Today saw the inaugural Watford Velo Sport road race on the Toddington road race circuit. WVS team for the race was: Kevin Chandler, Daryll Green, James Kingsley, Dan Pells & Jamie Wimbourne. The race started off with a long neutralised section from the race HQ in Chalgrave down to Toddington and on to the course at Long Lane where it was duly kicked off heading in to the first climb after the tight descent of Long Lane. Straight away WVS sought to take control with Kevin & Dan showing their faces at the head of the pack with Lovelo Cinelli RT vying for position at the front. A strong attack came from the off by Adam Strudwick representing Team Milton Keynes, but a pack with fresh legs reeled him relatively quickly after his solo dig. Heading in to the finish section hill for the first time saw the pack come alive as Josh Curtis of Lovelo put in a hard effort and pulled a gap on the bunch. He was able to maintain this gap for nearly 5 miles and it was a concerted effort from WVS’s Dan, Kevin, Will Macalpine from the Bike Loft and the 700CC to pull him back. This caused a lot of damage to the pack as gaps were forming with Josh being pulled back on the climb up Long Lane. This then saw a well timed attack from Adam Sturdwick & Chris Tabrett from 700CC breaking away on the second lap. They were able to pull a good 20 second gap and again the pack had to react to bring them back in, in doing so this saw a lot of damage being done to the pack and a few more riders were being dropped on each descent of Long Lane and the subsequent climb and undulating nature of the course. Heading in to the third lap which was the prime saw another hard dig over the climb and a big fracturing of the pack with the strongest 10 to 15 riders creating gaps from the front to the rear and more riders getting shelled from the group, with Dan & Kevin at the front of the pack it was looking good for WVS as a strong group started to go clear. Unfortunately heading through the fastest section of the course exiting Milton Bryan the leaders were reaching speeds of 50kmh and the race was neutralised due to horses being on the course, the sudden drop in speed from the front riders to the chasing riders saw a crash happen and as a result the hard work that the leaders consisting of WVS, Lovelo, Bike Loft, MK & 700CC was for nothing as the dropped riders were able to get a reprieve and get back in the race. The race remained neutralised until the first climb on Park Lane and then resumed at a little more of a sedate pace with the main protagonists marshalling it. Pace increased in to the finish drag with Lovelo’s Will Holland and Dan Pells fighting for the prime over the steepest part of the climb, Dan just managed to pip Will to take the prestige of winning the prime. At the end of the fourth lap saw another strong showing from Rob Fryer and Adam Sturdwick go clear and open up a 25 second gap. They were able to hold this gap for nearly the entire lap and the pack were struggling to bring them back with little cohesion. It was not until James Kinglsey come to the front and gave a hard dig down Long Lane and was able to chip off 5 seconds on the gap, with Dan, Kevin and a strong looking Will Macalpine working to take more time from the 2 man break. Entering the final few miles up to the finish the pack started to relent their chase as no one else come to the front to help out the tiring legs of the aforementioned 3 riders and being happy to settle for a fight for 3rd place. With a km to go Kevin kindly asked Will Macalpine to make a gap on his left for him to come through and try to entice the pack to chase his wheel and catch the break who was sitting ahead with around an 8 second gap. Kevin put a hard turn in and in doing so the pack could not hold his wheel but it had the desired effect and he closed down on the tiring Sturdwick & Fryer and latched on their back wheels, in doing so this took the fight from them and the pack finally reacted to the realisation that they were now fighting for a first place position. The strong hill finishers were already present at the front of the bunch and they swept up the two man break & an empty Kevin and diced it out for a hill sprint finish with Josh Curtis storming over and taking the lead on the steep section and holding it on the short flat part to the finish line with a good 3 bike lead. With Jack Steel-Jessop CC Luton coming in second, Will Holland for third and Dan Pells taking a fourth and in the process giving him the points to go up to Cat 2. Sadly Jamie Wimbourne was dicing with the front end but cramped going up the hill and saw him drop out of contention on the sprint. Daryll Green kept with the front end claiming an eleventh spot and a couple of points in the process with a solid performance. The WVS Race Team would like to thank all those involved today. Thomas and Damien for organising the event which was absolutely perfect in doing their first road race. Also all those helped marshall, drive vehicles and make tea. None of this is possible without you guys volunteering your time and make us proud to race for such a fantastic club. Finally to the NEG escort and today’s commissarie’s from BC. Last but not least the WVS jersey’s around the course and cheering us on is greatly appreciated and always helps to generates a few more watts in the legs!
On the penultimate BC West Thames summer crit series race at Hillingdon yesterday we had James and Louis representing WVS. In recent weeks the fields have been large with 60+ riders competing for space on the fast circuit, today was no exception. There were a number of attacks made from other clubs throughout the race, but all were lacklustre and couldn’t get more than a few seconds off the front, with James comfortably in the pack and Louis doing his usual Steve Cummings impression hanging around at the back. As the 3 lap to go board went up Louis makes his way to the business end of the race hearing “Stick on his wheel, watch him” as he works his way up. Then in similar fashion to his two previous wins he kicks off the front with 2 laps remaining and drills it all the way to the finish bagging a win and more importantly his points needed to become Watford Velo Sports first 2nd Category rider. The rest of the pack were bearing down Louis as he crossed the line with James positioned well on the last corner to potentially have made this a WVS 1-2 but due to the poor riding of another racer undertaking on the grass and cutting across his and a Zappis-Planet X riders line caused James to get boxed in and out of contention for a top spot.
A new club champion is crownedHeld on Saturday the 6th of August on the H25/4 course near Great Missenden saw a potential new course record (to be confirmed by CTT) and new club champion crowned in a fantastic mornings racing. The overall win was taken by Graham Knight of Equipe Velo in a blistering time of 00:53:47, we believe this may be a course record but this will need to be confirmed. The podium was rounded off by Martin Winter (Twickenham CC) and Christopher Revell (Cambridge Uni CC). In the ladies competition, the win was taken by Paula Robinson (VTTA) with a time of 01:08:24. Jackie Drew (Watford Velo Sport) and Siobhan Butler (West Drayton) completed the ladies podium. In the club competition, we saw the championship taken by Matt Ward with a time of 00:58:13, followed closely by Louis Francis 00:59:30 and Kevin Chandler 01:00:30, congratulations guys! I would also like to say a massive thankyou to all of you in the club that came out to marshal the event and ensure it’s smooth and safe running, you are all a credit to WVS! Chapeau! All of the profit from the event will be passed onto the Air Ambulance charity in memory of Frank Cubis of Kingston Phoenix CC who tragically died several weeks after being hit by a van in Ealing. Frank came to the rescue in our club 10 event on the same course offering his services as a timekeeper (even though he was from a different district he was more than happy to come and help) . RIP Frank.
Conditions were clear and dry with an easterly wind for the 14th BC West Thames crit races on the 5th of July. Racing for WVS were Louis, Kev, Jamie, Laurent and Darryl. The race started at a fast pace with Kev hellbent on hurting the bunch from the gun, chasing almost every attack and neutralising any attempts of a breakaway. He stayed within the top 10 for almost the entire race, fresh legs equalled an eager Kevin. Nothing managed to get away with the majority of the large bunch disinterested in chasing and looking for a group sprint. The pace kicks up in time with the lap board showing 3 to go and a rider from Zappis making a solo attack and getting some distance. Within half a lap Louis has made his way towards the front where he can see the main antagonists were hurting and with 2 laps to go, made his move. Attacking with an eye watering 1600 watts he quickly got daylight between himself and the now chasing peloton. Baring down on the lone Zappi rider he powers past him making sure he wasn’t able to jump on his wheel and get a free ride to the line. Louis holds his effort all the way and crosses the line taking the win with around 100 meters ahead of the sprinting pack. Even after his unrelenting efforts on the from Kev placed himself well enough to bag 4th place overall with Darryl, Jamie and Laurent rolling in the bunch. With louis only 4 points away from 2nd cat and Kev only 10 we may have two promotions well before the end of the year! VIVA LA VELO!
Report: GHS Qualifier (Junior)
In addition to our team out on the road today, we also had two Junior riders, Sam and Jamie, racing in the the London West District qualifying event for the George Herbert Stancer (GHS) 10 Mile Time Trial Championship to be held on 11th September 2016. The event was hosted by Hillingdon Slipstreamers held on the Waltham St Lawrence 10 mile (HCC234) course south of Maidenhead, with an 18 riders start sheet. Jamie finished 23:59, comfortably taking the win by 17 seconds and going through to the final, with Sam completing in a time of 26:26, which placed him an excellent 6th overall, but unfortunately just missing out on qualifying for the final. The Club is very proud of our two rising junior stars, expect great things from both of these chaps! Well done boys.
A damp and drizzly morning at Cottelsloe School in Wing held host to the VCT Road Race, a cat 3/4 road race in support to the infamous TMG Horizon Trophy cat E/1/2/3 race later that afternoon. Our team for today was Louis, Dan, Thomas and Kevin. By the time riders headed out on to the circuit the rain had eased and roads were now predominantly dry, with a slight westerly wind. The first half of the race was steady with little drama as riders knew it would be tough to stay away on the undulating circuit, with a few clubs displaying full teams all willing to chase any riders who decide to chance it. The only crash of the race was roughly half way round the second of four laps at the base of a descent which bought down a handful of riders near the back of the group, Louis got caught up but managed to stay upright and chased back onto the group without burning too many matches. Kev and Thomas were always near the front controlling the race for almost it’s entirety, making sure no breaks were able to form and chasing back any riders that posed a threat. The miles ticked away with more and more riders being flicked off the back on each ascent of the finishing climb, nothing scary but enough to sting the legs with every repetition. The bell was rung as the slimming peloton passed the finish line for the last time. Thomas and Kev didn’t ease up for almost the entire last lap making it practically impossible for anyone to attack successfully, by the closing kilometres of the race Thomas, Dan and Kev were all on the front absolutely nailing it through Cublington town centre until on the final descent towards the finish Louis works his way to the front and puts in a huge attack as planned and manages to get a gap hoping that will be ample to hold the pack away on the finishing climb. Unfortunately Louis couldn’t hang on and got caught within the last 50 meters, watching Dan power past him in the bunch with a handful of strong climbers. Dan managed to hang on to place 7th. We didn’t get the win we were hoping for however the sense of achievement from working as a team and executing a plan to almost perfection is more than enough for today. Great team work which was echoed by compliments from a number of riders afterwards in HQ. Viva la Velo.
Report: Hillingdon Crit
Our team tonight was Dave (first race back from injury), Kevin, Lou & Dan. The race started with the usual early attacks, most of them being ineffective, Dan was out the front of the group keeping an eye on them and closed down a few attacks along with Nick Clarke from Lovelo-Cinelli who was also helping soften up the pack and put some stress in to the legs of the bunch early on in the race. One attack consisting of about 5 riders looked to get a few seconds on the pack but their disorganisation soon saw them being reeled back in. Around the 23 minute mark Kevin put in a solo attack to hurt some of the eager riders and stayed out for a lap before the pack caught him up. Straight away Dan replied and kicked with a Wyndymilla rider and pulled a nice gap on the peloton who were not willing to chase. With Kevin sand bagging, the gap increased and he allowed a few other riders to bridge over to the break to help reinforce Dan’s breakaway. Eventually the break consisted of 6 riders until the half a lap to go which saw a London Dynamo rider shelled from the break. With a WVS and London Dynamo rider in the break the two best represented teams were in no rush to chase down the break, but Kev kept an eye on anyone trying to bridge and jumped on their wheel to discourage them. The final lap boards went up and with a single lap left it was pretty clear that the break now consisting of 4 riders and Dan was going to stick it having over a 10 second gap. Louis was comfortable in the top ten wheels for the final lap with Dave and Kevin not far behind, as it turned in to the final corner Louis could see that the break was definitely going to take the flag and opened up from a great position in the top few wheels and found himself powering through to win the bunch sprint. The race was won by Arlen Vartazarian from Regents Park Rouleurs, Dan came in third place from the breakaway with Louis taking sixth from the bunch. Dave unfortunately did not have his sprinting legs due to not having ridden in over a week as a result of his nasty crash at the Ginger Smallwood road race the previous week and Kevin found himself rolling in at 15th. Another great night for the WVS RT and showing some strong team work in getting results for individuals and the club. VIVA LA VELO
Quick report from yesterday’s racing at Hillingdon (BC West Thames #10) The warm, dry and windless conditions last night guaranteeing a large turnout, with attacks flying from the first lap people were very keen to try and break away. But as is the way with these short races the front riders of the pack were motivated to reel back in any escapees. The only attack staying out longer than a lap was by a High Wycombe CC rider but he was eventually caught. Niel Heffernan put in a late dig taking two more with him just before the 5 lap to go counter went up and helped to soften up the bunch further but was caught soon enough. After a mele of small attacks in the last couple of laps, allowing a charlotteville CC rider to get away, Louis made his one count. Sprinting away from the group with 2 laps to go, gapping the frantic peloton and holding it, passing the Charlotteville rider on the final lap and powering solo to the finish with a 200 meter lead as he crossed the line. The Charlotteville CC rider claimed second as the group sprinted out for minor placings. Kev Chandler blasted his way to pick up 4th place and David Carter just outside the points in 14th. We went in with a plan and stuck to it, this time it payed off. Louis (26 BC points) and Kev (23 BC points) are now well on their way to be the first ever Cat2 riders in Watford Velo Sport history! VIVA LA VELO!