Thursday 24 February 2011

Bournemouth Daily Echo 25/02/11

• Paralympic gold medalist, Darren Kenny OBE has been training hard ahead of the Para-Cycling track World Championships in Italy next month. Verwood based Kenny; along with the GB Para-Cycling squad has been doing intensive training at the Newport Velodrome in Wales and is coming into form at the right time. The strong GB squad will be looking to bring home a good haul of medals but perhaps more importantly score qualification points for the London 2012 Paralympics. The amount of points each nation scores will determine the number of athletes eligible to compete in the 2012 games. Kenny will be riding the 1 Kilometer time trial, the 3KM Individual pursuit and the Team Sprint. As the reigning world champion, Kenny is entitled to wear the rainbow colours and will not give up his title easily. Two ex-servicemen, Tel Byrne and Jon-Allan Butterworth who lost limbs in Iraq and Afghanistan have joined the squad through the Battle Back Rehabilitation programme, which helps injured service men and women return to an active life.
• Bournemouth Arrow was forced to cancel their 10 mile time trial last week, after race Official Anne Stevens was injured in a freak accident. Stevens was coaching at the Calshot track the day before when she was brought down by another rider and sustained a broken rib and elbow. Over 20 riders had signed on for the event but the club was left with no choice but to cancel. This weekend sees the Andover wheelers promote their early season hilly 10 mile time trial on the Vernham Dean course.
• The final round of the Rempstone mountain bike Duathlon series saw Kim Little (Gillingham Wh) break the course record for the 4 mile run,15 mile Cycle and 2 mile run in the Purbecks. Little recorded a time of 1hr 27.36 in the muddy conditions to clock up his third win in the 4 race series and takes the series overall from Jon Clemas (BJW)

Friday 18 February 2011

Para Team Look Forward to the Worlds

As the countdown continues to the UCI Para-Cycling Track world Championships in Italy next month, the GB squad decamped to the Newport Velodrome for eight days of intensive track work. With the emphasis on speed, all the squad was hoping to capitalize on the long, hard road miles put in the legs in Majorca back in January. The 16 rider team was announced on Monday 14th Feb and looks a formidable line up, world and Paralympic champions looking to bring home medals and perhaps more importantly score qualification points for London 2012. Alongside the experienced competitors are a few "first timers" to the Worlds. Tel Byrne & Jon - Allan Butterworth, both ex-servicemen, part of the Battle Back programme, Tandem pilots Fiona Duncan & Helen Scott, are all making their first appearance at a major championship. As you would expect, Byrne and Butterworth are very calm under pressure, but both will feel a "few nerves when the time comes" The "big race atmosphere" will provide invaluable experience as inevitably thoughts turn towards London next year.
Helen Scott, tandem pilot for world and Paralympic champion Aileen McGlynn, is pleased with the way her training has been going, “I just don’t want to let Aileen down, after all, she has been there and done it before, so I am a little nervous”. For an experienced competitor, McGlynn, perhaps, surprisingly suffers from a little “stage fright” “I wake up and go Oh my gosh, it’s the morning of my race and the heart rate starts going, I try to take my mind off it. Once I start my warm up I am ok.” Two gold medals is the target for this tandem duo in the Kilo and the 3km pursuit. Meanwhile, Fiona Duncan is a relative newcomer to tandems. The commitment and work ethic of the full time police officer is without question and her technique will surely improve “ I am not even thinking about the championships, I still feel I have so much to learn, but I am starting to feel really good” said Duncan. Stoker Lora Turnham was playing down her chances but perhaps Lora was a little over cautious, if the form I witnessed on the track was anything to go by.
As far as the men’s tandems go, it could come down to a battle of the Brits, between, Craig McLean &Neil Fachie and Barney Storey & Anthony Kappes. Both pairings go in the Kilo and the sprint, with Storey and Kappes also riding the 3km pursuit for the first time. “We both know each other’s racing tactics very well, they know what we will do and we know what they will do, so I wouldn’t like to call it” said Storey. McLean is a little more bullish “If they go for a long one it had better be fast one” he warned. McLean and Storey both face challenges of their own, former Olympic Silver medalist, McLean, suffers with Coeliac disease, a gluten intolerance that makes it difficult to “get the carbs in” whilst Storey has to deal with diabetes.
Darren Kenny and Rik Waddon went head to head in a trial for the third place in the team sprint. Everyone trackside stopped to watch the exciting ride off, with Kenny getting the nod, but only just, strength in depth for sure. Waddon and Kenny will also face each other in the 3km pursuit along with fellow Brit Shaun Mckeown.
Channel 4 had a film crew at the Velodrome taking footage for their programme “That Paralympic Show” and stills photographer Richard Booth was also getting shots for a series of coffee table books on the Olympics and Paralympics, out later this year. All this attention did not distract the athletes, as they went about their work, which also included a couple of road rides to keep up endurance.
Lead coach, Chris Furber along with Tom Stanton and Jayne Ellis concentrated on event specialization. Standing starts, holding lines, technique and motor paced work were all on the menu. "Key elements of every event are worked on" said Furber. Performance analyst, Kevin Gill from the English Institute of sport filmed every session and was able to provide immediate feedback to the coaches via their laptops. The figures are looking pretty good and the whole squad seems to be coming into form at the right time.
The next two weeks will see more high end track work coupled with some road miles before the squad enter a nine day taper. Then its out to Italy, the talking stops and the racing starts.
World and Paralympic Champion Jody Cundy, sums up the calm professionalism within the squad when he says “It’s my job, I just love to get on with it”

Stockdale Wins Perfs

• The 46th edition of the Perfs Pedal Race signaled the start of the Road Racing season and as is often the case; the weather played a part in this early season classic. Heavy rain and standing water on the course made it a day for the hard men and they don’t come much harder than former Paris-Roubaix winner, Magnus Backstedt. The Tour de France stage winner forced the pace in the early part of the race and soon had the bunch strung out. Despite his aggressive riding the big Swede could not manage to break away and the bunch was altogether going into the last two laps. It was on the penultimate climb of Hundred Acres Hill; above Portsmouth harbour that eventual race winner Ben Stockdale (Team Qoroz) escaped with a small group. The driving rain and cold conditions deterred any chasers and Stockdale took the sprint from, Isle of Wight based Nick Hutchings (GS Grupetto) with last years winner Will Bjergfelt (Motorpoint) settling for third. Backstedt finished in 10th, now domiciled in Wales this season he will lead Team UK Youth, the team is backed by Nigel Mansell OBE, The former Formula 1 champion will take a keen interest as his son Greg will be in the team. The Perfs race is one of only a handful of road races in the South Division this year following the demise of the Wessex League events.
• This Sunday sees the first time trial of the new season as the Bournemouth Arrow hold a club 10 mile event on the Ringwood-Sopley course. A new safety ruling this season will require all riders racing on local roads to have a working rear light. South District secretary, Alan Sharpen says “We are keen to be pro- active in our approach to rider safety, ensuring visibility for other road users is paramount”. The Arrow event starts a 09.00 and the new lighting ruling will apply.

Sunday 13 February 2011

Mick Waite talks about Perfs!

British Cycling Website 17/02/11
As the 46th edition of the Perfs Pedal race got the 2011 domestic road season underway, I spoke with organiser Mick Waite and it is obvious he is as enthusiastic as ever about the race. Problems with the road surface on the original Portsdown Hill course had forced Mick to move the race to the Staple Cross circuit.
“It wouldn’t be Perfs without a change!!!!” he said, indeed, down the years the now traditional season opener has had its fair share of incidents. This year proved to be no different with heavy rain throughout the race leaving standing water all around the course. Mick takes it all in his stride, calmly getting involved with everything at the HQ before the start, then working out on the course doing whatever is needed before handing out the prizes. There is no doubt about it this guy loves bike racing.

“Perfs was my idea and started life in July 1964 as an independent (semi- professional) 1st & 2nd cat race. The first race was on the Harting Hill circuit in West Sussex, 3 climbs, 2 laps, and 50 miles, and I have promoted every edition since” he proudly says. That first race was one by Tony Mills (Ryall/Raxar) who picked up £3 for his efforts with bottles of St Raphael wine going to the prime winners. The following year the race moved to Hambledon and its now regular early season slot where it remained till the early 80s “The race had outgrown the village and the parish council finally got there way after several years of trying and banned the event” recalls Mick.
Racing in February is always difficult, as is promoting events, “The biggest problem with organising at this time of the year is of course the weather and lately the poor road surfaces, snow was a problem for the 1983 race, the planned circuit up Lodge Hill was unusable so we found a replacement on the day with no police permission, we could not get away with that now”. In 1989 for the first time we had a field of 80 riders, the police, unhappy with some of the riding, abandoned the race, “I am 100% certain the club would have had its first winner that day, one of our fastest ever Roadman/sprinters, Nick Noble was riding, still he kept his form to win the Wheely Down race two weeks later” Paul Rogers (VC St Raphael/Waite Contracts) would provide that elusive “home win” for Mick in 1991.
After these problems Perfs moved to the Forestside circuit in West Sussex to get away from the Hampshire police area. The race was by now, firmly established as an early season event that all the riders wanted to win and the list of former winners includes some illustrious names, Ian Hallam, Dave LeGrys, Chris Newton and Sean Yates among others. Graham Moore (Bristol RC) 66, 70, 71 and Tim Harris, 83, 84, 86, both have three wins to their names, whilst Tim Stevens, Mark Markowski, Brian Flemming and Julian Winn have all won this classic twice. Flying the flag for testers everywhere, Glenn Longland has also won the race twice, in 78 and again in 85.
The mild, wet winters during the 90s made flooding more of a problem than snow, Mick remembers the 2003 event on the Owlsebury circuit,” the police cancelled the race due to a “puddle” they were not happy with, they would not let us delay the start so we all went home, the puddle was gone by 11.30!” Road works, ice, snow, rain they have all affected Perfs over the years but the race still survives, “some years we have delayed the race to break up iced over puddles and put salt down on the corners. I continue to promote as it is now the established season opener and I hope to make it to race number 50.” I ask Mick what he thinks the future holds for domestic racing, “In my opinion it’s not looking good for a variety of reasons, risk assessment and safety is now a big issue, people are nervous about promoting and even more nervous about marshalling. The poor road surfaces are losing us courses. I will be using four NEG motor bikes on Perfs, this is the way forward, however as with everything now cost is a fine balance, riders will have to get used to paying higher entry fees to cover costs.” (Perfs is one of only a handful of races in the South DC this year)
What about the highlights of Perfs? “Well apart from Paul’s win in 1991, it has to be the years at Hambledon, with those bunch sprints of 40 riders, field limits were 40 back then, racing through Hambledon village, missing all the parked cars and skip bins, to provide the spectators on both sides of the road back to the 200m mark with an exciting finish”

As we all know, nothing is certain in road racing, after all that is one of the attractions, but even if the future is in doubt you can be sure that the Perfs Pedal race will open the 2012 season.

Before I leave Mick to lock up the village hall, I ask him about the name Perfs, I have always wanted to know, “There have been various theories none of them have been correct, so it’s my secret!”
Nice one Mick!

Thursday 10 February 2011

Weekly Round Up


· Mark Chadbourne ( had to settle for second place after a race long battle with Paul Hopkins (Merida) at the Gorrick spring Mountain Bike series. Held at Crowthorne Wood Berkshire, Poole based, Chadbourne and Hopkins swapped the lead several times on the fast, dry woodland course. Hopkins pulled away on the final lap to win by 20 secs. Roland Tilley (ridebike) took third in the veterans race with wife Carol also third in the ladies race.

· A bad crash caused the final round of the Calshot Winter Track League to be abandoned after just two races. Fourteen year old Max Steadman (Palmer Park Velo) was treated for concussion after a clash of wheels on the high banking. With no points being awarded, Gordon Skillen (Poole Wheelers) held onto second place in the “B” league

· The Road Racing season gets under way this Sunday with the 46th Perfs Pedal Race. As usual this traditional season opener has attracted a top class field, winner previous winner William Bjergfelt returns but Oli Beckingsale, Colin Parry and former Tour de France rider, Swede, Magnus Backstedt are all expected to challenge for the £130 first prize, local hopes will lie with Richard Horton (BJW) and Rowan Horner (VC St Raphael). The 46 mile race starts at 11am and includes eight climbs of Hundred acres Hill above Portsmouth.

· The charity UK YOUTH has secured funding to build an exciting new off road Cycle track at Avon Tyrrell, Bransgore, along with offering cycle coach training. A community consultation meeting is planned for 26th February and local people will be encouraged to help fine tune the build plans. Project director, Louis Bonney, said “We are particularly interested in getting local young people and clubs involved. For more information, contact
· Bournemouth Jubilee Wheelers promote the last of their four winter reliability trials this Sunday. Starting from Merely Community centre, two routes are on offer, 100 miles or 100km, with the first riders off at 08.30.

Thursday 3 February 2011

News Round Up

Local News Round-up 04/02/11
· Daniel Lloyd (Garmin-Cervelo) has put the finishing touches to his winter training before he starts his 8th season as a professional bike rider. Queens Park based Lloyd has been using the hills of the New Forest and the Purbecks to fine tune his fitness ahead of his first race, Le Tour Mediterranean in France next week. He then moves onto Belgium and is aiming to be in good form for the eight day classic race, “Paris-Nice”. Starting in the French capital the race heads to the Cote d’ Azur and is known as “The race to the Sun”. Selection for the Tour of Italy and Tour De France, both of which Lloyd rode in 2010 may prove harder this year, the Garmin-Cervelo team is very strong and includes current world champion Thor Hushovd and former British champion David Millar. Lloyd will look towards the Tour of Spain and the world championships later in the year. He already has one eye on the London Olympic games “It’s a huge goal to represent Great Britain in London, but there are so many good professionals from Britain, that I will have to do something special to earn my place” he told the Echo.

· Parkstone Cycle Clothing specialists, Prendas Ciclismo, will this season sponsor one of the top women’s teams in the country. The new team, Horizon Fitness –Prendas Ciclismo will compete in all the major UK races as well as on the continent and with three riders on the GB pursuit squad they will challenge on all fronts. Mick Tarrant of Prendas Ciclismo commented, “We have supported lots of riders over the years including a young Bradley Wiggins, its always tougher for a women’s team to find sponsors, so we are delighted to provide the team with all their clothing and accessories, we will be working with the team to develop female specific clothing.” It is a good time for women’s cycle racing with more events on the calendar and the number of professional teams increasing.