a group headed-up by Simon P took to the local roads.
The last round of the Imperial Winter Series crit racing at Hillingdon circuit had club members Richard Metcalfe and Nick Vincent racing in the event. This was Richards’s first race at Hillingdon and he had a fantastic time staying with the peloton for the first 4 or 5 laps but the pace proved too much and Richard time-trailed the rest.
Nick stayed within the bunch with a couple of strong turns at the front. Both Richard and Nick finished safely.
The newly formed Race Academy is just what Richard needs along with any other club members that are interested in racing or improving their group riding skills.
Contact the academy team for more info.
Second claim club members Nick C, James McGahern, Vincent Hancock and Matt Buckley were also in the race. This was Matt’s first race in the series and he did fantastically well finishing 2nd . Chapeau Matt 🙂
On Sunday the race academy team training ride was good session enjoying the sunshine and practising race tactics. Sundays are becoming a regular training event for the academy so contact the academy team if you are interested.
Later in the day a handful of the club went out for a social spin and had a very enjoyable ride in the breezy but sunny weather.
The club has had a very busy weekend…
Firstly ‘hats off’ to all the Saturday morning club riders who braved the wet and cold conditions, muddy roads and the threat of punctures.
Later in the day there were club members taking part in races in the region and on Sunday the first Academy ride.
Round 8 of the Imperial Winter Series at Hillingdon on Saturday saw Nick Vincent compete in very windy conditions. The wind caused the main bunch to splinter but Nick stayed strong and provisional results have him in the top 10. Fantastic job Nick!
Club second claim members Nick Clarke and James McGahern were also in the race and finished safely in the main bunch
Chloe Goulding almost competed in the women’s race but the windy conditions and lack of race prep time made her think twice. The right decision as the conditions made the peloton a little nervous.
Club second claimer’s Melinda, Beth and Amy Shilliday also raced with Melinda taking a top 10 place (provisional result).
The 14th and final round of the Central Region Cyclo Cross League took place in Welwyn on Saturday and Josh Curtis (club second claimer but racing under the club) finished in 3rd place. This puts Josh in 3rd place overall in this seasons Senior category final standings. An incredible achievement as Josh is studying for his final year of ‘A’ levels. Chapeau Josh!
Sunday was the inaugural BCC Academy ride which saw a good turn out of riders keen on improving their close quarter group skills and chain gang riding technique. The newly formed academy is open to club riders that are keen on learning race tactics and want to improve their bike handling and speed. If you are interested or need further information please email the academy team.
Nick C, Nick D, James, Spence, Matt V, Melinda, Beth and Hannah were out in full force at round 6 of the Hillingdon Imperial Winter Series. Backup was in the form of Mark Harris from Lovelo with a full compliment of spare wheels and enthusiasm.
Weather conditions were good and the race started on time.
All the team showed strongly in a large peloton. James started to drop down the field but the team helped keep him in the pack. Beth kept with the women’s bunch but lost the pace after 10 or 12 laps and time trialed the rest.
Louise Surridge (Velo Club Londres) made a successful break stick for the last 4 laps and went on to win the women’s race with more than half a lap lead. Fantastic achievement as Louise is 17 years old and on junior gearing. Melinda and Hannah contested a sprint finish with provisional placing of 9th and 12th respectively.
On the final lap of the men’s race there was a crash (no-one seriously hurt) and the boys finished in the bunch.
Huge well done to the women & men 🙂
Josh Curtis (racing for Berkhamsted Cycle Club) competed in the Central League CX round 14 at Kettering and finished 3rd.
A fantastic result for Josh as this is his first full year of CX racing. The last official placing has Josh 8th overall in the league but that has moved up a couple of points (tbc).
There is one more CX round to go hosted by Welwyn Wheelers on Sat 6th February 14:00 at Stanborough Park, Stanborough Road, Welwyn Garden City, AL8 6DQ.
It would be great if fellow BCC’ers were out to cheer him on.
Photos courtesy of Keith Perry, Jeremy Curtis and Trevor Hill.
Full Gas Crit and CX racing made up a busy weekend for club members.
Nick and Mike were at an unusually fair weathered Hillingdon which saw Nick puncture after 4 or so laps but re-join the race after a wheel swap.
Nick and Mike faired well in the pack and the race ended in a bunch sprint which had the boys in the 3rd quarter of the field.
Josh had two Cyclo-Cross races on Saturday and Sunday. The first being round 13 of the Central CX league where Josh finished in the top 10.
Sundays race was the National CX Trophy where Josh was 10th in the Under 23 and 31st overall (provisional results). Placing could have been better if Josh hadn’t had to swap to his spare bike.
Conditions on both days were very muddy with the snow on Sunday adding a wintery touch. Many riders suffered mechanicals with snapped rear mech hangers being the favourite.
Fantastic result for Josh 🙂
Melinda and Beth were at the Full Gas race series in Lea Valley Velo Park. Beth had a strong showing early on but the pace proved to much. Melinda had a blinder of a race and finished 3rd in a bunch sprint!
Melinda has gained enough race points to qualify for a 3rd category rider. Huge congratulations Melinda 🙂
Anna Henderson (a rider closely linked to the club) finished in 4th.
During the week Melinda also gained her track cycling accreditation so we may see her on the boards in the future.
(Photos courtesy Huw Williams, Matt Verrinder and Trevor Hill)
Saturday 9th Jan saw round 4 of the Imperial Winter Series at Hillingdon, another full field with racers from BCC and Lovelo RT women’s and men’s teams.
This was Vincent’s first crit race and James’s second, both a little apprehensive but raring to go. Seasoned racers Nick and Matty (well, his 3rd race) were as determined as ever.
The women’s team of Melinda, Sam, Hannah and Bethany were in good spirits and hopeful for a win.
The conditions were good for the time of year; damp track, no rain and moderate wind. Support was at hand from Tim Warrell, Niels, Alison and a few other BCC members.
James started strong but just couldn’t keep on the pace. After the race he said ‘Well I was in the bunch for 14 minutes so an improvement on my first race! James will be back… he has the bug! Vincent kept a good pace but it wasn’t enough to keep in the bunch. Both did a great job and finished together.
Hannah punctured after 5 laps and had to stop for a wheel change (racers are allowed 1 lap out for mechanical issues) but had to pull out as the spare wheel wasn’t right. Beth was in the mix but the pace proved to much and she time trialled round, mainly in the company of a Welwyn Wheelers rider. Well done Hannah & Beth 🙂
Both Nick and Matty had a couple of mechanical issues but had strong rides with Nick pulling hard on the front and Matty close by. Both finished in the bunch. Matty is determined to win and it may not be to far away.
Melinda, Zoe and Sam had a great race and finished 4th, 10th and 11th respectively.
Fantastic result for all 3 and more so for Melinda as she only had 2 or 3 gears for most of the race!
2015 was the first full calendar year for the club and its safe to say it was pretty immense. We have achieved much and this is in no small part thanks to everyone who has been involved in the club and its organisation. On behalf of the club, a massive thanks to the committee and volunteers for all the work throughout the year. The committee would like to extend its gratitude to the membership for making the club such a friendly and welcoming environment – I know we are all looking forward to a big year and some great achievements on the road.
The BCC 2015 AGM and Prize Giving Party was held at Berkhamsted Cricket Club on Friday 6th November with a great attendance from the club and a resounding success! The first hour was taken up with club formalities and then the party continued late into the evening.
Joining the committee ranks in Q4, Jo as our Event Coordinator and Neil, our Sportive Officer. We also welcomed Nick V as Performance Co-ord. We had our very first awards ceremony, here are some photos of that auspicious occasion to remind you all of the winners!
Warm conditions (for the time of year) and no where near as windy as round 1 & 2 saw a full field for the men’s Cat 4 race. Lovelo Cinelli Race team were out in force with Nick Clarke, Mike Kazer, Matt Verrinder, Lloyd Wright and Matty Earls (most BCC members). This was Matty’s first race and he was a little nervous (in a good way) but very up for it.
There was no women’s Cat 4 race so we’ll have to wait until 9th Jan 2016 for Melinda to show her metal 🙂
The race plan was to get a break going with a few riders, hold it and win. It almost paid of but the Hemel Hempstead Cycle Club man of steel aka Josh Crow-Stewart was in a class of his own. As Mike said ‘I could hold his wheel for two laps and that was it!’.
Josh split from the bunch with three other riders, dropped them on the last lap, almost lapped the main bunch and won. Chapeau Josh!
The Lovelo RT stayed in the main bunch except for Lloyd who popped his knee after 3 or 4 laps and is of to see Keith Tucker for physio.
Matty had a great time and is already scheduling training rides… he’s got the bug!
Very well done to all riders, lots of lessons learnt and a very Merry Christmas to all.
Saturday 12th December saw round 2 of the Hillingdon Winter Series in windy (but not as bad as round 1) conditions.
The Lovelo Cinelli Race Team was out in full force as this was the first round of women’s racing. Many of Lovelo RT are BCC members but there were no riders sporting BCC colours.
The women’s race started just before the men’s and the Lovelo team were very strong, Melinda Atkinson, Hannah Priest, Amy Shiliday and Charlotte Verrinder all taking turns at the front.
The men’s was soon underway and (after slipping a chain at the start) Nick Clarke formed a 5 man breakaway teaming up with HHCC rider Josh Crow-Stewart. Spencer Wilson and Lloyd Wright were in the main bunch.
After 5 or 6 laps Amy managed to get a mouthful of gravel thrown up from the wheel of a rider in front and had to stop as she couldn’t breath. Her words at the side of the track were ‘I was really enjoying it and the girls were really working well. I felt strong and am really disappointed that I had to stop’.
The Lovelo women’s team continued to set the pace thanks to great team work. Melinda even had time to shout hello’s to spectators – obviously not working hard enough.
In the men’s race the 5 man break had a max advantage of 1 minute but 3 or 4 riders started to bridge across and the lead bunch grew.
Unfortunately on the penultimate lap of the race there were two separate crashes. The first in the main men’s bunch on the finish straight and the second in the women’s bunch at the top of the track on the corner section. Charlotte was injured in this and all at BCC wish her a speedy recovery.
The Commissaire had to act quickly and stopped (black flagged) the men’s race. The women’s race continued and Hannah finished in the top 5.
The riders in the men’s race agreed to split the points between the 7 riders in the breakaway. Nick is on his way to moving from Cat 4 to Cat 3 racer.
Good luck to all the riders and here’s looking forward to round 3
The first race of the Imperial Winter series at Hillingdon on 5th December 2015 saw a large turnout of riders. Many use the series as a way of keeping fitness levels going from the summer or from autumn cyclo-cross races.
There was a buzz in the air at sign-on as for many it was there first closed road criterium race and the weather wasn’t ideal as strong winds were forecast.
Two races were on for the day; men’s Category 3/4 and men’s Cat 1/2 and Elite.
Both races were full via online entry but there were a couple of no-shows so entry on the day was possible.
Club member James McGahern was a little nervous as this was his first crit race but everyone was offering support and advice. Club partners Lovelo Cinelli RT had a full team with Mike Kazer, Matt Verrinder, Spencer Wilson and Nick Clarke.
The 45 minute race started at 13:10 and it was immediately apparent that the strong headwind on the finish straight and side-wind at the top of the course would play a major part in the race.
James hung onto the pack for as long as possible but the pace and windy conditions proved too much and he lost contact. James later said ‘Great experience and I time-trialed myself to make the most of the race’ Huge respect to James for finishing!
The Lovelo team were very strong in the race with individual riders taking strong pulls at the front. Results are yet to be published but they are likely to be in the team top 3.
The next race in the series is on Saturday 12th December and includes a 40 minute Women’s Cat 3 / 4 race. Enter online at the Imperial Winter Series website.