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Legstretchers Memorial to Betty Pharaoh Road Races - Report by Rob Jones  17.03.13

Me in the National B Race (70 miles and 4 laps) and Chris G in the Regional B Race (50 miles and 3 laps). Chris G unwell on the day so missed out sadly but there will soon be other opportunities for his first road race.

Nice day (if a bit cold for racing). 4 laps of the Vale circuit comprising A48, Death Valley, Wick Road and Llantwit to Cowbridge Road. Early pace was tough as the breakaway got organised and maybe a few had the KOM at St Brides Major in mind too. Took me a while to settle, more due to nerves riding in a group on the road than the pace (though I felt that too). End of 1st lap and beginning of 2nd lap I felt comfortable, had got to the front of the peleton and was even doing some attacking (albeit with Team UK Youth and a few passengers already out of sight). Then come Death Valley 2nd time around (where the hammer went down every lap) I regretted being adventurous and realised that if I was going to finish the race I would need to stay under cover (i.e. in the pack). For the rest of my race I did this and felt reasonably comfortable, floating between the middle and back of the peleton. Then 3rd time up A48 slip road I got in a bad position and really had to fly up the thing to stay in contention (a PR as it happened). More importantly I felt a twinge of cramp towards the top and for the 1st time felt a bit vulnerable. Then between Death Valley and Wick Road a few of us very nearly got dropped by the relentless pace. I had to bury myself to stay in contention. Approaching A48 slip road for the 4th and final time, I knew I was going to cramp up. Sure enough on 54 miles towards the top of it both legs went at the same time and all I could manage was not to fall over. I was stuck in a double spasm in the middle of the lane with the Police Escort screeching at me to move off the road as the cars lined up behind!  Embarrassed I was well aware this was not the place to hang out, but could not move at all and simply swore at him in frustration (for which I should/ may need to apologise). A few minutes later I managed to move again and hobble off to the side of the road, to the delight of the queuing motorists (no doubt on route to Sunday lunch).

So my race was over. I decided to go to the finish and see just who had been putting me through so much pain at the front of the race. I got there and there was no-one I knew to talk to and it was getting cold. So I headed back to HQ (Cowbridge Comprehensive). A great HQ. The ride back to Llantrisant from Cowbridge was cold, slow and sore!

When I look at my Strava ride output its not surprising I suffered - the speed was relentless and that sort of average power figure estimated by Strava bears no resemblance to the sort of figure I would obtain doing a hard ride by myself! Plenty around me were suffering big time also, including some that had been kicking ass at Llandow recent weeks. And many of those that weren't (or were also suffering) had their races ended by the regular craters scattered around the course. Blow outs were regular as were bottles flying across the road. Avoiding these craters was a job I did better than anyone I reckon (didn't hit one which is quite impressive I reflected)!

Good to see Allan W and Rob P + a few others out supporting. Also the Amblers going in the opposite direction. A little gutted not to have finished but I needed a ride like that in my legs. It was never a race I was going to do anything more than finish, especially having not been able to train last few weeks due to a tumble.


For event photographs click here

Castle Combe Easter Classic  - Report by Chris Goodwin 30.03.13

Rode this today. 25 miles cat 4 only. Circuit is like a stretched out Llandow i.e. no sharp corners.


1. Start.

2. Having achieved 1. Finish.

I think ?150-200 lined up for this. Very cold again and a strong wind.

No flying wheels (Steven) but a guy with "army" on his back managed to get his bike to a 45 degree angle balanced on the front wheel on the first corner. A few people reminded him of the wisdom of not only using the front brake and perhaps not applying it so hard.

A fairly orderly procession ensued, I rode in the first 20 or so the whole way round and it was nowhere near as taxing as Tuesdays chain gang. Several small breakaways one of which I rode halfway to before my legs reminded me it wasn't going to happen, so sat up, but the wind brought everyone back together.

In the first 5 on the final corner and contested the sprint but died a bit before the line, certainly top 20 ?11 or 12 not sure. Probably should have waited a bit longer.

So overall very pleased. Ignore the HR readings as I was full of Salbutamol again due to the cold.


ICRRS Cat 4 Eelmoor track  - Andy W 26.04.13

Well, that was exciting

Rolling start with roughly 19 miles of racing (Strava/Garmin upload later).

Standard was higher than expected (more chaingang needed) and somewhere during the race, a breakaway formed. They fought it out for the top 4 places while the peleton had a battle for who was going to lead out to the finish line.

I was riding well and With 5 laps to go, mingled at the front and with no one attacking, the aim was to ride steady and finish high. With 1 lap to push, i went all in and with managing to stay clear of a nasty crash, rode to the finish.

I pretty much died out at the line. Didnt have the engine to see me through, but least i wasnt last!!

Possibly top 10, deffo top 15/20 (i think/I hope)

Will confirm later..

ICRRS cat 4 round 3 Abingdon (race #2) - Andy W 01.05.13

Lovely sunny day in Oxford and the shaved legs were out in force. I spotted a few 'decent' riders and knew that the pace might be quicker than last week.

Race started well and I kept myself out of trouble at the back. After 3 laps I pushed onto the front and decided to attack. Anyway, that was a lesson in Crit racing. I got chewed up and spat out the back!

Hitting the headwind, alone,  gave me enough time to reflect on a really bad move..

Tough day in the saddle