Horsham Cycling Surrey League win

Friday saw the start of the Surrey League 4th series at Dunsfold and having not got a top 10 so far this year I was desperate to win some points towards my 3rd cat license. Dunsfold is known for being a tough circuit when it's windy but thankfully conditions were near perfect. The pace was quick from the off but not too hard and I was feeling confident of getting a result. 4 laps of 10 were covered of the 3 mile circuit when there was a big crash at the front of the bunch which I just avoided. After a pause on the next lap while riders were picked off the road and treated by St Johns the race was back on. With 3 laps to go I decided to go on the attack and spent a lap of the front on my own (see photo). With no sign of anyone trying to join me and the bunch keeping the gap steady I eased up and was caught. I was concerned I'd burnt my matches in the attack so tried to sit in the wheels for the final laps, saving whatever I had left for the sprint. With 800 metres to go I was sitting 2nd wheel in one line of riders with another line to my left. The leading rider kicked early for the finish at 450 metres to go so I jumped too. What followed was the longest, most painful sprint of my life as I passed the rider in front and headed for the line. I was tying up in the last 50 metres and could see a rider gaining on me to my left but with a throw of the bike I took the win by the narrowest of margins! 10 points won and only 2 more needed for my 3rd cat license. Thanks to Club members Paul Walsingham and Tony Brown for coming to cheer me on.

Matt Andrews

 

TT Report - Sat 23rd April

Cranleigh Cycling Club Hilly 10 G10/44

Having been disappointed by the understandable cancellation of our Club 10 at Okewood Hill yesterday, i consulted the oracle (Jon Fry) and found a race this morning to satisfy my cravings. Cranleigh CC held their hilly club 10 on the Kirdford-Petworth-Wisborough Green "G10/44" course, a course i love as you only need to suffer for about half of it (the run from Fox Hill to the finish is mostly downhill so doesn't hurt as much).

They run this race as an "open to all" event to encourage those who have not raced before to have a go, a bit like our May race but without the fancy dress! The field was a mid size, around 25-30 and i was off midway through. The course was damp for the run from Kirdford to Petworth but sheltered so the first half was quick. From the top of Fox Hill back to Wisborough Green it was dry and fast so i was able to really go for it. That lead to a course PB but i have no idea of where i finished in the rankings.

Tim Peters

 

Club Time Trial Sat 16th April 2016

On Saturday, eight hardy souls kicked off the first club time trial of the season in horrible riding conditions, with heavy downpours on a chilly day. Despite the weather, Tony Brown put in a great ride to complete the tough 21.7 mile circuit in 58.38 - the only rider to make it under the hour. Stuart Papworth took second in 60.22 with Steve Copeland completing the podium in 62.20. Tim Peters, back from last weekend's ride across the cobbles of Paris Roubaix, would have been a challenger but unfortunately suffered a puncture just 3 miles from the finish. The nasty conditions particularly took their toll on one rider. Gary Holder, having missed a turn on the course, and not reaching the finish long after the other riders, needed to be rescued by race organiser Stuart Forbes. When Stuart found Gary he was off course, shivering badly and beginning to suffer from hypothermia. With the car heater going full bore, Gary was returned home safe and well.

Matthew Andrews

 

Another win for Horsham Cycling at Longcross!

After the success of Matt T. winning a couple of weeks ago, we returned expectantly to the Longcross circuit, along with Matt Andrews, fresh back from Majorca. We went to the race in the new HC team bus (Matt's excellent VW camper) suitable kitted out with bike rack, changing area and tea and coffee making facilities. Ambient lighting and massage tables yet to be fitted for fear of restricting the potential used market to buyers of a specialist nature. Unfortunately the weather didn't match the comfort of the camper and we opened the doors to rain and freezing temperatures. Despite the obvious temptation to close the doors again and whip up a brew, both Matt's duly warmed up and took to the line in the 4ths event, while Paul Walsingham raced later in the 3rds. The 4th cats had 15 laps of the 2 mile circuit to face with conditions getting worse as the race went on, with cold heavy rain bursts making the faster corners slippy. With 9 laps to go Matt A. attacked with another rider, but was quickly pulled back by the London Dynamo led bunch behind. He bravely went again and gained a decent gap after burying himself for a lap. The only problem was he was now on his own! lap after lap Matt TT'd around the circuit with just the lead car for company. Hoping a group would join him, he kept going while behind Matt T. did a sterling job in the bunch, marking any moves and policing any breakaway that tried to come across. With 2 laps to go the gap was coming

down quickly and Matt gave it everything to hold on. As the bell rang for the final lap he still had 20 seconds but despite best efforts the bunch caught him agonisingly with only 1km to go. Matt T was looking comfortable in the bunch, sitting in the first 3 places and Into the final straight he came off the wheel in front with another long searing sprint to take another comfortable win. Looking drenched, dirty and like they had just completed Paris-Roubaix, both had made fantastic efforts. The 3rds now beckon for Matt as he has gained enough points with his win to be promoted from the 4ths; a fantastic achievement!

Guaranteed points for Matt A. next time me thinks and I suspect a full complement of team HC in the 3rds very soon. Next race will be the 2nd's/3rd's race on the 24th at Alford for Paul, then for the team into the

many mid-week summer series races held on the Dunsfold circuit starting in May for 3rd's, 4th's and Vets.

Maybe we can attract some more HC members to race (you don't have to be called Matt)?

Paul Walsingham

 

Race Report - Surrey Road Race League Sat April 2nd

Race Report - Surrey Road Race League - Longcross Circuit

'First road race win of the season for Horsham Cycling'

Saturday saw the first race at the Longcross circuit, a hidden gem of a closed road circuit close to the M3/M25 junction and once a military test track for tanks. More recently, and since Film studios were built in 2006,used to make parts of Skyfall, World War Z, and Fast and Furious 6 (or in the case of Matt Twelvetrees and I, the Pacey and Mildly Excited 2).

We were racing on the 1.8 miles aptly named, 'snake circuit', which veers off the main test track and up into a forest area and over 3 'lumps', which although only 50 feet high are short and punchy and after 13 laps wear down the legs. Matt Twelvetrees, our new HC 4th Cat rider was riding his first race after successfully completing his two Surrey Race League skills training races and I was racing in the 3rds. Big fields for both races, with 70+ in the 3rds and 40+ in the 4ths.

Matt was first to race and what a start to a race career! After 10 laps the bunch was still together coming over the last hill; Matt was feeling strong and instead of risking a bunch sprint, decided to jump off the front before the start of the main street. A brave move as this was into a headwind, even braver as it turned out as the race was 11 laps and not 10... Not that this deterred him, as he continued on for another lap, and by this time had several other riders for company. Coming into the main straight again, he put in superb sprint effort and crossed the line first. Many congratulations to Matt on a great first win and 10 points toward his 3rd Cat licence, which I suspect isn't going to be far away.

As somewhat of an anti-climax, my race had 100 entries and I think around 75-80 riders, a pretty large field compared to the usual 50-60 of a road race. The large field meant that racing was tight and fairly close quarters with a few nudges here and there, but once everyone had got used to turning into the fast sharp bends and dips at the same time, was largely incident free. Not much got away through the hour of racing as pace was reasonably high with near 27 miles covered in just over an hour, which included 1100 feet of 'climbing'. I kept in the top half/ third of the bunch for the

most, but on the finishing straight the riders who had teams entered of 4-5 riders held the advantage, with the lead out boys cranking up the pace for their sprinters. I finished in the bunch just behind the main sprinters.

Saturday, April 16th sees Matt T. and I both racing at Longcross again and this time along with Matt Andrews, fresh back from Majorca training camp and I suspect hungry for points toward his 3rd Cat licence.

More points on the way?

Paul Walsingham

   

Race Report Sunday 20th March 2016

Sunday saw the first Vets road race of the season at Dunsfold Park and part of the Toachim Vets race series, held by the League of Veteran and Racing Cyclists http://www.lvrc.org.uk/. LVRC races are for riders over the age of 40 and usually split: A-B (40-49 years of age), C-D (50-59) and EFGH (60+). Good dry conditions, but a 'cool' North Easterly, so rode up from Broadbridge to warm up. The LVRC are a keen, friendly bunch and racing tends to start a little more relaxed than in the BC/Surrey Race League 3rd Cat races, but don't be fooled by occasional appearance of grey hair and prescription glasses, some of these guys are seriously strong, with current/ex 1st and 2nd Cat riders and the occasional ex-domestic pro such as Bob Downs and Mick Ives.

Quite a breeze blowing across the circuit and a tailwind down the main straight. The first few laps saw a few tentative pushes off the front, but nothing that got away. I then managed to get in a small break of 5 with a guy from Python RT and Mario from Blazing Saddles (you'll always recognise Mario luminous yellow Blazing Saddles team kit and all-year round tan, plus he attacks continually proper racer); the bunch obviously recognised I was far too dangerous to let go, and reeled us in after a lap; either that or maybe the fact that both the Python RT guy and Mario were experienced, strong LVRC riders...?

The race duration was 75 minutes, plus 3 laps, so a distance in total of nearly 40-miles. Over the next few laps one rider went clear and from what I could see Time Trialled for most of the second half of the race, not sure which was more painful, his legs, or watching him at a constant 300 metres in front of the bunch, knowing they could catch him at any point. He was put out of his misery when a break of 7 riders eventually formed and bridged over to him. I missed that break, which had gone away on the back end of the circuit, which had strong side winds and potholes, so constant echeloning and shouts of 'hole' going up all the time; also avoiding driving instructors cars and the odd lorry driving around the circuit on the other side. It's a busy place even without Clarkson and Hammond.

On the final straight, which was covered in gravel chippings from a recent resurface, and not brave or anywhere near capable enough to be a sprinter, I decided lone victory was my only option; I moved out of the bunch and drilled it to the line, 500+Watts showing on the Garmin, victory was mine... Well - no actually, I did get clear of the front of the bunch, but the finish line was moving further and further away, with 500 Watts rapidly becoming 400, then 300, I was eventually swallowed up in a very un-like Tony Martin style, and the bunch swarmed passed me. 20th or so place, so a consolatory hot cup of tea and gentle ride home avoiding kamikaze squirrels and similar mind set Sportive riders coming out of the refreshment point at Rusper. Next race not for a couple of weeks and Flanders (Sportive) in between, oh dear...

Paul Walsingham

   

Time Trial Report: Crawley Wheelers 2up 25 mile TT - 20/03/2016

In a bid to avoid the gradients of the Ashdown Forest RT, myself and Tim Peters decided to pair up for the Crawley Wheelers 2up Club 25 TT this morning. It was two years since we last rode this event and after reminiscing about the clip in problems that Tim had on that occasion, I managed to do a 'Matt Stephens' and allowed Tim a head start. From there it was a headwind out to Crawley with turns taken on the front by both of us. A fast and wind assisted return back to the Robin Hood roundabout where I nearly managed to 'take out' my racing partner... his bike handling skills kept him on two wheels as I cut in on the corner.

Sadly Tim was having problems with his big ring and this lead to the chain unshipping three times, we had to stop each occasion to reload. Our time on the finish line was 1:04:55 which given the few minutes we lost due to mechanicals was not too bad for early season. It was a good ride and chance to prepare for the later season Open events on the same course.

Jon Fry

   

TT report 13th March

matt-mar19a

Having done some CX, a circuit race and a road race so far this year, today was my first TT of the season. The event was the 22 mile Mad March Hilly run by my old club CC Sudbury. Although hilly is a term that can only be loosely applied to events in Suffolk the course was quite rolling with a few faster sections thrown in. Conditions were chilly to say the least with my garmin registering -1 on the start line and thick fog covering the first half of the course. My time was 52.31 which was good enough for my first top 10 in an open TT, taking 7th place from a field of 67.

Matt Andrews

matt-mar19b

   

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