Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Full Podium Sweep for Caton at the Nationals

Following Paul Caton's trip to Manchester for the World Championships he headed off to Newport for the LVRC National Event: "I looked at my Manchester events as a warm up really," he recalls. "I didn't expect to medal but I got closer than I expected and it gave me some excellent pointers for improvement."

Bronze Pursuit

The 2 km pursuit was a new event for Caton. Held on Sunday morning, it began with the qualifiers at 9am which decided on time the 4 riders that would make it into the ride off for Gold through to Bronze. "Having never ridden one of these before my strategy was just to go as hard as I could for the 8 laps," says Caton. "Unfortunately I had not warmed up enough so my time was a bit slow but just good enough to get into the ride off for bronze." 

The ride off is not so much about time but beating the other rider. Fortunately Caton had some expert assistance from Adrian Trott (Part time GB squad coach) who used the time-honoured method of letting a rider know how they are doing by walking the line. "For the first 4 laps he was walking away from me so I had to give it full gas for the last 4 laps and in the end won the bronze by around 3 seconds. In fact my time was only a few hundred of a second off silver. With a bit more practice I think I can do a lot better at this event."
Medals Galore for Paul Caton

Silver Scratch

This is the most straightforward of the track events - a 10km race over 40 laps with the first rider over the line being the winner. Says Caton: "Most riders in the peloton were marking me heavily and every time I tried to escape they brought me back. The race ended up a bit on the slow side and with seemingly little appetite to make it hard by attacking so it was just a question of making sure I was in the right place for the sprint. I found the right rider to follow but was not quite strong enough to get past him on the line so had to settle for 2nd." 

Gold Points

First up though, the Points Race on Saturday afternoon which proved to Caton's strongest suit. Held over 15Km or 60 laps with points awarded every 10 laps (5,3,2,1).

The entry of 25 riders included some keen competitors including some other GB riders who had competed at the recent World Track Champs at Manchester 2 weeks ago along with a smattering of ex Wales international squad members.

Caton remembers "As always the first sprint is always hotly contested so I just made sure I was ready for any counter attacks but after the sprint I decided to go on the attack and took 2 other riders with me. We were then joined by 3 others after 4 laps and then another 2 just before the sprint which I won."

This group effectively became the peloton, holding a consistent gap with Caton injecting much pace: "In each of the sprints I was always in the top three but as the winner was different each time it was easy to build up a points lead." This consistency ultimately netted Caton the gold medal.

By Sunday evening, Caton had a full set of podium medals: "I'm delighted with what I've achieved," he concludes. "It's taken a lot of training and sacrifice to get to this level so to get the payback is marvellous. I can finally award myself a few glasses of wine without feeling guilty. It's going to be a great off-season!"

Fellow team member Neil Wass adds "This caps a great season for Paul. He is our most prolific racer and - hardly surprising - our most consistent performer. He's worked so hard for this and it's richly deserved. We're looking forward to next spring already!"


Monday, 17 October 2011

World Masters Track Championships 2011

Paul Caton took part in the World Masters Track Championships that were held at Manchester Velodrome over the second week in October and which attracted over 600 riders from all round the World with virtually every cycling nation represented.

Caton competed in the 50 to 54 age category of the points and scratch races held on the Wednesday and Thursday respectively. Due to the number of entrants each race had two qualifying heats held in the morning with the final in the evening.

"The heats were tough," recalls Caton. "Everyone wanted to make sure of a place in the final. If you have flown in from Australia you are going to be serious about making the final. I managed to get away with the eventual overall winner with 8 laps to go and we stayed clear until the end so I picked up enough points to easily qualify for the final. The final was really hard and was run off at 29mph average speed and to be honest I was hanging on for the first 30 of the 60 laps. I started to feel better for the second half and as the bunch started to fragment under the pressure I was always at the head of the race. Unfortunately I could not score any points as the sprint laps were hotly contested so had to settle for 14th overall which I was pleased with given the quality of the other riders."

The next day saw the qualifying on the scratch race and Caton just managed to squeeze into the final with a 10th place (first 12 qualified from 24 starters, the maximum allowed) as the pace was frenetic again with many continental riders wanting to make sure of a place in the final.

In the final, he again needed 20 laps of the 40 lap race to find his legs as tiredness after almost 2 days of hard competition were starting to show: "The race was very tactical; the bunch kept slowing and then accelerating to catch riders that had attacked." With 10 laps to go the bunch slowed again at the top of the track. Caton took his chance, dived for the sprinters line and took half a lap lead within a matter of a minute.

Do or die: Paul charges clear of the field in the World Championships Scratch Race - thanks to

"I was soon joined by two Argentinians and an Italian and we worked together to maintain our advantage,"he continues. Unfortunately, the peloton sensed the danger and had started a chase effort: "We had a good move going but the bunch was really working to bring us back." Holding on for dear life, Caton kept the pace up but with half a lap to go the sprinters thundered by. "I tried to jump on the train which was tough after working so hard in the break, but I managed to hang on for 10th."

Reflecting on a successful week, Caton adds "With every race I am starting to gain more confidence in my ability to compete at this level and also learning the unique race craft associated with indoor track racing."

Saturday, 27 August 2011

The Coleman delivers - again!

Doug Coleman went into today's Virgin Active Road Race a little apprehensive. His training was disrupted last week by a fever which had him laid low for four days: "I hadn't really had chance to test myself; all I could do was rest to try & get over it as soon as possible." he recalls. The 234 race on the Cranfield Circuit is a stern test for those with their eye on the win: "it's more difficult to break away here than most courses," he continues. "There's always visibility and no major climb."

Coleman attacked on the first lap: "I was keen to test myself," he recalls. "But perhaps a touch too keen!" Although he created a substantial gap, no-one jumped with him and he knew that a race - long lone break would not be a realistic possibility.

Eventually at about half way, a second opportunity presented itself: "We got a group of six working and it held quite nicely," he says. "Although some dropped out and a couple of others bridged to us, the gap was pretty consistent."

By the end, the gap was over a minute: "I'm not that confident with my sprint so I launched with 1km to go, but the first attack was still in my legs." In the end, Coleman made 3rd out of a break of 5. "I'm pleased with that, particularly as I'd been such a major protagonist throughout." he concludes. "And I was beaten by an Italian ex pro!" referring to Flavio Zappi.

Super Saturday

Paul Caton returned to British Cycling Races today and showed his recent Italian Break has helped him hold his form. At the Revo Racing Road Race in Devon, he took 2nd place and the King of the Mountains prize: "I wa sup against a lot of younger riders, so it was especially good to have beaten everyone on the hills." he concludes

Monday, 11 July 2011

Report - TMG Horizon Road Race 2011

TMG Horizon Road Race 2011

The inaugural TMG Horizon Road Race got off to a flying start yesterday. Following a concerted publicity effort by the promoting club, 73 riders took to the start line and tackled the Cublington Circuit in Buckinghamshire.

The circuit has seen a lot of action over the years, but this event marked a return to the course after nearly a two year absence. Promoter Neil Wass comments “It’s a challenging circuit with a drag in the last km and then two steep-ish ramps so you it finds you out.”

Contrary to what was expected, there was little in the way of long term breaks, but that is not to say no –one was trying!. Mike Jackson of Luton CC dug deep with repeated attacks, especially on laps 2 and 3 which netted him the honours in the points competition but there were too many experienced riders in the bunch to let him get away: “I think I’m pretty heavily marked,” was his understatement at the finish.

Laps 4 and 5 continued with an aggressive pattern of attacks with Team Virgin Active and CC Luton attacking and countering repeatedly. Paul Caton of Anders TMG Horizon: “You got the feeling something was going to stick, but there were so many strong riders, it looked like it would end up the luck of the draw.”

With just under a lap to go, Andy Eagers of Derby Mercury entered the fray with a ferocious attack which had other riders hesitating. Gavin Rumbles took up the challenge for CC Luton and the two of them formed an alliance which din’t escape the attentions of the bunch and looked quite fragile with 4k to go.”I reckon they had about 15 seconds,” comments Douglas Coleman of the promoting team.

Fortunately for the brave escapees, an awkward incident at this point with a local motorist delayed the progress of the chasing bunch and added another few seconds. However, with a fast descent immediately afterwards, they still had to work hard to hold off the advancing pack.

Andy Eagers came in first, showing that even when outnumbered by the collective strength of local teams, a combination of savvy, selective effort and a little luck goes a long way, while Gavin Rumbles took second place, 4 seconds behind. Jeremy Addis led the bunch home at 12 seconds.

Thanks to a number of kind volunteers, the promoting team was able to field two riders, who worked hard. Doug Coleman took 8th place whilst Paul Caton was 16th. “It’s not a bad result for us,” comments Caton. “I’m working quite hard on the track at the moment and Doug is still recovering from a mountain biking accident, so pretty positive.”

Neil Wass concludes: “It was a great day’s racing – a challenging course, quality riders and the local teams really came out fighting. We’re already looking forward to next year.”


1  Andy Eagers Derby Mercury RC at 2:59:36
2  Gavin  Rumbles CC Luton at 4”
3  Jeremy Addis VC Montpellier at 12”
4  Roger  Browne Beeline Bikes Rt ST
5  Aaron McCaffrey Virgin Active
6  Christopher Dredge Team Milton Keynes
7  Conor Ryan VC Montpellier
8  Douglas Coleman Anders TMG Horizon
9  Neil Beasley Beeston RC
10  Joe Harris Reading CC
11  Mike  Jackson CC Luton
12  Jamie Scott Renault Rotor Race Team
13  Tony  Kiss Stratford CC
14  Gary Turnock Finsbury Park CC
15  Malcolm Dixon Severn RC
16  Paul Caton Anders TMG Horizon
17  Tom  Kirk Team Zappis
18  James  Foster Team Quest / The Bike Shop
19  Darren Parker Python RT
20  Gunther Zechmann Team Zappis
21  Mark Baines Spirit Racing
22  Lubomir Belak Welwyn Wheelers
23  Andy  Lack Kingston Wheelers
24  Justin  Belcher Banbury Star CC
25  Richard Stanton Arbiss LLP – Roy Pink
26  Paul Doel Team Quest / The Bike Shop
27  Rob Yeatman Team Jewson / Thule
28  Campbell Noon Virgin Active
29  Philip Murrell Finsbury Park CC
30  Chris  Grange Hemel Hempstead
31  Tim  Carter Virgin Active
32  Ben Leadbetter BC Private
33  Nigel  Williams Python RT
34  Ed Ashby BC Private
35  Hiroshi Kobayashi Team Milton Keynes
36  Damien Breen Kingston Wheelers
37  Ed Clemens VC10
38  Mark Williams Python RT
39  Tim  Hyde GS Henley
40  Mike  Inder Thames Velo
41  Aled Jones Gloucester City
42  John  Peters CC Luton
43  Sean Dines Virgin Active
44  Chris Smith Python RT
45  Andy Sykes Thames Velo
46  Clare Leaver Team Zappis
47  John  Donovan CS Grupetto
48  Edgar Medallin Finchley RT
49  Keir Apperley
50  Mark Jervis Python RT
51  Richard Cleaver VC Montpellier
52  Stephen  Nunn Artic RT
53  Ian  Humble Gloucester City
54  Rob Fletcher Arbiss LLP – Roy Pink
55  Richard Wood Team Milton Keynes
56  Mike  Deeney CC Luton
57  Tim  Kearley Rapha Condor CC
58  Joe Harris Reading CC

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Road Race Result

The Podium. Andy Eagers takes the trophy and chooses to enjoy the Prosecco at home!
A great, hard fought race today. Full report to follow, but here are the points placings:

  1. Andy Eagers Derby Mercury CC
  2. Gavin Rumbles CC Luton
  3. Jeremy Addis VC Montpelier
  4. Roger Browne Beeline Bikes RT
  5. Aaron McCaffrey Virgin Active
  6. Christopher Dredge Team MK
  7. Conor Ryan VC Montpelier
  8. Douglas Coleman Anders TMG Horizon RT
  9. Neil Beazley Beeston RC
  10. Joe Harris Reading CC
  11. Mike Jackson CC Luton
  12. Jamie Scott Renault RT
  13. Tony Kiss Stratford CC
  14. Gray Turnock Finsbury Park CC
  15. Malcolm Dixon Severn RC
watch for pics at and finish video at

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

pre-entries now closed for TMG Horizon Road Race

As of this post, there are 12 places available for entry on the line on Sunday July 10, excluding any DNS riders. We will of course accept entries on the day - price £20

VOLUNTEERS WELCOME if you can help and you're not on the list already circulated, email the organiser using the contact page. For those already enlisted to help, here are the links

Who's doing what

What's happening when

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Caton 9th at the Nationals

On a glorious hot summers day 125 riders turned out to compete in the Reading CC hosted Championships on an acknowledged deceptively tough 7.8 mile circuit near Henley on Thames – made doubly so as the heat increased through the day, peaking at 28C. All of the races were exceptionally animated and very competitive and made for a fantastic day of racing.

In the B category, 45 riders set off for 7 laps of the circuit (55 miles) and on lap 2 proceeded to set the fastest lap of the day at 18mins 50sec. Another clear winner in Malcolm Smith – St Ives CC in 2hrs 15mins, and 8 secs clear of Nigel Stephens – Finchley RT, with Simon Alexander a further second back.

As usual the B cat was the largest and fastest group with at least 30 of the 45 capable of being a medal winner including the top 10 riders from last weeks criterium championship - Paul came in ahead of all those.

Mr Consistency - Paul Caton
After the early break there were lots of counter attacks but the peleton was moving too quickly for them to stay away. Paul tried a few times himself but decided it was going to be down to a bunch sprint. This was going fine until he got trapped on the inside and could only launch 10 seconds after the everyone one else in front so had to settle for 5th in the bunch and 9th overall.

Team DS Nick Walker: "Another great result for Paul - he really is our top performer this year. To get top 10 at National level is pretty impressive but we know Paul's ambitions extend further than that."

Friday, 24 June 2011

Race Programme Available

we are still accepting entries for the Road Race on July 10 subject to availibility  - just email with the info to get your place on the sign on sheet and follow up with the standard form and payment by post.

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Monday, 6 June 2011

2nd place for Caton

top placing as Caton heads into peak form

Paul Caton rode the Lincoln Ridge 60 mile Road Race at Newark on Sunday placing 2nd overall and 1st in age category in this premier LVRC event. Showing some good form following wins during the week in the Gillingham and District hilly TT and at the Welwyn Wheelers track league on Friday, Caton looks to be peaking for the most important part of the season as the national track and road championships are now only weeks away.

With conditions for Sunday’s race being blustery the peloton seemed happy to let riders attack off the front without serious efforts to bring the escapees back which allowed a dangerous looking break of 8 riders forming. With Caton’s efforts to join the group being thwarted  by Team Jewson who followed his every move it looked like game over for the Hertfordshire rider.

However with two laps of the 10 mile circuit remaining, Caton noticed that a few riders had attacked off the front and were not being chased so slipping Team Jewson’s attention, he crossed the gap forming a reasonably strong group of 6 riders. Caton commented that “the riders in the group were of varying ability” but by keeping the pace steady everyone managed to contribute to try and catch the leading group who by now had a minute and a half’s lead.

Paul Caton -- top performer
The pace of this group was too high for some and after a further lap the chasers were whittled down to three. However with the lead group now starting to tire, Caton’s group caught them on a tough head wind section with 5 miles to go, and set up an interesting finish.

“With some powerful looking riders in the 11 man group I was not feeling that confident especially as my legs had been feeling tired all day,” Caton said afterwards. “and with a strong attack by one of the group in the last mile I had to wait for the final sprint.”

This turned out to be a formality for Caton who pushed his way out of a tight sprint with 150 metres to go to take an excellent result for the team.

"I'm pretty satisfied with that result," he concluded. "I just hope I can carry this form through to where I can make it count the most."

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Mixed Fortunes at the Divisional Championships

Tough day at the Div's

Paul Caton, Doug Coleman & Neil Wass all took the start line for the Central Region Championships this morning. The battle to be top rider of the region always attracts the best amateur riders plus the odd semi professional or two and they knew they had their work cut out: "Doug & I recce'd the course earlier in the week," says Neil Wass. "We wanted to give ourselves the best possible opportunity."

The promoters, Spirit Racing had chosen a course measuring 88 miles with a total of 24 climbs. "These kind of courses find you out," Wass adds. He, unfortuantely, fell victim to the arduous nature of the course and the stiff competition. Having retired on lap 6 of 9, he shakes his head: "I just didn't have it today."

Doug Coleman rode a textbook race. Always keeping within the front 10 riders of the main bunch, he was comfortable and confident. By lap 8, after a sudden downpour, a break of 5 riders had formed at the front and he formed a chase with a rider from Virgin Active. Then, disaster struck. The Virgin rider lost control on a tight corner with Coleman on his wheel: "There was nowhere to go, no time to do anything," he recalls.

It was Coleman's first racing crash: "I was in shock so it took me a while to put myself back together, but all I need is a new wrap of bar tape actually and  for a bit of road rash to heal. I guess my luck had to run out sometime but it is a pity it was today because I was feeling pretty strong."

Paul Caton - experience pays off again
Paul Caton, was now the team's last remaining rider in a field which had whittled down from 80 to around 30: "I saw Neil had packed and Doug had fallen, so I thought I'd better try to get something for the team!" he jokes. "But it was one of the toughest races I've done in a while. I dangled off the back of the bunch a couple of times and had to really dig deep to get back."

Caton crossed the line in 17th place. A former winner of the Regional Champs, he takes all the excitement in his stride: "I've never worked so hard for three points & a tenner!"

Monday, 16 May 2011

Caton performs in Wet & Windy Warwickshire

top five in LVRC national series

Paul Caton - National LVRC Points

Paul Caton continued his run of form yesterday in the Percy Stallard National series in Warwickshire.

"It was windy, so, as hard as  tried - and I tried damn hard - I just couldn't make a break work." he said afterwards. For all his frustration, he eventually decided to recover a little and challenge the sprint.

"I've been working on the sprint recently," he continued. "It's mentally tough because you have to be a bit clinical in your training - it's more than just riding for fun but I thought I would see how I was progressing."

The training seeems to be paying off. Caton crossed the line in 5th place, with only a metre or so covering 2nd to 5th place: "That's a good progression from where I was last year." he concluded. "It's frustrating that I was so close to a few more points, but there is a positive there too."

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Podium again for Coleman

3rd again for team's number one - and he wants more

The Reading Road Race on the great Milton Circuit in Oxfordshire today looked a challenging prospect: "We tend to favour the courses with more climbing," explains Neil Wass. "This circuit is pretty flat and is very exposed. It's all about the wind and positioning."

The brisk winds as the day began only added to the difficulty of dealing with this course: "We thought it was unlikely that a break would stay away," adds Doug Coleman. "But never say never."

The pace was high at the beginning and a move went just before the race crossed the line for the first time. This break was missed by the Anders Horizon riders, but Coleman was watching as it maintained a gap: "I knew I had to get across." He wasn't the only one and he spotted an opportunity when Mike Jackson of Luton CC attacked off the front of the bunch: "I've known Mike a while and I thought we would work well together."

Happy but not yet satisfied - Doug Coleman

The two riders crossed the gap quickly enough to avoid a defensive bunch move and went straight to wok in the break. Says Coleman: "I was shouting 'now is the time to race!' because I knew that was the most vulnerable time."

The group shed a couple of weaker riders as teh hammer went down and slimmed to a cohesive six. Coleman continues: "We were fairly evenly matched and I think that helped because we all seemed to be working pretty hard. We all kept the effort up right up to the last kilometre."

The gap grew to nearly two minutes and, having bided his time, Coleman followed an attack by Jackson to sprint to third place: "You can always do better," he concludes. "The only time I will sit back and be content is when I get the win."

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

New Supporter for 2011

reproduced from

The Kings Arms in Berkhamsted has sponsored the town’s cycle team by way of demonstrating its commitment to the local people and its support of clubs and societies in the area.
Fortifying its presence in Berkhamsted High Street, the  Kings Arms is proud to sponsor a successful local team, the members of which spend most weekends competing in races around the country. The team will be showcasing their new Kings Arms emblazoned cycle shirts, produced specially in Italy and funded by the Kings Arms, wherever they race or train around the nation.
The team gathered outside the front of the building for an official photoshoot in full force, kitted out in their new shirts and a few celebratory bottles of champagne to reinforce a great team spirit. With the Kings Arms logo splashed on the arms of their shirts, the spectacle even stopped traffic and passers-by as they dominated the centre of Berkhamsted.
With the Kings Arms as an ideal social meeting spot, the team are likely to be making use of the new courtyard area outside this Summer as they hope to revel in post-race winner’s glory.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Gutsy team peformance at Millbrook

Tantalisingly close on Bank Holiday Monday

A team of four Started the mens Millbrook Classic this morning. For one day a year, this special venue is made available to cycle racing and, combining the security of closed roads with a major alpine - style climb, it makes for a special race.
Doug Coleman, Andy Connington, Neil Wass, Bran Curran
Doug Coleman had previous history with the course, so he was prepared: "The climb is a real challenge - it weeds out any weak riders, irrespective of skills - it's unforgiving; there's nowhere to hide."

A brisk pace from the off saw riders slip off the back of the bunch on the first time up the climb. Says Neil Wass: "It was seriously challenging because once you'd climbed the ascent, you were looking at headwinds for 2-3km -you had to really tuck in."

The team had a couple of local favourites to watch, one of whom had won on Saturday, so Coleman & Wass rode as a team with the aim of covering the known threats. "We were very much racing with our heads," continues Wass. "I was keeping in touch with Doug throughout and I think we achieved something there - I certainly covered a coupe of potentially dangerous moves."

Wass followed a move on lap 2 of 7 while Coleman bided his time. A break went on lap 4 but as it didn't contain any known threats, the group was left to build a small but significant gap: "There was no reason to chase," explains Wass. "There were bigger teams than us, and there was time."

Wass continued to chase down moves whilst Coleman made selective testing efforts, but on the whole, he was conservative until the final climb:"It was a case of now or never," he recounts. "So I gave it everything." Continues Wass: "I was pretty chuffed to see how quickly Doug move once he'd chosen his moment. One minute he was in the front of the bunch; the next he'd made it to the back of the lead group. It was as if he'd teleported himself!"

With 4km to go, Coleman sat on the lead group, but felt that time was running out: "I can't sprint. Or at least, that's the way I feel relative to others, so I prepared for a long - range launch." With 1500m to go, he attacked again into a strong headwind: "It was always going to be hard, but it was an especially big ask after my bridging effort."

Having been consumed by the front group of 6 once again, he  remained with them, but the 2nd group, containing Wass, caught the break just before the finish line: "I was quite a way back as I didn't want to contribute to the effort which was chasing Doug down," says Wass. "It was pretty frisky -we were clocking over 60kph on the flat." Coleman finished 9th, with Wass in 13th place.

Andy Connington and Brian Curran came in with later groups. It was Brian Curran's first Road Race: "That was one tough intro," says team DS Nick Walker. Curran continues:"I expected it to be tough, but it kind of reassures me that there are easier races out there, so I know I'll survive and it was refreshing to stretch my legs." New to 3rd Cat is Andy Connington: "It's definitely a different level," he says. "I've got to focus on more high intensity work because this is the new norm."

Concludes Coleman: "It's another peformance to build from, but we've made major progress in terms of racing as a team and I really think we're close to some more major results."

Full result

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Podium for Coleman in Surrey League

"The win is coming."

Douglas Coleman surged into form yesterday with his strongest performance this year at the Basingstoke CC Surrey League Road Race.

"This was a 2/3 category race, so I was feeling confident after my 11th place at the Archer last week," he said afterwards.  After 32km, Coleman attacked and quickly formed a group of 6 riders. "I felt good and with such a hilly course, I thought there was a good chance of staying away."

At around the 80km mark, 7 others joined the group: "I played it a bit more carefully at this point," Coleman continued. "There were more people to share the workload so I actually regained a bit of strength."

The group of thirteen stayed away right to the finish, but Coleman had already set his sights high. Powering up the 25% gradient to the finish line, he took third place in what may well be his strongest performance to date.

"I wasn't feeling great this morning, and I had a stitch for most of the race, so although the result is pleasing, there'still room for improvement," he commented. "And given my winter injury, the curve is still very much in the right direction."

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Solid stuff from Coleman at the Archer Road Race

A tough course awaited the competitors at the Archer Road Race today. The infamous Chiltern course returned this year after an absence of severa years and included 3 climbs on each of the fifteen mile laps.

Doug Coleman and Paul Caton took the start for Anders TMG Horizon, both expecting a tough race. Coleman, having rested carefully before the race, stayed with the leaders right up to the last climb of Whiteleaf: "I managed all the right moves, so I was quite pleased with my general skills," he said afterwards. "I was just lacking the extra couple of percent to stay with the winning group."

Coleman finished with a strong 11th place: "It's good to get the points, but I can't help wishing for the top ten," he admitted.

Paul Caton demonstrated the team's strength-in-depth with a 21st place where many protagonists failed to finish: "It's a little disappointing not to come away with a point or two when I was so close," he said. "But it is a prestigious race with a strong field, and I couldn't get that kind of training on my own!"

organiser's report here
full result here

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Coleman scores National Points in 3rd race

Coleman & Wass continue progress

Glade Road Race, April 10, 2011 - Douglas Coleman & Neil Wass headed to Essex for another Elite level Road Race today. Having completed the Peter Young Memorial 2 weeks earlier, they were optimistic: "We both knew the course," says Wass afterwards. "It's an advantage here because it's pretty lumpy."

Continues Coleman: "I placed a couple of times here last season, but the field looked a bit stronger this time."

Amidst fresh and clear sprng weather, the race went hard from the gun, with the duo missing some early moves, one of which stuck: "The top guys were, frankly, out of my league," says Wass. "My strategy is to try & support Doug and sweep up some points further down the field."

Neil Wass (2nd left) leaves nothing in the tank
Another move went on the 3rd lap, and Coleman was frustrated: "My positioning wasn't great at that point and once I saw the gap, I knew it was too late."

The rest of the race saw them growing in strength & confidence in a rapidly diminishing group: "It was very much my kind of course," continued Wass. "There was one main climb and two secondary hills in each of the 9 laps. The main climb tended to eliminate the weaker guys and it was very much a race of attrition."

Bizarrely, such was the reduction in numbers that it became deceptive as to the nature of the race: "Because there were relatively few riders in our group," continues Coleman. "I thought there must have been a boat load of them in the front groups."

As it happened, there were relatively few, and the testing pace of the main bunch had dropped more than a handful of quality riders.

Doug Coleman (left) tucks before his final sprint for 19th

On the last lap, Coleman decided to attack out of the bunch and after one attempt which was brought back, he went again: "I just thought I had nothing to lose so I may as well test myself." Staying away up the finish hill, he came in with 19th place, only 3:15 behind the winner. Wass arrived in the same group for 24th place.

"On the day, I was disappointed," concludes Coleman. "I could have perhaps followed one of the earlier moves and been in one of the small front groups. But it shows I'm heading in the right direction." Wass continues: "When you realise how many people were jettisoned out of the back of the group, it makes you feel better. 3 laps were run out a over 41kph and we climbed over 1500m over 90 miles. You can't beat that kind of training !"

Organiser Will Hedden says in his report that "the field gets stronger every year." Nick Walker, team DS adds: "Our guys went all out and took some scalps themselves. Hopefully we'll continue this progress because it's certanly looking good at this early stage."

Thanks to Martin Orpen for the pictures

full result here

Monday, 28 March 2011

Success in Sussex as Wass adds to his tally

Neil Wass returned from the Bayeux Landscapes Road Race yesterday with a positive outcome and a bit of work in progress.

"I went a bit further than usual to get a race," he says. "There's a bit of a shortage of races in our local region and the Surrey League have some interesting courses."

The Barcombe Circuit is a tough, uncompromising circuit. Unlike the typical road race circuit, there is a good deal of climbing. In fact, over the 100km raced yesterday, the riders climbed more than Alpe D'Huez - over 1,100m of altitude gain.

"It's great because it does find you out if you're not in form and that means that the strongest guy is more likely to win, which isn't the case with every course," Wass adds.

After a few early moves, Wass was determined to preserve his power for the closing stages. Unfortunately, the narrow lanes and traffic caused complications in the final kms and he found himself further back than planned, "But I was determined to have a dig," he recalls. "I went for it in the last couple of hundred metres."

There was a bit more to it than just that though: "You have to be a bit assertive," he smiles. "I took a trip in the gutter to get past the odd guy."

Having finished 14th, he came away with points, but is convinced he can do better: "There's more to come on this circuit. I'll come back and have another go because now I know the course, I think I can do more."

Monday, 21 March 2011

Patience Pays as Coleman gets back up to speed

Having endured a lengthy lay off this winter, Doug Coleman has had his fair share of bad luck.

Yesterday's Peter Young Memorial Road Race in Surrey was his first opportunity to test his form. His training only resumed in early February after a knee injury over Christmas cost him over six weeks of base training

"I hadn't really done any big efforts," he recalls. "I was anxious not to over - stress the knee in training, so I had modest expectations, especially given the category of race."

The race was a 90 mile National B category featuring many national level riders and semi- pro teams. Neil Wass and Paul Caton also lined up for the event: "None of us were too optimistic," says Caton. "But we knew if we could get round with the Elite guys that it would be good training at that distance."

And get round they did. Coleman, however, proved he has lost very little during his lay - off, and stepped on the gas at the right moment: "About the 4th lap, I heard Neil shout to me that one of the key guys was attacking. I didn't need to think about it - it just jumped on the pedals and went for it."

This break turned into a solid second group on the road and stayed away for the rest of the race. All in, around 25 riders stayed ahead. Coleman: "I had to battle hard to stay with them - I was chewing the handlebars an awful lot, but it was great to have made the selection and it's fair to say I exceeded my expectations."

team effort: Paul Caton, Neil Wass & Douglas Coleman
Caton and Wass, meanwhile, were sitting tight in the main group: "We knew there were no points left to race for, so we just kept having the odd dig and it's a good place to push yourself at that level," says Wass.

Coleman finished in the front 30 riders: "Considering it was my first race of the year, I'm happy with that," he says. "I've got plenty of room for improvement, so I'm nicely ahead of where I was last year." Caton and Wass finished in a depleted main group with scores of retirements: "A good all round piece of top end training," says Caton. "We'll all be stronger for this after a bit of recovery!"

Monday, 14 March 2011

Caton Back in the Groove

After Saturday's disappointment in the Spring Chicken Road Race (when he was brought down in a massive crash within the last Kilometre) Paul Caton rode the A5 Rangers LVRC 50 mile Road Race at Towcester on Sunday 13th March and came in a credible 6th overall against stiff opposition.
Paul Caton - holding form

Won by Jim Moffatt, the winning move came inside the first half lap of the 6 mile circuit which included a long climb up to the finish. "A break formed with all the key riders so I knew I had to be in it," said Caton afterwards. "So I jumped across with relative ease although unfortunately so did a number of other riders. At 16 riders (from a bunch of 50) it was a bit large to work effectively but we managed to stay away." Caton continued  "Jim Moffatt attacked alone after 3 laps and stayed away until the finish with the remainder of the group staying together until the end." Caton took 6th overall in the sprint and 3rd in age Category.

"I was pleased with that," he continued. "Especially as I rode yesterday and with the results, Jim Moffatt, Campbell Noon, Phil Rayner and Michael Stephenson occupying the first four places,  these are amongst some of the best LVRC riders in the country. It gives a good indication of my form; all those miles with Neil and the team are paying off."

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Teamwork pays off as Wass opens his 2011 account

Paul Caton - solid start

Paul Caton & Neil Wass headed for Surrey this weekend to test their early form at the Surrey League Kingston Wheelers Road Race. Starting earlier in the year than usual, they were modest in their expectations: "I tend to go for the odd Time Trial at this stage normally," explains Caton. "It helps me to put some markers down and see where I need to focus my training.

The first race for both of them, they had little idea of what to expect. Says Wass "This is nearly a month earlier than the normal start for me. I'm a creature of habit and I like to see the clocks go forward before I get the race bike out."

They were fortuntae with the weather. Dry roads and bright sunshine helped the chilly temperature of 7 degrees feel  spring - like.

Neil Wass - feeling positive

"It was great to get out there and race," says Wass. "We just went to see wat we could do. We've both put a fair bit of work in since Christmas." "Er yeah," adds Caton, "We've totalled over 4,000 miles since January the 1st."

The pace was high from the off, and both riders stayed near the front to watch for any dangerous moves. "We sat in for the first couple of laps," recounts Caton. "It's rare to see anything conclusive happen this soon and there were 10 laps in total."

From thereon, the boys got busy and taking turns, made sure they were in any move which looked threatening. On Lap 4, Caton solo'd away for half a lap and was away with a Dulwich Paragon rider. "That was great," says Wass. I remember thinking 'great, I can have a rest for a bit!"

Things started to get more serious as Caton's move was brought back and Wass found himself following the counter move: "It was a bit sooner than I expected," says Wass. "But you're never sure which will be the winning move; especially in the 1st race of the season." This break opened a gap of over 30 seconds but was brought back after a lap and a half, but the shock for Wass was that a counter move went very quickly and contained riders he thought would be dangerous: "

"I could have done with a bit of recovery, but I got the feeling that I was about to miss the winning move," he recalls. "So I had to dig deeper than I would normally at that stage and bridge across." A big push got him over to the break and 9 riders worked well together, building a gap of nearly 2 minutes at its peak. Caton, meanwhile, was watching and covering moves in the main group, which contributed significantly.

Wass crossed the line in 9th, a little frustrated with the  result: "I gave everything to the break and cramped on the finish hill, so it was a bit frustrating, but a lot of that came from my bridging effort and if I hadn't have done that, I'd most likely have been out of the points. It's probably my strongest ever start to the season and I did feel pretty comfortable for most of the race. The fine tuning will come."

Paul Caton: "It was a bit more demanding than many races I've done so it was great training, both physically and mentally. I'm really pleased I rode it and it's mde me keen to do more of these races this year." 

Monday, 28 February 2011

Boley impresses in damp debut

The rain hadn't stopped all morning, but on Saturday, Richard Boley had made his mind up - he was racing.

The white jersey takes another soaking. pic: Dave Hayward
After an hour's drive, he lined up for the San Fairy Ann Hog Hill Circuit race in the pouring rain: "I was pretty psyched up. It was too cold to be hanging around," he recounts.

Seems he wasn't the only one with that idea and the pace was hot from the off. Boley stayed near the front and got straight into a strong move with two others which established a gap within the first couple of laps.

"There were one or two stronger riders," he continues. "And any stronger guys who'd been left behind seemed to decide that we had a good move going." Within another couple of laps, the group swelled to ten or so riders. Says Boley,: "It started to look quite useful."

The group worked well together and quickly opened a sizeable gap. "I was keen to get the gap established, but I didn't want to overdo it so the group of 10 helped me dose my effort." Careful as he was, this lead group actually lapped many of the main field before the finish, demonstrating the depth of ability on hand.

Nearing the finish, the hitherto cohesive group started to splinter: "You feel like you have to go with the attacks near the end but I think I could have finished better," admits Boley. He finished 6th after an hour's racing in pouring rain.

Team DS, Nick Walker is delighted: "We're seing some real gritty efforts already this year; I'm full of admiration for these guys who can out and hammer themselves in such terrible conditions, and Richard's result is an awesome way to start the season Hats off to him."

Boley, too, is happy with the day: "It's great to have got a result on a day when some may have written off even riding! I just wanted to get a bit of race pace riding in before the Spring Chicken in a fortnight, but the Hog Hill Circuit is a great discovery for me. I love the layout and the challenge of the climb, so I'll be back for more very soon."

Monday, 7 February 2011

Injury Time for Doug

Bad Luck sidelines our speed merchant for over a month

On December the 29th, like many other cyclists, Douglas Coleman decided it was too dangerous to train on the road. The sub zero temperatures had left the roads in a decidedly diffcult state

So, he met up with Brian Curran on his mountain bike and went for a spin in Ashridge Woods.

'Good idea', you might think. There's no shortage of enthusiastic protagonists at this time for year for off road training. It's more time efficient compared with road riding (you tend to work harder), it sharpens the bike handling skills a touch, it's far warmer (because the effort-to-speed ratio is much higher than on-road) and it's great fun as everyone has a stack at some point.

Unfortunately, Doug's one stack on this ride has cost him dearly.

His penchant for speed got the better of him as he hit a branch with his knee and well and truly whacked his knee cap. "I shrugged it off and carried on as quickly as possible to catch up with Brian", he recalls. "It did twang a bit but I thought nothing of it."

After returning home, he soon realised all was not well: "It started to swell up so I decided I would stay in the next day and rest it." The next day, the swelling was beginning to resemble a balloon, but still Doug remained optimistic: "The following week, the swelling had gone down a bit so I got back on the bike."

This would appear to have been his major error. The knee swelled up out of all proportion over a painful hour ride and Doug was forced to reconsider his medium term training plan.

Doug's had lots of time to perfect his training food

After several weeks of staying indoors, his trombone playing [the day job] is in outstanding form, but his legs are flagging and the Physiotherapist has ordered further rest, after informing him that his left leg has next-to-no quadriceps muscle. "At least I've had time to perfect my Pantani pasta recipe," he jokes.

Doug is one of our more philospohical riders, and if anyone could handle a frustrating situation like this, it's him, but by Feb the 1st he had lost patience on a few occasions.

"I know there are worse things to happen, and I know it could have happened at a far worse time, but I've now had over 4 weeks off the bike, which is my longest absence for a few years, and there's no denying that I haven't been easy to live with at times," he admits.

Thankfully, as we put this piece to bed, he has managed 2 rides over the first weekend in Feb with no apparent adverse effects. He's taking the return steady though. As he said last week; "The last thing I need is to aggravate the injury by pushing too hard too soon. There's plenty of time until any major target races; the most important thing is to get the recovery right."

The mountain bike is staying in the shed until further notice.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

3 is the Magic Number for Andy C

leading from the front - Andy C. at Hillingdon (pic
3 points for newcomer in his 3rd race

Andy Connington came back fighting last weekend as he returned to Hillingdon Circuit for a double dose at the Imperial Winter Series.

After using the Saturday as a warm up, Andy was determined to deliver on the Sunday. "I'd had a bit of fun and didn't want to pressurise myself, but by Sunday, I must confess I was chomping at the bit," He recalls.

The Sunday was as windy as the day before: "There were mutterings in the bunch about sitting in and taking it steady because of the wind, but that was like a red rag to a bull with me and I thought this may well be an opportunity I could use." Taking the bull by the horns, our newest member launched out of the bunch after one lap and created a respectable gap. Within another lap, 3 other riders joined him which made the winning move and netted Andy 3rd place.

"It wasn't exactly a textbook move," says Andy. "But it did create an opportunity that I might not otherwise have had, so I'm happy with my efforts and I keep learning by pushing myself that bit further every time."

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Could this be the earliest ever start to the racing season?

He would have raced earlier, but the last possibility was denied Andy Connington by the arctic conditions which brough the entire South East to a standstill on December the 18th.

well it was warm in the club house.....
Our newest recruit is also probably our most enthusiastic rider right now. Despite temperatures barely above zero, he finally made it to Hillingdon to race his first event on Bank Holiday Monday January 3rd.

"This was about familiarisation," he tells us afterwards. "The boys have been telling me I am going well, but that doesn't translate to results immediately. I tried not to get carried away and limited my efforts to a couple of selective attacks."

"His focus seems spot on," comments team stalwart Colin McDonnell. "Many people train hard but too many new riders don't take the time to learn the art of group riding which led to problems with entry level bunch racing last season."

Continues Andy: "I witnessed one crash and was pushed off the circuit at one point as well, but survived unscathed, so it was a positive experience and with plenty of time to play around, I am giving myself a better foundation to work with."