Friday, 31 July 2009

"In a sprint, with bodies everywhere all going at 70mph, I'd see the bodies, but he [Mark Cavendish] sees the gaps between the bodies"

Olympian Chris Boardman on what's needed for a perfect sprint finish. Source: The Independent online.

Morris shield is down to the wire...

The rain cleared away and it turned out to be a reasonable evening on the tough Comberton circuit. Andy Hudson (pictured right)stormed around the 2 laps in 31.27 (26.14mph) taking maximum Morris Shield points. It will be down to the wire in this year MS comp. Between Hudson and Ken Platts, with Platts still needing to marshal one event. Well done to Andy Strickland who has already secured the 3rd spot.
Congratulations to Julia Ertner and Noelle Godfrey who have claimed first and second place respectively in the Cole Cup comp. Third place is still undecided so there is all to play during the last 4 events of the season.

Thanks to the helpers. Jan has posted all results on results page.

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Sunday, 26 July 2009

Sporting Club Run speeds to Risby

The Sporting clubrun on the 26th July headed for Risby. The Sporting Clubrun is supposed to be well - sporty and today s ride lived up to the name. A group of about 11 head out from Addenbrooke's with a nice tail wind. I knew it was going to be a hard day when leaving a few seconds after the main group, I had to ride quite hard to catch up (See Note). We were quickly speeding along and averaging about 31km/h! I was sweating a bit but Dave and Rob decided it was not hard enough and kept falling back and sprinting to catch up; this tired them out as you can see opposite.

Skirting south of Newmarket, the undulating hills were already getting the better of me and I was dropped, in a minor way, in several places. Luckily A bit of effort on the flat/down hills meant I soon rejoined the back of the group.

As you can see from the photo of Dave, he was also struggling with the hills and became bad tempered. Dave conveniently obscured his temper with a smile when I took the photo.

Meanwhile Ron was also finding the pace too much and he became very tired, so much so he kept yawning and almost fell a sleep just after I took the photo to the right.

After fitting in a final loop, we arrived at Lizzy's Café at Risby where we all refuelled. Average speed was 'just' 29.9km/h.

Now in theory, the headwind should have made the return part of the ride much slower. But no, it was time to play, apparently. I was dropped a couple of more times on hills but the group waited for me (nice weren't they). Getting near Cambridge the attacks started flowing but luckily as this was on a down hill/flattish section I managed to keep almost in contact. Eventually, the group slowed and we reformed into one group. In Fullbourn we split, some going into Cambridge and some over Beechwood Hill. I cracked on Beechwood and rolled back home having covered 119km at an average of 28.5km/h.

Note. Guys, please please take it easy when leaving Addies or the cafe so the group can, well, become a group.


"I keep telling myself that. If it’s hurting me, it’s bound to be hurting the other guys as well."
Words spoken by Bradley Wiggins, 4th overall Tour de France July 2009.

Friday, 24 July 2009

Club get team prize in the Crest 10.3 TT...

Good day out for Cambridge CC riders in the Crest CC 10.3 mile TT . Ken Platts 22.13, Martin Reymolds 23.30, Marcus Kay, 26.14 ( pictured left), Colin Davies, 26.32 (pictured right), and Peter Baumber, 28.11. Ken was 2nd fastest overall. Cambridge CC won the team prize both on actual time and on standard improvement times. Photos and words by Dave Jones.

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Saturday, 11 July 2009

New tea room welcomes cyclists...

Cambridge Cycling club members now have a choice of tea rooms to visit in Finchingfield - which was visited last weekend by a club run. The Bosworth Team rooms have now been joined by a Cycling friendly option. The Finchingfield Tea Rooms - near the war memorial - has been set up in the former lounge of David and Sarah. David is a keen cyclist, having ridden this year's London to Brighton cycle ride. Sarah home bakes all the cakes on the menu, which offers traditional teas and coffee and light lunches. The menu also offers to fill cyclists' bottles and there is a track pump if needed. It opens on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. More detail

Friday, 10 July 2009

Trio make sub hour cut in club 25 mile TT...

Character building is the best way to describe the Cambridge Cycling Club Barton 25 mile TT, especially with
a fresh westerly wind blowing! Three competitors managed a sub hour ride, Andy Hudson won
in a time of 59.13 just one second ahead of Andy Strickland, 25.33 and 25.32 average Mph rspectively. Basil Moss, fresh back from the 5 day stage race Ras De Cymru, came third in 59.46. The race which was the 15th event of the clubs 2009 evening TT series may prove to be the turning point in the Morris Shield points league with points only being awarded to the 25 Mile TT finishers with none for the 10 mile entrants.
Ken Platts took the honours in the 10 mile event, which had a field of 9, with a winning time of 23.15.

Thanks to the helpers: Timing - Mick/Ted, Pushing - Simon Robinson, Signs/Safety - Alan Sparks,
Marshal 1 - Glenn Vinnicombe, Marshal 2 - Michael Holloran and Jan Ertner for results.

For all the results and more detail please visit Club Results page.

Photo (by Phil Mynott) Despite his all out effort Andy Strickland finished just one second behind the winner.

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Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Club supporter gets on bike for works holiday...

Howes Cycles a supporter of the club - with the 10% discount scheme it offers on products (including new cycles) to all club members, on production of a current Cambridge Cycling Club membership card - Have contacted us to point out that they will be closed for trading between 20th to 26th July due to a family holiday brought about by a number of anniversaries which need celebrating. As this is the first time in it's very long history it has been shut for a whole week , we will forgive them.

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Monday, 6 July 2009

Come and Try TT images now posted...

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Club kit fit for chicks...

Yesterday's Gt club run of eight had a 50/50  female to male ratio - which demonstrates the growing take up of Cycling by females  - perhaps partly down to the increased exposure to the successes of cyclists like Pendleton and Pooley in the non-cycling press at large. The point of this post is  to highlight, in response to a club run inquiry, the fact that Club clothier Alan Sparks has confirmed , today, that the club has in stock a line of club kit specifically  cut for the female form. Middle age grumpies such as this blogger be assured that Mr and Mrs Sparks also have in stock classically designed and tailored club kit for those with well formed bellies due to intense nurturing. For more detail and to arrange a fitting club clothier details are on Who's who page.

Photo shows; Club Kit for fast ladies .. posed by Dutch supermodel De Graaf.

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Sunday, 5 July 2009

Final stage of Ras de Cymru...

End of the race and the Cambridge CC team of Eric Gowland, Tom Vickery, Glenn Vinnicombe survived the five days of very hard racing in South wales. Hope you have enjoyed reading about the action as it unfolded big thank you to Eric for finding the time and energy at the end of each days racing to write a detailed report for posting here -Here is his final one

    Stage 6 (Disasters and Silver Linings):

First I must apologize for mistakenly reporting that stage 4 was the shortest road stage. In actual fact, today's final stage, number 6, was the shortest. It did, however, have a 4 mile summit finish tagged on to it to toughen things up a little.

    Cambridge CC started the day with a fair degree of optimism and excitement. Basil was 7th on GC and feeling strong, Glenn was riding in to form and Tom had been going good the whole time (curse that stage 2 mechanical!). We'd decided our best strategy was to attempt to trigger an early break that Basil could slip in to with the hopes of gaining back those 2 minutes of GC time. There were a number of teams in the same boat, so it seemed a likely plan to put the top 3 GC riders under pressure, and our best bet at taking a run at the win.

    Glenn went as the flag dropped from the lead car while Basil watched for a likely counter attack to follow. Instead of the relatively sleepy bunch of yesterday, however, it seemed that everyone was interested and fireworks were flying from the start. Glenn took a couple more digs, but was swallowed up and the bunch remained strung out at full speed for most of the race. Whether other GC favorites were taking a dig or the leading teams playing a defensive game by keeping the speed too high for attacks, no one had any luck at escaping. We all remained tucked in, plan B being to climb with the favorites as best as possible and aim to gain a few places on GC.

    Luck has not been a friend of our team this race however. Tom dropped a chain on a KOM hill a few kilometers before the final climb, and only a quick thinking and helpful mechanic from the service car saw him rolling again quick enough to regain the safety of the bunch. To be completely honest, his stellar form may have helped him pace back up as well. That disaster averted, we were struck again as I rolled up to Basil to advise him to find position for the final ascent; his front mech was jammed and would drop to the small chainring! He tried kicking it, and even fiddling by hand, but was stuck in the 52 for the beginning of the longest climb of the race.

    There was little we could do, and although he dug deep in the first mile the gear was too much for him; He pulled over and sought assistance from the service car. A quick bike change saw him rolling, but the leaders were long gone. Basil put in a heroic effort, climbing his way back through much of the field, but still lost 3 minutes. This was a shame as his strength all week deserved better, and he was well up for the finish.

    Meanwhile, I was experiencing my own localized hell as I struggle to maintain any kind of decent pace. I watched the majority of the field slip away from me, and with it any hope of attaining my goal of a top twenty. Illness and other disruptions to my preparation, poor sleep for the entire week, an unsettled stomach... the excuses come quickly, but the truth of the matter is that I just did not have the legs this week.

    Glenn found his strength building however, riding past me on the climb. And Tom was the revelation and silver lining of the day; Even after his dropped chain and chase, he stuck with the GC favorites all the way to the top of the climb, finishing 7th amongst some very good climbers. If it wasn't for the extraordinarily bad timing of that slipped seat post on the 2nd stage, there is a very good chance he would have finished in the top ten.

    And if it hadn't been for Basil's front mech... oh the 'might-have-beens'. This sport is soul destroying sometimes, when excellent form can be betrayed by mechanical mischance, and a run of good luck (ask anyone how many mechanical/puncture DNF's I have) can be spoiled by bad form.

    It is better to focus on what we did accomplish in this race:

    We nailed our team time trial, finishing 3rd in a field of very strong teams. This is especially rewarding to me as it is a discipline that requires teamwork, coordination and communication more than individual raw strength.

    Basil, in his first season, was in the top ten for the majority of a stage race with probably one of the toughest '2nd cat' fields around, and would have stayed there if not for one mischance. As it was, the TTT gained him enough points for his 2nd category upgrade, and he had a fantastic amount of fun.

    Tom showed fantastic form on all the climbs, and with that final stage performance nabbed his 3rd category upgrade. If we can disuade him from his Triathlete ways, he could be a very good road racer.

    Glenn also nabbed his 2nd category upgrade from the TTT and got stronger and stronger as the race went on. His upbeat character certainly kept me going when the fatigue and stress were starting to wear.

    As for myself, I got around. I knew I wasn't where I wanted to be at the start, but I take pride in getting the team together, and in the positive attitude and teamwork the boys demonstrated throughout. I'm already adjusting my grand strategy for next year (assuming we can get a team together?) and am thinking of adding one or two other stage races to Cambridge CC's calendar, as we had that much fun.

    See you all on the road or off it,


    PS - I'll be down the Cambridge Blue monday night for those that would like to gab first hand about the race.

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Saturday, 4 July 2009

Stage 5 toughest day yet in Ras de Cymru..

Just one more day to go for the Cambridge CC team in the 5 dfay stage road race Ras de Cymru in South Wales. The action is in top gear and Basil Moss ends today in 11 th place. Profile of one of the climbs shown - not like Cambridgeshire then!

Eric writes...Stage 5 (Surviving):

This was undoubtedly the toughest stage yet. 1km may not seem like a long climb but when it rears up at 16% to a windswept plateau, it is anything but easy. Add in tired legs and unfulfilled GC ambitions and you have a recipe for tough racing.

The stage started with a descent of several miles from the stage HQ, and the attacks started as soon as it flattened out. A few riders got clear very 'softly' as the bunch wasn't interested in much chasing before the first climb. The gap was up to 4 minutes quite quickly.

Enter the wall. This was a beast of a climb with nowhere to hide. Basil and Tom were climbing comfortably in the front if the bunch. I can't say the same, as I ended up in a group gapped off over the top the first two ascents, and Glenn was in a 3rd chase between me.

Despite suffering through two panicked chases, it all came back together both times when the bunch sat up after a fast descent. Pursuit of the break was disorganised, and confused as individual riders both bridged across and came back.

Tom did a stellar job of driving dome chasing, and Glenn did his share despite having to chase back to the bunch after each climb. Basil manged to avoid too much work, and marked one or two GC threats... Unfortunately the real threats had already slipped up the road.

The gap to the break came down to 1:30, but was 2:00 again by the finish. Basil and Tom did well to stay near the front of the bunch on the last climb, loosing only a few seconds. Glenn and I lost more than a minute to splits in the field, but I couldn't have climbed any harder.

In the end the break was the real winner, claiming the top 3 spots on the GC. Several teams missed out, us included.

Basil dropped to 11th at around 2:50 down. I fell out of the top 20 to 22nd at 3:59. Tom and Glenn both managed to improve there position slightly to 45th and 47th.

It was a tough and somewhat disappointing day. Given my lack of form I was happy to survive, as was Glenn. This is the toughest 2/3/4 racing I've ever seen: average speeds for stages 2 and 3 were over 40kph, and today was close to 37 with the climbing. I've done slower Elite races in the East.

It all might change tomorrow, with an actual summit finish to finalise the results. I'm expecting fireworks from the gun as several teams try to make up for their losses today. Stay tuned!

Scroll down to Wednesday post for start of daily reports of Cambridge CC progress in the Ras de Cymru.

Friday, 3 July 2009

Moss climbs to 5th overall after Stage 4 of Ras De Cymru

Our Squad of four Cambridge CC racers -Vinnicombe,Moss, Vickery and Gowland have fought and survived another day and stage of the Ras De Cymru. Basil Moss -pictured - has climbed up in to 5th overall , Eric Gowland now in 18th sent this update.

"Stage 4: The easy one.

Today was the shortest, flatest road race stage of the Ras. It even  started from just outside our Accomodation at 10:39, so it was all in  all remarkeably civilised. 3 circuits with a smallish Eastern region  style climb to the start/finish.

After yesterday's double header and with tomorrow looming, we were  

expecting a more sedate stage. It seemed that the top of the GC was a  little too tight for this though, and numerous attacks were sparking  off.

The first of 3 circuits was very quick, but nothing stuck. The

second  circuit was more sedate, until a large group rolled off the front.  This spurred more chasing from the bunch and things were back together  with a lap to go.

At this point 2 GC threats and a couple of opportunists snuck off the  front. Basil ended up near the front and chasing, but Tom & Glenn soon  rolled up and took over. Glenn actually organised the paceline and Tom  took some monster pulls, including leading the bunch up the first half  of the finishing climb.

The break stuck but only with 11 seconds advantage. More  

interestingly, the bunch fractured in a couple of places on the  

finishig climb. Basil and I were on the safe side, but a couple of  

riders were caught out.

Stage 4 results:

Winner Richard Wood (Team Milton Keynes) 1:57:37. Basil and I [Eric]in the  bunch at 0:26 (due to 15 second winning bonus). Tom and Glenn after a split at 0:43.Basil moved up to 5th thanks to those splits. I moved to 18th,  primarily as someone punctured and lost 20 minutes (lesson: ride the  same number of cogs as everyone else, ie 10 SPd).

I felt like a bit of a wus hiding in the bunch for most of the race,  especially with my team mates working. I can only plead heavy legs and  a little bit of fear!

Rumor has tomorrow marked as the toughest stage. 4 runs at what has  been described as a 'wall' and the longest of all the stages. There's  a good chance something will be shooken up tomorrow, we'll just have  to see what!"


Eric Gowland

Sent from my iPhone

To read all reports from Ras de Cymru in order scroll down to wednesday - for link to Eric's twitter updates visit club messages (courtesy of ERRL forum)

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Magnificent Seven ride out...

Despite the daytime scorching heat yesterday evening was as near perfect cycling conditions as we are ever likely to get in Cambridge area. There was no need to chase the shadows of the cycling heros in your dreams - for once everyone out and about on a sports cycle must have felt like a tour contender- I know I did just cycling to and from the event. The club saw seven first timers turn out to taste the joys of come and try it TT on the Newton 2 lap circuit. The newbies were Henry, John, Peter, Flip, Paul, Chris and Charlotte all of whom gave it their all - hope you all enjoyed it enough to want to get involved further with the club.
Riding on his 'home' circuit Ken Platts rode to victory with 26mins 28 secs with an average speed of 26.75MPH Andy Strickland came second 29 seconds behind. Out of a field of 32 in the 11.8 mile race six were females with Sue Fenwick (crest CC0 being the fastest), Julia Ertner was Cambridge CC fastest female. All the results are on the Club results page courtesy of Jan. A Selection of  photos will be posted soon on Club photos.  Thanks to the helpers: Signs/Safety – Alan Sparks, Timekeeping – Mick Draper/Ted Wells, Pusher – Andy Hudson, Finish Line – Steven Lake, Marshal’s – Debbie Hooker, Dean Sheppard, Steve Cotton, Phil Mynott & Tom Platts.
Photo by Terry Dickerson shows - Ken Platts takes up the challange  to try a come and try event.

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Thursday, 2 July 2009

Stage 2 and 3 of the Ras de Cymru...

The latest action of the Cambridge CC cycling squad of Eric Gowland, Basil Moss, Glenn Vinnicombe and Tom Vickery from today's racing in the 5 day Ras de Cymru. Stage two was a road race and stage three the Team time trial. Subject to confirmation, Basil sits in 7th place and Eric in 20th.

Eric sent this update:

Another blazing hot day in the Southwest. The bunch was nervous, everyone wanting to test there legs and see where they'd stand. The course was one long loop incorporating to long climbs of about 150m. Not Tour stuff, but for us Cambridge amateurs it was a stark departure from our usual terrain. Glenn and I were gapped on the first climb (which had helpfully had a section covered in loose shale) but fought back to the bunch relatively easily. The next one was tougher, Glenn fell victim to the heat and pace whilst Tom suffered a mechanical failure at the top and had to stop. Although they chased on the descent, a strong breakaway spurred the bunch on and they couldn't regain contact. Basil road strongly all day and I hung on for dear life, so we finished in the bunch 20seconds adrift if the break.

Unfortunately the road stage result were bungled, so Basil and I were placed behind Glenn and Tom along with about 20 others.... Hopefully this will be amended tonight.

Stage 3 (Time trials ARE worth it):

Although we all felt blasted by the road stage, we were anticipating the TTT after our secret training sessions. We were second off, and found our rhythm quickly. On pre-driving the course, we'd decided that the first half would be slow and hard, the second fast but easy. We got this totally wrong, as the first was gently descending a dual carriageway and the second half rolling into a bit of wind. Regardless, we felt we'd given it our best by the end and were

modestly confident of a top ten. I can gleefully report that we were in fact 3rd! And only 16 seconds adrift of the winners! I'm proud of the team, especially the other guys as i was definitely the weakest link.

Due to the incorrect road stage results, The GC is unofficial at the moment. However, our best calculations place Basil in the top ten at 7th.I've managed to nip into the top 20 at 19th (I think).

Overall, the start of the day was tough and a little demoralising for the team. We finished on a high though, and I'll have to check but I think we may have earned Basil and Glenn there 2nd Cat licenses.

Photo by Phil Mynott -shows Eric Gowland, visit club message for link to his latest twitter posting.

Scroll down to Wednesday July 1st for previous stage results.

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Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Club roadies taste rarebit of Welsh TT action...

Cambridge Cycling club has a team in the The Ras de Cymru 5 Day Cycle Stage Race. Stage 1 of the 2009 edition was today.

The event is open to individuals and teams (including composite teams) of 3 or 4 riders of 2nd, 3rd, 4th, Woman (all categories), Veteran or Junior British Cycling category status at the time of entering the event. 

Day 1 is complete, with the prologue run off. It was a hot day and a tough individual TT with a vicious 1km climb at the end. Summary of results:

Ras stg 1: winner mike smith team MK 11:09. Cambridge CC: With Cambridge CC team finishing with Basil Moss finished 12th  0mins 28Secs behind the winner, Tom Vickery 28th 0:48, Eric Gowland 47th 1:10, Glenn Vinnicombe 56th 1:20. 84 riders, team 8/20.

Good ride from Basil, but it is early days and there is only 2:49 from first place to last. The GC should start to shape up after tomorrow's two stages; a hilly road stage and the team TT.

This years event  consists of six stages  over 5 days, each of the following format: Day 1 Individual Time Trial: 4.2 miles, Day 2 Road Race: 52.6 miles, Team Time Trial: 14.6miles, Day 3 Road race: 49.2 miles, Day 4 Road race: 65.6 miles and Day 5 Road Race: 46.1 miles.

Follow the action of the Cambridge Cycling club squad with twitter updates on twitter; @ego_land. Or click here for the Ras De Cymru Website

Photo by Phil Mynott.  Basil Moss who finished 12th in todays stage 1 the Individual time trial.