28/03/15 Race Reports

Hillingdon 2nds/3rds

By Paul.

I was more than a little ‘angry’ after last week’s shannanigans but the phrase “horses for courses” had been going around and around in my head all week and I was looking forward to racing at Hillingdon, one of my favourite stomping grounds.

I even got to wear shorts, compared to racing in Antarctica last week and, despite my knees turning blue, it felt comparatively like a friggin’ heatwave!

My plan was to go with the attacks and then try to nip off the front on a ‘make or break’ attack in the closing laps.

I did just that……other than an early break which was too early for this big engine I either went with or jumped across to pretty much everything.  I enjoyed seeing people out of breath when I was hardly trying and I enjoyed how easily I moved around the peloton.  In the end though I never really got in a group that was prepared to bury itself as much as I was so with 4 laps to go I went away with a small group in my last gasp attempt.  Or so I thought.  With the same reluctance from riders to push on we were swiftly caught and then with 3 to go another pair jumped off the front.  I was still deep in the red but, as the saying that I’ve just made up goes: “out the front or out the back” so I tried to bridge across.  Just as we passed the “2 to go” lapboard I’d almost made the junction when my head told me that my legs didn’t want to play any more!

shit.  shame.

I’m determine not to let my head beat me next week but on this occasion I got swallowed up by the peloton and dropped at the bell.

I had so much fun today.

I raced the race.  I made decisions that I could make because I was fit and I loved every minute of it.

Mojo restored and possibly the best I’ve ever ridden at Hillingdon 🙂




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Hillingdon 2nds/3rds
28/03/15 Race Reports

Hillingdon 4ths

By Steve

so after last weeks personal success i was looking forward to enjoying my race today,
turns out no two weeks are the same and infact cycling sucks..!!!!! lol

worked stupid hard and got dropped after 30mins, no excuses just a tough day, still enjoyed it though, bloody weirdo..!!
i shall return..!!!!!!????

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Hillingdon 4ths
22/03/15 Race Reports

Velofait 2nds/3rds Circuit Race Ardingly

By Paul

My legs shouldn’t feel as heavy as they do today as I packed after just 12 mins because <INSERT EXCUSE HERE>
Barny and Andy however had a stormer as there were only 22 finishers out of 58 starters.  They finished just outside the points on a course with more corners than the Eastbourne Crits, Cyclopark and Belgium combined.  Great ride fellas.


one response
Velofait 2nds/3rds Circuit Race Ardingly
21/03/15 Race Reports

Hillingdon 4ths

21st March 2015

By Steve

the race today was a huge deal for me,
my target for the year was to finish (not get dropped) a 4th cat race at hillingdon, its a flat circuit with no hills to speak of so no excuses to be had,
and here it was, had i really got any fitter or any stronger, i had got a little lighter but even the scales were playing tricks on me this morning, 90kg again..!! surely not..!!
so after the boss mans relentless offerings of “warm up” “start at the front” i warmed up well before the race, sat on the start line ready to go exactly where i wanted to be, i was seriously out of excuses now..!!
away we go..!!!!!
i rode it effing perfect!!
top 10 or 15 holding my position or moving up when needed, confident, cornered great, felt great, it was great..!!
stayed with the increase in pace on the last lap and finished on the back of the sprint passing people, yes passing people..!!! 🙂
finished and achieved everything id set out too, so im a very happy man.
but the reason iv written this is not really to tell you about the race,
its to offer you all a huge
you have battered and beaten me on training rides all winter, constantly giving me help, advice and support, waiting for me at the top of climbs when it was bloody freezing, making me feel welcome and part of the team when i was thinking i was just holding you up, so to all of you thank you, its been a real pleasure riding with you.
got to give the boss man a special mention, as my coach he has kept me going when needed and couldn’t of done it without him..!!
(Paul) Rich B is too modest to tell you all he finished 8th and collected his first 2 points of 2015 and his first points ever in the UK.  Onwards and upwards Rich, Fab ride.
(Paul) Equally as impressive as the rides by these 2 chaps today were the comments of their team mates:
“Steve had an awsome ride and I think he is a true example of perseverance.
And is an example that you will reap your rewards with good honest hard work”

“Steve, it’s a tried and tested formula:

(Training + hard work) x (racing + team mates) = happiness

So chuffed you have achieved your goal so early in the season, but are you now going to keep up the good work?…or ‘do a Wiggo’ (take 6 months off to let your achievement soak in, drink beer, buy a suit, and grow a beard) ?”


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Hillingdon 4ths
21/03/15 Race Reports

March Hare 3rds Cyclopark

By Trevor

“Not bad. finished in the bunch sprint, just outside the points.


Two were off for most of the race, with big crosswinds I let them go as I thought there was no chance of them staying away and would be a waste of energy, but i was severely underestimating the lack of chasing spirit in the bunch. just two of us (me and the fella who won the SERRL Brenchley race solo off the front) chasing back but couldn’t pull it in. a couple of sit ins jumped off with a couple of laps to go, i tried to break the group on the front for the last two laps to no avail and paid for it in the sprint but was mixing and animating it throughout, held a position at the front of the pack for the whole race and felt comfortable. the other fella dropped out spent with a lap to go, shows how much we did as he was incredibly strong last week.



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March Hare 3rds Cyclopark
15/03/15 Race Reports

SERRL Brenchley 15th March 2015

By Alex

Great day today, thanks for everyone’s support.

When I first saw the hill, I thought “what’s all the fuss about?” I wasn’t saying that by lap 6! Keeping myself at the front of the group at the base of the climb in the hope I’d still be on the back by the top.

With 2 laps to go Trevor and myself were working well chasing and keeping a good position in the group. I dropped my water bottle at the base of the hill which might have shelled some weight but didn’t do my hydration any good but a quick shout to the team and I had a bottle waiting on the next lap.

Me and Trevor found ourselves just off the back on the climb and worked super hard to get back on and move up for the last climb where Trevor got 10th over the line and myself coming in 20th.

Whatever was in that water bottle Barney? I need!! Lessons learnt today…take more sugar and train more hills. Happy with how it all turned out and thanks again for all the support.

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SERRL Brenchley 15th March 2015
14/03/15 Race Reports

Surrey League 2nd/3rd Cats Longcross MOD Test Track Chertsey 14th March 2015

By Paul

Having ridden 2 near-perfect races in the last 2 weeks you’d think I’d have gone into this feeling good but Belgium last Sunday knocked the sh*t out of me and my legs were tired in training all week.

Still, mtfu they say don’t they?

So, this morning I lined up for a 50 mile race against 99 riders on a wide racing circuit which, to my surprise, had 4 ‘lumps’ in a row on the back straight on each of the 25 laps.

100 little hills, joy.

It was 6 degrees and I really don’t get on with the cold so that’s 3 excuses in as many paragraphs however I rode near the front and went with 3 attacks, jumping across the gap on each occasion.  The third of these momentarily became a ‘working breakaway’ but our group, like all the others, never got very far on a circuit with no corners requiring any braking and 100 riders chasing everything down.

That last attack really took it out of me and with about 10 miles to go I dropped back a little to ‘rest’.  It was a completely different race back there!  I was surprised just how many people were ‘sitting in’ and how big a group of 100 riders looked!  The problem was I was now stuck at the back and the miles were counting down so on the tailwind home straight I made a huge effort with 4 miles to go and got myself back into the top 10.

Now, with most of the field till there and with 75% having done nothing all race this wide straight finish was going to be chaos and I have to say, I wasn’t sure whether at this stage I was prepared to take too many risks for what wasn’t the bleeding National Championships after all!

All of a sudden my mind was made up for me as everyone sat up (what is with racers sitting up?!) and us riders at the front were all swamped, losing any gains we had made.

We were well into the last lap (the last 2 miles) now and I was picking my way back through but was getting tired and nervous about the 100-up sprint we were about to subject ourselves to when… CRASH….I don’t know how many came down but I braked hard, just missed it and it didn’t look pretty.

Race over, I rolled across the line, pleased to have another 50 miles of racing in my legs but not pleased about much else.

“Come on summer?!”



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Surrey League 2nd/3rd Cats Longcross MOD Test Track Chertsey 14th March 2015
08/03/15 Race Reports

Cyclopark Masters 6th March 2015, Cyclopark 3rds then 4th 7th March 2015, Belgium Masters’ Kermesse 8th March 2015

By paul

“They never ever ease up eh?!” Said Richard B after lasting an incredible 45 minutes in a Belgian Masters’ kermesse today.

“Lol I did warn you mate” I replied!

“I’m sure Barny said something similar last year?!”

Our team’s amazing weekend started on Friday with Barny winning the bunch sprint in the Masters’ Crit at Cyclopark to take a fantastic second place. Please don’t be fooled by the word “Masters” as the first 11 places were occupied by 1st and 2nd Cats.

On Saturday at Cyclopark we had Trevor and Richard G in the 3rds but unfortunately Rich came down and suffered mild concussion along with considerable cuts and bruises. Thanks Andy and your wife for driving his car home. Speedy recovery Rich

In the 4ths our new superstar Alex got into the winning break and was just pipped to the line, finishing second and nailing his 3rd Cat and we’re only in March!  Well done mate. 

Today, Steve, Rich B and I went to Belgium to ride a pan flat 60km Masters’ kermesse.

F#ck it was fast. Or as Rich put it:

“There was no time for sight seeing, Pamela Anderson could have been on the side of the road and I wouldn’t have seen her”

It was also the most aggressive of the 15 or so kermesses I’ve started (and occasionally finished); elbows, shouting, swearing (probably, I don’t know much Flemish), cutting each other up and fierce fierce speeds out of the corners which, incidentally came 5 times every 2km lap, equating to 150 maximal efforts out of the saddle!

With a field of 90, Rich and I did a practice lap to recce the course and found ourselves lining up right at the back: first schoolboy error! Steve however followed my advice and was waiting right up the front, clipped in and leaning against the barriers, soaking up the sunshine!

Off we went with the sun shining brightly, in shorts and short sleeves, what amazing weather for a bike race as Rich and I tried to move up as Steve kindly moved back although I fear he didn’t have much of a say in things!

All the corners were right handers (fully closed roads they can do what they like).  I don’t know about you but I’m slightly happier cornering to the left so this was going to be tough. Add into the mix that my fractured right elbow is still not quite fixed and I must admit I was getting pushed about in the first few laps.

With 27 minutes on my clock (of a 90 minute race)  I was really beginning to wonder what was happening to my body and was desperately disappointed to see such a few amount of minutes had passed. Maybe this was too early in the season to be taking on such a task?

Anyway I manned the f up and got on with it, by now passing Steve each lap who was roadside and cheering us on.

I saw Rich once as he moved up looking great but unfortunately, moving up in the field in Belgium takes as much effort as a bunch sprint back home so we lost him at 46 minutes.

Richard’s average heart rate was180 compared to 160 at last weekend’s hilly 2nd cat race! He bloody loved it though!

That left just me and with 10 laps (30 mins) to go. I was pretty much last at this point so I had nothing to lose, I started digging in to move up and once I’d made that decision, all of a sudden,  wonderful things started happening:

– My cornering improved: I stopped letting riders undercut me and I laid off the brakes, shutting the door on them

– I started shouting (in Flemish!) to people I was there and they gave me wheels

– I wasn’t getting bullied any more I was doing the bullying; my elbows were out and I was riding how I wanted not how they wanted me to.

I had gained some respect. I also realised that I was coming out of every corner in too big a gear. No wonder that first hour nearly killed me. Now I’m being cleverer about my gear selection and accelerating back up to speed with ease.

5 to go

We are in one line, I am mid peloton and holding my position.

4 to go

I’m still moving up, top 20, I have never been in so much pain but I’m not letting this slip away now

3 to go

2 to go

Suddenly everybody sat up (for the first time since the off I might add) and10 or so riders jump off the front. The road is now blocked but, more importantly, I’m losing all the ground I’ve made up.


We’re all fighting for gaps now like it’s the bloody World Championships!

1 to go, 2km.

The bell

The sprint starts. Already?!!

We’re in one line and this time just holding the wheel in front is a result and I can’t do any more than that.  I follow the line in and out of the final two corners just holding my place.

I’m spent. I’m absolutely shattered and I feel very very ill as I cross the finish line.

22nd place! Wtf?! Unbelievable, I finished!

Elation and what’s more prize money down to 25th so I win 5 Euros.

What a weekend

No. What a bloody amazing weekend.

And what a team


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Cyclopark Masters 6th March 2015, Cyclopark 3rds then 4th 7th March 2015, Belgium Masters’ Kermesse 8th March 2015
01/03/15 Race Reports

SERRL Tenterden Sunday 1st March 2015

By Paul

Photo www.davehaywardphotos.com

Driving home from the 60-something mile road race in Tenterden today I found myself getting a little emotional.

Was it the fact that, after 6 months of hard winter training I got that first-oh-so-unsure-of-my-form race under my belt?

Or perhaps it was the fact that all 8 of our team, PB Cycle Coaching RT, rode their bloody socks off?

Or that we had prepared for this race together and then today rode like a team and communicated throughout the race like the great friends we’ve now become?

Or that we had team mates, partners, friends and family all come to watch?

Or could it have been how I had to destroy myself on that bastard climb in ways that I didn’t know were possible?!

You know, I reckon it was a bit of all these, making me an extremely proud, relieved and highly motivated man tonight, as our racing has now truly begun

So what happened?

80 starters.  5 and a bit laps of the 12 mile circuit which featured a fierce climb into Tenterden, some very fast windy sections and a few rises that really hurt the legs for good measure!

Barny got in 2 breaks fairly early on, we covered the counters but he was reeled back in.

Word then travelled through the peloton that there had been a crash but, although Barny, Stu and Trevor all went down, thankfully nobody was hurt.

They were to pay a price for their furious chase back on though later on.

About half way through the race a break went up the road without one of us in it so I turned to Barny and, upon realising he was still in bits after his chase I then spoke to Ed!  Ed jumped away at the foot of the climb, gained some ground all the way up and was still away over the top.  We did sweep him up on the windy (understatement) fast section but still, he got us plenty of air-time.

2 to go

Richard G had positioned him beautifully in the peloton throughout most of the race, great ride.

Andy TB was making it look effortless, when he turned to me for a natter on the mentally fast windy section but I was less than chatty, sorry mate!

Richard B’s gear cable snapped leaving him just the small ring so it was goodbye from him but an incredible ride to this point in his first race in years.

Up the climb for the penultimate time and the earlier chase had left Stu and Trevor in the red for too long and they lost contact, as did Ed after his massive solo effort.  They are only yards back though and are still in contention.

Me, Barny and Andy left now.  I am turning myself inside out but I’m over the penultimate climb.  I must say at this point that I’ve been particularly pleased with a few aspects of my riding today:

  • I’ve managed to move around at will as each time I saw a possible gap I would say to myself: “you can get 2 Belgians in there!”
  • I’ve been the leeward side and near the front all day
  • I’ve only been putting down the power when I’ve needed to

Add to that the fact that the weather for the first time this year was amazing and my team have given me and each other so much encouragement lately and I was starting to think about the finish.  It was a short, uphill drag.  I can do this.  A few miles before we got to the bell (just shy of 50 miles into the race I guess) I hit a drain/pothole/something else that the council could have bloody fixed but, other than a loud bang, I got away with it.  1 minute later my tyre was flat.

Puncture.  Shit.

What’s more we’re going downhill t about 40 mph.  I couldn’t put my hand in the air so just prayed that I’d stay upright and everyone would go around me.  They did I was delighted to see that the bunch was less than half the size it was at the start.

I was doing ok.

I grabbed a wheel from neutral service to get me home (my own wheel may I add), well aware of my own limitations (I was not getting back in on my own with 1 lap to go) and watched the finish.

Barny and Andy came in approximately 15th an 16th and Trevor and Stu just off the back.

Post race banter and a coffee and everyone was very pleased with their form so early on in the season and we’re all aware of where we need improve (it mainly involves eating less cake, doesn’t it always?!).

I’ve said everything, I’m smiling ear to ear.  Now get yourselves on Rider HQ at 6pm, let’s enter the next one and do it all over again!


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SERRL Tenterden Sunday 1st March 2015
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