Monday, 4 November 2013

It's Not Over Yet

Yes, the main racing season is quite a way back, but for 'hard core' head cases, there are still a few 'select' events out there, even if you discount the complete insanity of cyclo cross.

Neil decided to venture down to Hillingdon on Saturday in search of a few late points. New boy Baynesy decided to tag along for the Inverse Autumn Circuits.
Ian Baynes & Neil Wass - late season placings at Hillingdon

After a fairly uneventful first half, things hotted up a touch and having tried the 'one two' move and some solo surges, the duo decided a bunch sprint was most likely so restrained themselves for the last 5 laps or so.

The result? 3rd for Neil, 4th for Ian, so it looks like Neil will be up to 2nd Cat next season with Michael Skipsey.

Says Neil: "I didn't expect to do quite so well today if I'm honest - that's only my 3rd Road event since August! I was a bit more organised than usual though - I even had time for a warm up on my rollers."

Ian: "That was a great way to kick off riding with the TMG boys. It's great to have team mates who work with you through the race and play around with different tactics. I'm really looking forward to next season."

Monday, 28 October 2013

TMG 'Storm' to a Team Win

As Southern Britain braced itself with the onset of St Jude's Storm yesterday morning, our two teams were bracing themselves for a messy Gentlemans' Team Time Trial. Organised by our mates at Arbis Raceteam , we were pretty sure their team would be the fastest.

6am Sunday saw a massive rainstorm hit Hertfordshire. Fortunately, by the time our riders set off to the event, it had passed. Conditions like this also bring challenges after the event though, principally in terms of debris and sharp flints which are washed into the road. There was also no shortage of surface water, with many low sections flooded into the bargain.

 The 2 teams of 5 were reduced to 4 and 5 when new arrival Ian Baynes punctured en route to the start, his tyre so badly slashed that a repair was impossible.

Once started, two more riders were lost within the first 5km out of 60 so that by the time they reached the Park Gate Climb up to Wing, we had only 7 riders remaining out of 10. Seven very determined riders though, as you can see from the echelon formations in the 40mph crosswinds on that section.

By the finish, team A had lost Ross to another puncture, so Neil rolled over the line, gasping and clinging on to Luke's back wheel for grim death. The time didn't count though; 4 riders needed to finish in order to be officially eligible.

Team B meanwhile, had stayed calm and focused, worked together amidst the disruption and crossed the line 4 seconds ahead of the Didcot Phoenix team.

There may have been some luck involved, but there was also a fair share of determination and plenty of effort. In particular, our mate Mark Jervis, who saved the day by filling in for Paul Caton, and new boy Matt Rushton, who was seriously struggling with form only a week ago whilst recovering from a late season broken collarbone.
winners Eugene Rack, Mark Jervis, Matt Rushton, Darren Powell, John Lacey

So all in all, a great morning out - it looks like the Gentlemens' TTT could be around for a few years to come, along with a great Cafe HQ at The Cog.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Silver National Medal for John

We fielded a Team of three last Sunday for the LVRC National TT Championship. Amidst the excitement of a National Medal, we were a bit slow in filing a report.

Full Gas, as they say - John Lacey shoots for Silver at the LVRC National TT Champs

Held near Coventry, a rolling course made it a tad more challenging than the typical Drag Strip most commonly associated with Time Trialling. Darren Powell joined Paul Caton, who is still battling back to form after his ruptured spleen in July and John Lacey.

John clocked the fastest time by some margin: "It's nice to see my name up there," he said afterwards. "I have spent most of the season concentrating on TTs though so I reckon this could be almost as good as it gets. I did say almost. though!"

With a time of 00:46:19, John took the Silver Medal in the B Category
Paul's Category was very hotly contested, so his time of 00:48:08 left him out of the silverware. Darren, on a rare race outing, posted 00:51:08. "It was a good experience," he said. "Hopefully I'll have time to get some more training in and try again next year!" 

Sunday, 15 September 2013

1-2 for Ross and Luke

Brothers Take It To The Wire as Season nears end

Ross and Luke Clarke both put their early season difficulties behind them as they posted the fastest times at the Stevenage Cycling Club Time Trial yesterday.
just 3 seconds in it, but Ross took the win

Held on the F14 course, the 12 mile event was especially challenging in windy conditions, but the idea of a head-to-head seemed to motivate the brothers and they finished within 3 seconds of each other.

Ross took the win: "It's great to finish the season with this," he said. "We've had a lot to deal with this year and we haven't really had a single point where you could say we were at our best."

Luke continues: "It feels good to come back from where we were and you can see that next year there's more in the pipeline."

Stevenage Cycling Club Time Trial Result 14/09/13 F14/12
1 Ross Clarke TMG Horizon CT 26.00
2 Luke Clarke TMG Horizon CT 26.03
3 Simon Cannings 26.26

Saturday, 14 September 2013

2-2 takes Mick to 2nd Cat

A regular at the Hillingdon Masters Series this season, Michael Skipsey has worked hard on both his fitness and his 'crit craft'.

tenuous pun on a gun calibre
He was the team's fastest finisher at the Paul Simon Homes Masters Meeting on March 2nd, which boded well for the coming season, and after a minor dip in form dip, proved to be prophetic.

"I messed around a bit last year. Joining TMG this year gave me a bit more focus and motivation, so I've tried to be as consistent as possible," he explains.

Having raced most of the Wednesday Evening Masters Series at Hillingdon this year, he has enjoyed mixing with top category riders and experimenting with varied strategies.

in the group, and in the zone

"I targeted the Masters Series, mainly because there's usually a selection of faster, more experienced riders which tends to make the whole thing a lot safer than some of the younger 3rd cat races."

Having built up a library of experience and a background knowledge of the key protagonists, he started to finish consistently nearer the front as the series wore on through the summer.

"It's been great to have a gradual improvement," he says. "Really, it's about adding speed onto speed for the finale, timing it right, but also being able to keep pushing when you're already in the red. And I always am!"

With 2nd places on both the August 7th and August 21st rounds, Mick finally took delivery of his 2nd category licence. "That was my main objective for the year," he concludes. "Now I need to prepare for some longer races next year!"

Monday, 9 September 2013

TMG Verulam Criterium Report & Results

TMG Horizon Cycling Team and Verulam CC joined forces to put on their first LVRC race which was held at Hog Hill on the 7th September using the lower circuit. Fortunately, although there was a keen westerly wind, the afternoon stayed dry and bright.

Race 1 saw some early skirmishes but ti was not long before Bob Downs and Dominique Gabellini broke clear building a healthy advantage. A chase group formed between these two and the bunch comprising Keeler/Schils/ Cackett who seemed to be working together well although they split up towards the end. Unfortunately Gabellini touched a pedal which caused him to fall heavily resulting in a trip to A&E with a suspected broken collar bone. Downs continued on alone lapping the field twice before taking a well deserved win.

The Race 2 report could have almost have been written before the start, with Anthony Wallis soloing to victory although the strengthening wind perhaps stopped him from gaining more than 30 seconds. The TMG duo of Neil Wass and Michael Skipsey responded to his initial acceleration and did all they could to bring him back but, despite a recent layoff due to injury, Wallis remains a force to be reckoned with. The peloton stayed together until the last few laps when the combination of a modest field, strong wind and high pace took its toll. Having cleverly conserved resources in the closing laps, Robin Parker took the sprint for second ahead of Neil Wass.

Huge thanks to Pete Wilson and Knocker Shields for their help with the day.

We think Paul Brown took some pics but we don't have them yet


Race 1 for CDEF Riders

1 Bob Downs  Condor Team D
2 Patrick Schills Velo Schills D
3 Ralph Keeler Wheels in Wheels E
4 Paul Cackett Verulam CC D
5  David Brown LBRCC F
6 Terry Divine Braintree Velo F
7 Steve Barnsley GS Vecchi D
8 Chris Edwards 4T+ Velo Club D
9 Wayne Thomas GS Henley E
10 Richard Frazer Essex Roads CC E
11 Peter Jones Hillingdon CC F
12 Oli Mc Pherson Planet Velo E
13 Colin Smith West Kent C
14  John Leitch Redhill CC F
15 John Duckworth Kingsnorth F
16 Andy Grant GS Vecchi D

Race 2 for ABC Riders thanks to Jackie Irvine for her pics here

1 Anthony Wallis Ciclos Uno A
2 Robin Parker East Grinstead B
3 Neil Wass TMG Horizon CT A
4 Barry Neal Ciclos Uno B
5 Andrew Macey Ashford Wheelers C
6 Martin Meades Ciclos Uno C
7 Toks Adessanya Addiscombe CC B
8 Raun Forsyth
9 Andrew Elderfield VC Revolution B
10 Michael Skipsey TMG Horizon CT B
11 Savasil Aniba Private B
12 Craig Stevens Ciclos Uno C
13 Sean Bolton Eagle RC C
14 Andrew Tebutt Private B

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Ross takes a Win!

It's been on the cards for a while but Ross finally crowned his return to form with a win at the Chronos RT 10 mile event on the A428 near Cambridge.

There were gusty crosswinds and a couple of short, sharp showers, but Ross still came close to the magic 20 minute mark.

1 Ross Clarke TMG Horizon CT 20:26
2 Jon Surtees Team Swift 20:50
3 Simon Norman Bedfordshire Road CC 20:54
4 Sam Barker Planet X 20:59
5 Simon Cannings 21:00

Luke tackled the Cambridge CC 25 on the same day. Sharing the podium with National Champion, Michael Hutchinson, he managed a 55:19 in less-than-ideal conditions, with a puncture added in the final kilometre!

Monday, 22 July 2013

Ross Goes Faster Than Ever

Personal Best  for Recovering Rider

Ross Clarke put his difficulties of 2013 behind him on Saturday when he rode the Shaftesbury Cycling Club's 50 mile Time Trial.

Ross at the Shaftesbury CC 50 on Saturday July 20th
thanks to Dave Jones
Held on the E2 course which has a reputation for fast times, the event attracted a top quality field.

Ross has been battling back to form since his crash back in May : "It's quite incredible that I didn't break anything," he reflects. "But having experienced what I have, I was determined to get back to form and not waste a day!"

A time of 1:45:39 put him within 5 minutes of the victor in 14th place: "Happy with that," was his characteristically brief conclusion. "It was a very fast field; what's really great is doing my fastest ever 50, simple as that."

Tony May came in with 1:56:06 : "I'm not big on the longer events," he said. "And I was slower than my time in the same event last year. Not a good day for me, but at least I did get under the 2 hour mark."

Monday, 8 July 2013

Chronomen Heat Up

Ross at the Mark Storer Memorial

Luke Closing on Top Spot

Ross had a trip up to Derbyshire for the Mark Storer Memorial Belper 25 on Saturday. On the A25/11 course, it's a fast event and attracted a full, fast field including current National Champ Michael Hutchinson.

"I was looking for a Personal Best," he admits. But the sudden appearance of summer proved to be a shock to his system: "I overheated about 10 miles in and grovelled back from the turn," he recalls. "I was way down on my usual rivals so a bit disappointed to be honest." With the kind of field assembled, 0:51:16 was only good enough for 14th. A tough day. 

Luke at the Corley Cycles 10

Luke Clarke continued his comeback at the Corley Cycles 10, also on Saturday. Attracting a full field with over 80 riders, there was no shortage of competition.

Seemingly coping with the heat, Luke took second place with a time of 21:15 : "I  wish I could have gone 10 seconds quicker," he joked at the finish [he was only 11 seconds away from the win]. 
"But it's pretty positive to be that close."

LVRC National Championships

Solid Team Performance as Nationals come to Local Roads

Anyone living around Stewkley may have been a little surprised recently to witness our Road Race on June 30th followed by two more races the following Sunday. The LVRC National Championships were hosted by Leighton Buzzard Cycling Club this year which gave our riders a great opportunity to test their abilities against the best in the country.

John Lacey
The morning races saw John Lacey and Michael Skipsey in action in the B race. No doubt mindful of the quality of the field, they stayed in close attendance near the front of the bunch.

With temperatures hitting the upper 20s, living with the heat was a new experience for both riders.

It seemed the field were nervous and attentive as a whole, and no major breakaways were allowed to escape which resulted in an elongated sprint up the drag to the finish.

Crossing the line in 11th, John was relaxed about the result: "I enjoyed that. It's not often you get the opportunity to ride the Nationals." 

Michael Skipsey
"I wasn't expecting an easy ride!" continued Mick, in 14th place. "I'm pretty pleased to have got round to be honest. It was a great atmosphere and a good experience to ride a big event like this."

Having ridden countless championships over the years, Paul Caton was not riding for experience, and had his sights firmly on the podium. Unfortunately for him, the race did not go to plan. A solid breakaway was established over the first two laps and held a gap of around a minute for the rest of the race.

"I knew if I chased the break down I'd have the rest of the field on my back wheel," he said afterwards. "So all I could do was wait for the sprint."

As ever, he wasn't far off with his strategy and he won the bunch kick, taking 7th place in the process. "That's bike racing," he shrugged. "You may feel strong, but sometimes you have to accept difficult situations." 

Monday, 1 July 2013

The Coleman Delivers!

Local hero takes shock victory in thrilling finale.

A tantalising start sheet for the third annual TMG Horizon Road Race featured a rich selection of regional strong men .  With local teams such as Arbis-Colbert Cycles, CC Luton, G.S. Henley, LBRCC, London Dynamo, Python Racing Team , Team Quest and Twenty3C all fielding at least three riders, it was clear that the £100 first prize was going to be hotly contested.

Only twenty kilometres into the race a strong breakaway group took flight , featuring local favourites Simon Cannings, Mike Broadwith and Doug Coleman.  It was an ominous sign for anybody looking to sit in the bunch that this was not going to be an easy day.  Showing that there was no shortage of fire power further back, a chase group had already sensed the danger and was in pursuit at 34 seconds with the bunch a further 25 seconds behind.

Gunther Zechmann of Zappi’s cycling club took the honours in the lap 2 prime by a slender margin as the lead group buckled down to work with the pressure intensifying behind them.  By lap three, the pressure of the pace began to show as the lead group started to splinter with weaker riders in the lead group losing contact and the main field bringing the gap down to 54 seconds. 

Lap 4 saw Gunther Zechmann continue with his attacking style to take the 2 Prime of the day but his pace was at risk as he was begging for hydration from spectators.  Having forced the pace with his sprint, it emerged that only the Arctic Sram duo of Mike Broadwith and Danny Axford could stay with the acceleration. 

Ratcheting the pressure up another notch, the  Arctic Sram riders followed up with a turn of speed which would put them in a commanding position.  In tight formation they seemed in overdrive for the next five kilometres, but just as it looked like they had hit top speed, Danny Axford launched out of the breakaway and put his cards firmly on the table. 

The remains of the original lead group remained defiant and quickly recaptured Zechmann and Broadwith.  Determined as they were though, they were unable to contain the surge of speed from Axford and as the bell sounded over the finish line, he had built a commanding  gap of over 1 and a half minutes.  Organiser, Neil Wass: “We thought it was all over. Danny is a super strong rider and that kind of solo effort is one of his hallmarks.” 

As the chase group climbed the finish hill to take the bell, Richard Cleaver of Leisure Lakes Bikes made his bed for glory.  With a solo effort for the next five kilometres, it was a big ask to reach the lone leader.  Just behind him, Douglas Coleman of CC Luton had given chase and with sixteen kilometres left, the duo teamed up to attempt to overturn Axford’s impressive advantage. 

Eight kilometres to go, and the alliance was weakening; “The adrenaline was flowing and I could feel time running out,” recalls Coleman.  Raising the pace once more, he left Cleaver behind and the chase intensified through the village of Whitchurch. 

The adrenaline must have kicked in because by the final turn with four kilometres to go, Coleman could see Axford ahead: “That was one hell of a carrot,” he smiles.  Chasing all the way down the 60kmh plus descent from Whitchurch, his pursuit was merciless.  By the bottom of the finish hill, the gap was down to tens of metres and with two riders slugging it out for the win like two spent boxers, the throng of spectators was treated to a thrilling finale.

With only 100 metres to go, an exhausted Axford was overhauled by the 28 year old Coleman from Hemel Hempstead.  Axford had clearly given his all and by the finish line Coleman had a decisive gap of 6 seconds. 

For Coleman it was a dream scenario: "I’ve had a couple of wins but to win on this local circuit with a lot of friends watching made it extra special."

Promoter, Neil Wass, was delighted with the result: “It’s been a great morning of racing.  All the fast guys got stuck in and gave us a truly entertaining three hours. A fantastic finish; you couldn't have scripted it better!” 

TMG Horizon cycling team plans to raise the event to National B status next year.

Jubilant: Doug Coleman begins to raise his arms for the victory

So Close: Danny Axford refuses to give up and holds off the advancing attacks

more pictures in our flickr set here
and more pro photos from Thomas Van Bracht at 
finish line video at

Full Result

1 Douglas Coleman CC Luton 2nd 03:00:09
2 Danny Axford Arctic Sram RT 2nd @6"
3 Colin Roshier Team Quest - The Bike Shop 3rd @41"
4 Richard Cleaver Leisure Lakes 2nd @50"
5 James Locker V-Sprint Racing 2nd
6 James Local London Dynamo 2nd
7 Simon Cannings 2nd
8 Owen Jeffries Northern CC/Dave Kane Cycles 3rd
9 Ben Carty Private 3rd
10 Robert King Private Member 2nd
11 Sean Dines Team Corley Cycles 2nd
12 Jack Beezer Edinburgh RC 2nd
13 Ben Macland VC Meudon 2nd
14 David Palmer MG-Maxifuel Pro Cycling 2nd
15 Steven Hurrell API - Metrow/Essex Utilities 2nd
16 Chris Grange LBRCC-Solgar 3rd
17 Adrian Lawson Cadence RT 2nd
18 Graeme Clarke LBRCC-Solgar 4th
19 Matthew Gittings AW Cycles 2nd
20 Luke Souter Banbury Star CC 3rd
21 Pete Smith Jewson - MI Racing 3rd
22 Jonathan Marchini Beeline Bicycles RT 2nd
23 Bad Number London Dynamo ?
24 Adam Capes London Dynamo 2nd
25 Dan Tamplin Aylesbury CC 2nd
26 Stuart  King LBRCC-Solgar 3rd
27 Michael Broadwith Arctic Sram RT 3rd
28 Osama Assem Finchley RT 3rd
29 Glenn McMenamin 2nd
30 Jason Gurney 2nd
31 John Peters CC Luton 2nd
32 Darren Parker Python Racing Team 3rd
33 Stephen Morrell Aylesbury CC 3rd
34 Richard John Spirit Bikes Racing Team 3rd
35 James Archibald G.S. Henley 3rd
36 H Christian Rudolf De Laune CC 2nd
37 Ian Baynes LBRCC-Solgar 3rd
38 Tim Edwins LBRCC-Solgar 3rd
39 Sam Williamson Hemel Hempstead CC 3rd
40 Bad Number GS Henley ?
41 Bad Number Twenty 3c ?
42 Andy Marriott Spirit Racing Team 3rd
43 Simon Oxenham VC10 2nd
44 Edward Catford 4th
45 Stephen Colbert Arbis - Colbert Cycles RT 2nd
46 Andy Lack Kingston Whls CC 2nd
47 Ken Buckley AW Cycles 2nd
48 Stuart Williams Reading CC 2nd
49 Campbell Noon Virgin Active 3rd
50 Gunther Zechmann Zappi's Cycling Club 2nd
51 Robert Taylor Aylesbury CC 4th
52 Damien Breen Kingston Whls CC 2nd
53 Bad Number Python Racing Team ?
54 Richard Stanton Arbis - Colbert Cycles RT 2nd
55 Stephen Wood Peterborough CC 3rd
56 Philip Starr Python Racing Team 2nd
57 Fraser Houston Team Quest - The Bike Shop 3rd

finish line times

lap one [not complete lap] 0:25:56

lap total elapsed lap time
two 00:56:00
three 01:26:13 00:30:13
four 01:56:30 00:30:17
five 02:27:53 00:31:23
six 03:00:09 00:32:16

fastest lap 00:30:13 over 20.4km = 40.48kmh