That’s One Small Step For Joel, One Giant Frame For Arrival – Joel’s Fully ‘pimped’ Giant TT bike.



Well at last the on-going saga of  many others and myself awaiting the arrival our new Giant Trinity TT frameset is over!

Was it custom made encrusted with diamonds or even handmade cuts of gold? Nope just an off the peg size small in standard colours.

I had many sleeps and stresses so can’t remember when my order was officially placed but I reckon November 2015 or thereabouts.

So what is the going ‘rate to wait’ for a bicycle frame? Bearing in mind this is a carbon (common material in the Far East) frame which is the same small size as every other small size as is the paint design.

This wasn’t a bespoke design of art engineering I was ordering , it was a frame set produced by a company who produce thousands of frames every year so personally , waiting 7 1/2 months warrants me to slate this companies customer care policy!!

Ok rant over and onto the build of this carbon lego set.

Getting a new frame set mid season is not healthy as late nights and rushing around missing training disrupted things even further.

I already had a  vision of the bike in full once finished (certainly had time didn’t I?)

So the build started and I was committed now. Not that the world would stop and wait until I’d finished , no life carried on so the reality was that I may have got on average 1 hour a night to work on it with more time allowed over the weekends.

As I was struggling, and with the weekend approaching faster than a day back at work, I desperately pleaded with my manager for a day’s A/L to which he granted so 6am the day before the Belper BC 25 I got zoned in once in the workshop, phone off, radio on and here we go.

My making good progress came to rotating halt once I discovered that the already pressed in BB wasn’t compatible with my chain set which Jon Surtees had painstakingly painted for me.

A quick call to Ed Neilson At Vive Le Velo then a rapid drive over for a bearing got me going again but there was too much axle exposed so after much pondering I finally gave up and informed my team mates via our foul and disgusting FB chat that I would have to be a DNS the following day. Time had ticked too far now and the bike shop opening times had long gone.

Hey, at least I could relax , calm myself down, stop and have a cuppa knowing I am no longer in a rush.

That was until Ali bloody Wareham announced to us all on the chat that he had the BB I needed!!

No, no , shit , surely it must be the wrong size?, nope BB86……

Agh I don’t want ceramic , it’s not ceramic  it’s standard…..

You sure it’s SRAM as not that common , IT’S SRAM!!!!…..

Yeah but you live in Huddersfield!! , it’s an hour away……..

FFS WAREHAM couldn’t you have been on baby duties or trying out the latest aero dummies ??!!

Finally a picture comes through that confirms it is the BB I need.

Argh Ali , my hero and my saviour , I’m on my way…………TWAT! (after convincing the Mrs she didn’t really want to go and watch that rugby match she has a season ticket for and would rather stay in and look after the boys wouldn’t she!!)

So a  guided Vauxhall Insignia Missile sped to Huddersfield and back and back into the workshop until 10pm with the chainset at last fitted.

Race morning , back in my new home with my new family of Park tools , Keeley Hazell posters  and cracking on .

Just before beans and toast time it was ready to ride but not finished and not tested.

A few hours later with a dense head of stress and tiredness I for the first time cocked my leg over Wonder Woman and ventured into my warm up.Straight away the bike felt stiffer than my previous Scott Chazma but the extensions where angled too low but nothing to be done now. Also a big bonus was that both brakes worked really well!

The result of the race was a bit of a let down in the end though as I was one of the riders who copped for the sky water dumped on them before the first TI on the D/C which ruined the potential of my race performance.

Until next time……


Special thanks to SSLL  and  Paul of CycleSense in Tadcaster for the grateful gift of this framset.

Tech Spec;

Giant Trinity TT   SMALL

Specialized Power saddle

Zipp 900 rear disc 10 speed tubular

ADR front 3 spoke tubular

Planet X titanium skewers

Dura Ace 10 speed cassette 11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,21 , Token alloy lock ring

Vittoria Crono Pista CS tubs  , 22mm rear , 19mm front

KMC DLC 10 speed chain red/black

SRAM standard press fit BB

SRAM Rival crank arm modifed 172.5

SRAM Stages power meter

Fibre-lyte custom 58 tooth aero full carbon chain ring

Custom made chain catcher

Dura Ace 10 speed rear mech modified, ceramic over size j wheels, custom made carbon inner/outer cages , lightweight bolt upgrades.

Speedplay red cromo pedals

40 degree USE extensions

Dura Ace 10 speed single gear lever modified

Fibre-lyte carbon arm rests , trimmed

Custom carbon Garmin mount

Jagwire gear and brake cables

All bolts upgraded to titanium or light alloy.


Weight 18.2lbs




The one where someone else set a Comp Record

The combination of a notoriously fast course and weather forecast getting warmer and better as the week went on, lead to a very nervous trip up to Newmarket for the Shaftesbury 50.

I’d ridden this course once before, in 2014. It was memorable for all the wrong reasons. I’d gotten some bad news in the morning and selfishly chose a ‘float’ day over being by my best friend’s side… and didn’t Karma bite me on the ass? I’d forgotten to bring any water bottles on a 30C day and had scavenged a 0.5l bottle off Katja. I came off the first roundabout early, which meant a vaguely illegal hop over the grassy central reservation to get back onto the A11. Then after what seemed like FOREVER, my Garmin clocked 50 miles, I saw a marshal and happily wound to a standstill. Ummm, turns out that wasn’t the finish but the marshal for the turn…I’d forgotten about my little detour.

This time round I was determined to not to let silly mistakes ruin my ride. However, traffic on the M25 meant that there was no time to recce the course so I had to rely on the post-it note stuck to my bars. And David’s parting words of “Its going to be a float, don’t f*ck up” were about as useful as my old rowing coach hollering down the megaphone across the river “RELAX, Clarry, RELAX”.

I was off third and confident that I would overtake both riders ahead of me before Hayley Simmonds (off fifth) went past me. It was clearly a fast day as I managed to break my 10 mile PB en route and sure enough I was the first rider on the road after 10 miles. As if by magic, just as I was wondering where Hayley had got to, she glided past me, resplendent in her stripey skinsuit and f*cked off into the distance.

Unusually, my race was going exactly as I had expected it to. I hit the top turn with an average speed of 27.8mph and my legs were still feeling good. I took the roundabouts super slowly, having made a conscious decision that it was better to lose time being absolutely certain I was going the right way than lose time going off course. The poor road surface on the A11 made it feel like I was riding through tar and my speed dropped and dropped. I shuffle about on my saddle, my calves start to cramp up, things are starting to get uncomfortable. A bit of desperate mental arithmetic told me that with 30 miles gone, only a catastrophic equipment failure would stop me from PBing. The way back down towards Four Wentways was tough and I lost a lot of time on the last ten miles. Power was beyond pathetic at this point and I was begging for the finish to appear.

I collapse into a layby and empty the rest of my water bottle. I knew it would be a 1.51 but not exactly what.. yes, I forgot to start my Garmin until I got onto the A11. I hang about for a bit, expecting my travel companion Pete to finish soon after me, get bored then roll the 5 miles back to HQ at an immense 11mph.

I’m greeted by a cheery and super chatty Mark Holt so I know that Hayley has done something special! 1:42:20, some 4 minutes off the Comp Record. I’m lucky enough to sneak into 2nd place with a 1:51:59 (just a casual 12 minute14 PB by the way), the twelfth fastest time recorded. Not bad going for someone who takes a fairly minimalistic approach to training.

And just to tie up the loose ends on my missing person case, 90 minutes later than expected, Pete returns to HQ. Seems like 2 hours in a car with me was enough for my ineptitude to rub off. He’d missed the turn off for the finish then somehow managed to do a 30 mile loop to get back to HQ. All on one 500 mil water bottle, which he’d nearly finished before the start. Now severely dehydrated, he was bundled into the car at top speed so that I could get home for Zoe’s bedtime. Stopping briefly a mile down the road for his queasiness to pass, I showed classic Clarry levels of sympathy as I shoved the rest of a bacon butty down whilst he made friends with a hedge. Then subjected him to 2 hours of bad chat and even worse driving… I think he might be getting a lift from someone else next time :o)

Fast but frustrating & LOTS of driving…

Andy Jackson reports on a BIG weekend of races…

BDCA 25 2016 2

Last weekend, when discussing races for the up coming week, my coach, Bob Tobin said, “…are you really going to race the VTTA 10 in Hull on Saturday afternoon, then the RealTeam ’25’ in South Wales to following morning?!” – of course I was!

It was definitely an ambitious weekend where I had an eye on the magical ’17 min’ ’10’ and Vets +40 record (held by Jeff Jones with an 18:09) and a crack at again a target of mine a 46min ’25’ and possible Vets +40 record (held by Brett Harwood with a stunning 46:40 from 3 weeks ago)

I was coming off the back of a disappointing race for me the previous weekend in Saturday started with a trip to the renowned fast V718 course for the VTTA 10m TT.  Stiff competition, as always on there, with Team mates Jon Surtees & Joel Wainman as well as Keith Murray of Drag2Zero…  “After a well below performance at last weeks Sleaford 25 which neither I or my coach could really put our finger on why I approached Saturday with some nerves as to how the hell the legs would be!

After reviewing photo’s from last weekend I decided my ‘Saturday shopper’ position had to finally, once and for all go… So mid week, after many swear words, thrown tools and sweating buckets in my sauna (*sorry flat!) I finally followed the ‘crowd’ and went for ‘ski bend’ extensions…

I test rode Friday, legs were awful, #standard, but the position felt quick … I could tell from KOM’s – one I’d been chasing a while…

race bike ski

So on to Saturday, I took a leisurely drive to HQ (well for me) and arrived in plenty of time – so I thought, thinking i was off at 15:10 – as Number 10…. Typically I had (again) not read the start sheet properly … 14:40 start!!  Ok, mad dash on and my usual 30m WU was cut to 15miles… would I be ready??!

I pushed off and was determined to start steady – 450NP after 2mins – that was out the window!!!  I did settle in and came off the turn at half way bang on 9mins… now a ’17’ looked on,  the run back was not quite as fast as I hoped.  I actually prefer some wind – you know where you are,  there seemed air resistance anywhere and expecting a super fast return, I was disappointed… At about 8m, just under 15mins I realised the ’17’ was not on, and honestly lost my head a bit… but i quickly got back on to finish at near on 45mph and 18:11… NOT BAD!  my 2nd fastest ever ’10’ and what I hoped was good enough for the Vets 40+ record, but alas no, Jeff Jones stunning 18:09 is safe.  For now. – VTTA 10

Then it was time for a super quick change, jump in the motor for a 230m trip to South Wales ready for the RealTeam 25m on the renowned fast R25/3 course…


A lovely day meant no traffic, so i arrived jut after 7pm to my B&B and settled in for the TDF and a HUGE Tesco banquet ahead of race day #2… I think my eyes were bigger than my belly & the Malibu & Coke – don’t ask!

tesco banquet

As is typical for me I did not sleep well in a great little B&B in Merthyr Tydfil – too many stimulants I think!

I woke 8’ish to torrential rain – pretty standard this season I am afraid!

I took a leisurely run up to the HQ, signed on a sat in the car watching the rain for an hour or so!  I was lucky enough to bump into James Gullen – by far favourite today who was looking to have a go at Matt Bottrill’s Course (and previous National) record.

For me a good warm up saw me arrive 3mins before start time and ready to go… I flew off down the hill and gingerly eased round the first 2 roundabouts – 2 ‘offs’ in the last month have made me nervous cornering in the wet!  Onto the fast DCand down the ‘mountain’ – God its so fast…I peaked at 49.9moh down the hill – scary if you think about it, better if you don’t!  The only option was to micro interval down the hill.  I hit 6m in 10min and continued to hold a great pace.  it seemed ‘sucky’, there was no wind so it was just air resistance – to be honest I prefer proper wind, at least you get help one way!  I was baulked at the first round about, but not hugely and flew to the turn, hitting 15m in 26min. the turn – WHAT AN IDIOT!  I have ridden this course once, driven it twice so HOW did I get it wrong??!!  I managed to go round the long lazy curve off the DC to the first min roundabout, where its a sharp left, over the DC then back for the 10m return leg… so WHY oh WHY did I go straight on and almost back onto the south bound carriageway?!  I managed to catch it, dead stop and jump up the curb.. to re-start in 58×14 – not easy!  ON analysis I lost 10 secs V my last event (also in the rain).  I was LIVID and hammered the first couple of miles, way over threshold.. then settled.  a ‘good ride’ was still possible…. that last 6m or so was HARD an accumulation of yesterday’s race, loads of driving and the nagging air resistance.

Coming to the last mile it was clear Brett’s record was safe – but could I get that ’46’.  NO is the answer!  I crossed the line in 47:05.. a new PB, but what might have been…  – REALTEAM 25

Back at HQ it was clear Gullen had done a ‘stormer’ – he clocked 45:33 for a phenomenal win by 92 secs.

James Gullen 00:45:33

Andy Jackson 00:47:05

James Copeland 00:48:04

David Allonby 00:48:09

Scott Burns 00:48:18

Justin Layne 00:48:25

Thomas Brazier 00:48:50

Paul Ashley 00:49:16

Ben Anstie 00:49:28

Gavin Hinxman 00:49:28

Jonathan Gates 00:49:29

David  James 00:49:39

Christopher Gibbard 00:49:40

Anthony Jones 00:49:50

So all in all… a great weekend – a 25m PB, my 2nd fastest ever ’10’, just 9 secs off my PB, but sadly 3 goals missed – Vets 10 record by 2 secs (!!), Vets 25 record by 25secs and the magical ’46’ by 6 secs!  ah well – there will be more to go at!

550m driven – I am now officially tired!

Roll on the National 25 in 2 weeks!!









Ras de Cymru 2016

EUGENE:   A week ago last Wednesday I went to Wales to compete in the biggest 2/3/4 stage race in the country.  I was joined by three guest riders on the SSLL team: Archie Cross (my older brother), Freddie Jagger, and Chris.  My final exam was on the Tuesday, so I was really throwing myself in at the deep-end having just backed off the cycling a little over the past 2 months.

The race started in the driving rain on a dual carriageway.  With the first stage being a 5 mile team time trial, going down a hill then back up, we were aware that we weren’t going to win the race that day but with the poor conditions and poorly surfaced roundabouts we could definitely lose the race.

We didn’t.  We did a pretty quick time of 11:22 coming 5th team. A real lack of riding as a team meant that Freddie and Chris did too much on the first leg, whilst I struggled to contribute on junior gears on the descent. This meant that at the finish Archie and I were left feeling we could have given more.


ARCHIE:   With all the SSLL team just 22 seconds down on the yellow jersey we were in a good position going into stage 2. Looking at the route the previous night it appeared to have very little in the way of flat road but also nothing too steep to really split the race.  The main feature of the course was a 4.5 mile drag averaging 2.5% to the finish line which the race would go up 4 times.
With the usual start of race nerves, ambition and freshness, the first time up the climb was a series of attacks followed by more attacks and nothing getting any distance.

After deciding everybody was too fresh to allow a break to go this early I just sat well back in the group the 2nd time up the climb saving my energy. Eugene took 3rd over the top of the climb this time through, giving him a big 1 point in the KOM competition, an effort he would come to regret an hour later.

A steep 400m just before the long drag on the 3rd lap brought out attacks from the riders who would go on to be the strongest in the race. Richard Bussell(Team Midlands), wearing the yellow jersey, dragged 3 of us clear and for about 30 seconds I thought that could be race over for everyone else. Preparing for an hour of suffering on his wheel I was almost quite glad we were pulled back just after the top. It had shown people were starting to suffer however and I decided I was going to give a big effort to get a group away up the climb.

After about half a mile of the climb I attacked but was given no room, I eased off and 5 riders came over the top of me so I slotted back in. 30 seconds later everyone eased off and I went again, a look back and I had a gap. I realised I had just over 10 minutes to the top of the climb so just got my head down and pressed on hoping a small group would get across to me before the top. Over the next 5 minutes Ross Phelps, Matthew Garthwaite and my teammate Chris Sleath came over and we started to work well, increasing our lead. Just before the summit Chris dropped off the back and we could not afford to wait. In hindsight this may have been a mistake as once over the top Chris would have had the power on the flatter part of the course to really help us put time into the main group.

Before Chris dropped off the break.

Once onto the descent and flatter parts it became clear Matthew was the most powerful rider of the 3 left, he would do 3 minute turns, I would manage 30 seconds and by the bottom Ross seemed to be hanging on.

As we got to the final time up the drag we were told we had 48 seconds, this is when I started to believe we could make it to the finish and a new wave of energy hit me. A mile later Ross dropped the wheel and was soon back into the chasing bunch. As we got into the final 2 miles and I realised we were going to stay away, I let Matthew know if we pushed all the way to the line I would not sprint for the stage. At the time I was thinking of the overall GC, the time back to the bunch and that he had done far more work in the break so deserved the stage win. What I hadn’t considered was the 15 second time bonus for 1st place on the stage.

We crossed the line 33 seconds ahead of the bunch and I received a 10 second bonus for 2nd on the stage. This moved me into 2nd on GC and 1st in the KOM competition due to points picked up in the break.
I will never know who would have won the sprint for the stage, but the longer the week went on the more I regretted that I hadn’t tried to find out, more on that at the end.

Chris and Freddie came in at the front of the bunch while Eugene, fresh out of A-levels, blew up spectacularly and lost 4 minutes inside the final 2 miles. A very impressive explosion.

Graph to show me hemeraging time
A graph to show Eugene blowing up.  The blue line is time gap from Eugene (black line) to Archie.  The red line is the time gap from the group.

EUGENE:   The third day was a double day.  It kicked off with a road stage in the morning followed by a TT in the afternoon.  The morning was pretty flat with a short drag of a hill and a winding long steady descent back down.  After a taking a real battering the day before I was sitting in for the start of the day.  Archie and Chris had broken away with a very strong looking break containing members from many of the main teams.  Freddie bridged the gap before an all-out effort by Radeon – Bike Science RT reeled back the seemingly winner of a breakaway. We were now back to square one with three of our riders having put in big efforts already.

A second break quickly formed and the peloton sat up allowing the break to go out to about 1min 30sec.  At this point I came to the front and along with Harry Brook-Dobson of Bath University and one other we started to chase to limit our losses to the group of 9 up the road.  The three of us were the only three chasing and were unable to cut that gap down.  The stage finished up a slight drag on a dual carriageway.  I was spent and the group came over me at around 3km and I lost a chunk of time once again.  Archie and Chris were competitive in the sprint from the main bunch finishing 2nd and 5th respectively from the group.  Unfortunately we had lost big time, 1min 11sec, and despite Archie still being in the top 10 he had still taken a large hit.

The earlier attempt at a breakaway.

Then came the TT that afternoon.  Richard Bussell was a clear favourite having won last year’s national 10 mile and hill climb championships. On the other hand the course was not a classic CTT course.  The TT started up 2min 30 sec climb before a quick downhill section on an A-road.  A stupidly quick run into a left hand sharp corner onto a single track road which went uphill for a short time before a quick descent to the finish.  Richard Bussell held onto get 2nd but lost 2 seconds to Paul Double.  Archie came 6th on the stage with 11:17, 5 second off the winner.  Freddie, Chris and I did 11:46, 11:58, and 11:54 respectively.  This moved Archie into 4th at 38 seconds.

“He looks down at his power meter and it just reads ‘MONSTER'” -Carlton Kirby

On the Saturday we had 7 laps of a course that I had raced earlier in the year at the first round of the junior National Series.  The course is mainly flat with a single steep 2 minute climb.  It also consists of many corners which after 4 days of racing really start to take it out of you. A break went away and with very quick, long, slightly downhill sections there was little I could do to limit the gap to them.  With little over a lap to go Freddie hit the deck on a quick straight section and despite finishing the stage, at 8:43 back, he did not start the next day.  Meanwhile a break had gotten away and despite taking the stage win and time bonuses had no effect on the GC with the Archie, Chris and me finishing in the group.

Chris and Freddie before Freddie crashed.

The 5th and final day was designed to be the queen stage, a pretty flat 50 miles followed by a climb of the tumble.  Down to three men, we had Freddie in the team car and his bike as a spare on the roof.  The bunch rolled out of the HQ and neutralised through Abergavenny.  Not 1km into the neutral zone Archie had a rear flat and dropped back to the team car. He quickly took Freddie’s bike off the team car swapped his Garmin onto Freddie’s bike and caught back up to the group.  Still in the neutralised zone he noticed that Freddie’s bike was massively too small.  I kindly offered to swap my bike with Archie as he had much more to gain on this stage than I did.  Archie was right, it was a tiny bike that I was now riding.  We had however not swapped Garmins which meant that I could always tell if Archie was nearby by whether or not his heart-rate was on my screen.  The racing was very steady, but quick, for the start of the day.  You could easily sit in but with an average speed of 26mph it wasn’t too slow.

With about 10km to the foot of the Tumble me and Archie found ourselves at the back of the group and conscious that we needed to start moving up. Moving to the front was easily done but it became increasingly difficult to maintain our place at the front.  Using the radar heart-rate on my Garmin I tried to stay up there making sure I didn’t drift too far from Archie.  At around 3km to the foot of the climb the competition to be at the front was almost getting stupid with a real compromise between position and effort.  On the run into the climb there was a short section of dual-carriageway followed by two small roundabouts, then a left turn in a village shortly after onto the climb.  Archie, Chris and I all had managed to remain at the front and, with Chris narrowly missing a parked car on the left turn, made it onto the climb in a promising position.  The pace slackened off almost immediately as we had all made it safely onto the climb.  I went to the front to try and and make the race hard, Archie had a full 38seconds to make up.  I thought I was making things hard doing 400W (at 60kg) at the foot of the 15min climb, however I was on the front for less than 30seconds before Peter Kibble started to push on at the front. I remained just behind with Archie on my wheel for another minute or so before flicking my elbow to indicate to Archie that I couldn’t help him anymore.

profile of tumble.jpg
Profile of the final climb.

ARCHIE:   With 38 seconds to make up on the yellow jersey and 31 on 2nd place I knew I had to split the race early on the climb in the hope of giving myself enough time to make that time up. As Eugene flicked me past I latched onto Peter Kibbles wheel and the group lined out. As we got round the hairpin onto the steepest part of the climb he eased off and I realised this was when I had to split it. I upped the pace until I was doing 450 watts and held it there, looking around the group was a line and my breakaway companion from stage 2, Matthew Garthwaite was on my wheel but letting it slip. Another 30 seconds and me and Peter were away from the group.

With Peter a long way behind me on GC this is exactly what I had wanted, I pressed on knowing I had to gain as much time as possible. For the next few minutes we swapped turns on the front then just before the middle flatter section Paul Double caught us and went straight to the front. By this point I was really hanging on and very thankful for the extra company. Soon however I realised neither Paul nor Peter cared how much we stayed away by so as Paul eased off I had no choice but go back to the front. From here I just tried to keep as much speed going to the line as possible, twice Peter attacked, Paul chased him down and I just tried to get to the line as quickly as possible. With 300m to go they started the sprint and I could not react. They finished 3 and 4 seconds ahead of me with Paul taking a well deserved stage win. 3rd place on the stage gave me 5 bonus seconds meaning the yellow jersey had 33 seconds to get to the line. He got there in 26.

Archie finishing atop the Tumble

Riding back to the HQ, unsure of if I had done enough, I was reminded by Eugene about a million times if I lost the GC by less than 5 seconds my decision not to sprint on stage 2 would really come back and haunt me. Thankfully I lost the race by 7 seconds which left team SSLL with 2nd overall, 5th team and top 10 on 4 of the 6 stages.

EUGENE:   The race was a great experience and I hope not to have scooped my 1st Cat too early next season in order to enter again.  The race was also a great recce for the Junior Tour of Wales which takes place at the end of August.

The full team and support staff (family who came to help) at the Ras de Cymru

Guildford Town Centre Races 2016 – Sophie Household

Guildford Town Centre Races always pulls in a big crowd, numerous sponsors, and plenty of prizes including primes and aggressive rider award. The course itself is a tight circuit around the cobbled high street that was used for the sprint finish in the 2012 Tour of Britain, won by Mark Cavendish. Each lap starts with a descent down the very broken road of North Street, a right angle corner into a climb up an alley way, before another right angle corner onto the cobbled high street and a climb back to the start.


The Guildford Town Centre Race attracts some of the best riders from the region including UCI team Pedal Heaven and women’s elite team Ford EcoBoost. In previous years, talent like Joanna Rowsell and Jon Dibben have ridden here.

I was to ride the women’s race. I wasn’t expecting much as I don’t train for these sorts of races. In fact my training has been pretty limited recently. My training volume and intensity was reduced in May/June while I was doing my finals, followed by three weeks of illness and exhaustion. Thankfully, I’ve been feeling better this week and was looking forward to some fun on the bike.

The evening started with the U8 race as the Guildford Town Centre Races caters for all ages (see top picture). They were to complete three laps of the circuit which looked to be challenging for such small legs! Some of these kids are really impressive though.

Then disaster struck in the junior race when three girls slid out on the final corner. Two ambulances were called out and the girls were isolated in neck braces and kept still on the course. The temperature was dropping and they must have been getting cold and they were kept there for 1h30. This held up the following senior races by almost two hours. The sun was going down, it was getting dark and chilly, and the seniors were getting stiff, cold and hungry on the start line, uncertain of when or even if their races would start. I regretted not bringing extra layers with me but did squeeze in a very quick second warm up once our race was confirmed to start in 15 minutes. The cost of choosing to warm up again was arriving last to the start line and starting at the back.

The first lap had a sprint prize so the pace was insane from the gun. I was averaging 191 bpm from lap 2 and peaked at my max of 196 mid race. The corners and the cobbles quickly split the riders up. I got a poor start from the back but was able to slowly pick riders off up the climbs and by taking the inside line of the corners. I was feeling sick and my lungs were burning. I glanced down to see how long we’d been riding. 2 minutes 50 seconds!!!! Oh dear. This was really really going to hurt. But if you’re hurting, others are hurting too. After 5 minutes I was already passing riders that had blown up. I started to blow myself 5 minutes before the end. In fact, my windpipe is still burning while I type this.


Thank you to Charlotteville Cycling Club, the many volunteers and the GTCR sponsors for putting on another first class event! And thank you to SSLL for continuing to support my racing, especially while I took a break from regular racing to finish my degree.



10’s, 25’s and getting ready for the National 100 – Andy Jackson

Well its been a very hectic few weeks for me, and there is no end in sight looking at the race calendar!

BDCA 25 2016 2

Straight off the back of the National Team Time Trial Silver medal it was back to Plymouth for the National 50 the weekend after.  As is well documented this was on an extremely tough hilly course up and down the A38 – not one to suit a big diesel like me! Overall I ended up 7th and won my age group,  as good as could have been hoped for against some really quality competition of Bussell, Perry, Davies, Clinton etc…

Anyway since then I have been juggling mid week ’10’s’ with prep for the National 100 next weekend (10th July).

I raced the famous E2/10 course in the East Mids VTTA event well organised & hosted by Pnut… the course is ‘famous’ for a certain Mr Alex Dowsett’s Competition record of 17:20!

I was off early at 7:10, due to work commitments and made it to all 4 events, despite the long travel distances.  Unfortunately for us all none were blessed with great weather – in fact I think I got wet at them all, and almost every race this season…… Does my bike know about it with the groans and creaks coming form various bearings!

I managed to win each event in times of 18:19 / 18:39 and a joint 18:37 with Matt Smith from Team Bottrill.  The final event coming after a manic day for me workwise which saw me hit the start line with 2 mins to spare – great timing!

In between I had 2 weekends off racing due to a Family wedding  and a concious decision to ‘get the miles in’ ahead of the National 100.

This lead me into Sat 3rd June,  the main event – another chance at a ‘fast 25’ in the Belper 25, run as the Mark Storey memorial event in which his parents kindly put up a winners trophy and medals for the top finishers.   As SSLL racing team we had  a great team riding in Joel Wainman, my self and Jon Surtees… all hoping for a good time.

Weather forecast was windy and showers – oh did we get those!  On my drive up the A14 was a car park due to accident and then torrential rain… was going to be fun.

I arrived about 3.15pm to what appeared dry and fine conditions, albeit windy.  WU went well, until getting stopped at the level crossing in Hilton and only just making it back to the car……. then it rained!  Oh did it rain!  I arrived at the line as Mark Holton made the sensible decision not to ride – TBH I was in 2 minds it was that wet and cold, and tha is unlike me – I normally start anything.  I then remembered back to the Walsall event the previous year, I was 2nd last seed (as here) and just as I started I got a soaking – and the PB’d – sod it lets go!

The start was treacherous, I literally crawled first onto the A-road then round the roundabout up to the DC.  then the wind HITS and did it hit.  its interesting how the esteemed TT forum is adamant the ‘late starts got the best conditions’  (or was that all those who felt they had a sub standard ride and need yet another excuse?) … ok then, if 8 degrees, p*** wet through and a power to the turn, greater than the ’10’ I rode on Thurs night – for my slowest time EVER to the turn in that event, then fine,  but I think not.  It was hard and it suited powerful riders as I found it a fight almost every pedal stroke, crawling round roundabouts for fear of wet and traffic .

Coming back was fast, no doubting – but still that was me pushing over 380W in my best aero tuck,  *which we all know isn’t very aero but hey!

So I shot down the finish ramp onto the finish approach and managed a HUGE 1 sec PB!  TBH I was amazed and pleased.  I do not care what anyone says I gave 150% and put out a ride up with my very best in regards power, race planning and execution and time.

So overall it was 2nd for me, just 9 secs behind Steve Irwin who rode a phenomenal ride to return at an average of >56kph!

So overall happy with the result, and the benefits of ‘being old’ – 1st Vet >40 = more prize money!

We were wrongly told SSLL racing team had not won the team prize, on 2nd counting we think we have – so well done team mates!

Many thanks to the organisers, marshalls and the family of Mark for putting the event on… National 100 now next week!