Report – April 16th 2012

Congleton Cycling Club’s Chain of Events 

Karl Austin: Final Hearing and Sentencing at Derby Crown Court on 12th April

Another very sad and traumatic day for the Austin Family. Read the Chronicle Report in this week’s issue.

Weekend of 31st March / 1st April 

Bill Jinks Memorial RR at Corley near Coventry

Mike Harrison got off the mark this year with 3rd place in the 105km race, ten laps of a shortish circuit with an uphill finish. The winner was Tom Black of Cycletek, in style, on his own. HarrisonI finished 2nd in a four-up sprint about 30 secs down after he escaped the bunch on the climb with a lap to go. 

Cheshire Cat Sportive – 102 Miles and 5500ft ascent

Stephen Kane and 2 friends from Scotland rode the Cheshire Cat Sportive on the 25th March. This Sportive is one of the original and more famous UK Sportives and consists of 5500ft of ascent and a route of 102 miles. The route starts benignly enough, but after 15 miles it meets the notorious ‘Killer mile’ at Mow Cop. This climb has a famous sting in the tail with a 25% climb over the last 300 metres. All in the party managed to mount the climb and earn themselves a well-deserved medal for doing so. Unfortunately that wasn’t the last of the climbs; there were further climbs at Gun Hill and Wincle that sapped the strength of the legs. To compound the problems of the group, Stephen had mechanical issues with jamming gears. Despite the set-backs, respectable completion times were posted by all. The weather for the day couldn’t have been kinder, with all sporting cyclist’s tan lines by the end of the ride. 

Clubnight Slideshow – Out of Africa

Our Social Secretary, Georgina Norton, organised a slideshow. An audience of 15, were entertained on March 29th by a slide show of photographs with informative commentary taken during Rob and Avril Waghorn’s West African adventure with Bike Dreams. Rob was a rider on the 3500 mile, 10 week epic from Dakar in Senegal to Accra in Ghana, passing through The Gambia, Mali, Burkino Fasso, Benin, Togo and Ghana. Avril was a masseuse on the support crew. The trip gave them the opportunity to see the real West Africa, travelling as they did in extremes of heat and dust, staying in a mix of bush camps and local accommodation. Rob described the environment in which the population lived and gave a real sense of what life must be like for them. Appreciation for the slide show was given in the time honoured way, i.e. applause. Rob kept a blog during their trip, which give detail of their day to day experiences. This can be found at

MDTTA 10-mile TT on Chelford course

This was the 3rd and last event of the spring series. Peter Hayhurst slowed to 30.21 but the winner, Alistair Rutherford, Vanillabikes, also slowed a little to record 21.47.

Clubrun from Abergele

Bob Norton reports that the Abergele ride was great. The weather was bright and clear giving some magnificent views over Snowdonia from above the Conwy valley, and the coastal scenery around the Great Orme was stunning. There were only 4 takers for the ride. Georgina and Bob Norton, Stephen Kane and David McVitie. They started from Pensarn Promenade and headed south to Llanfair Talhaiam, then west towards Llanwrst, through Llangrwnwy, before turning left onto the B5513 to Nebo. There are some great views looking west from this road over to Snowdonia. They then dropped down to the A5 and Betwys-y-Coed for a lunch stop. They then took the old road through Trefwy and Dolgarrog to Conwy and on to Llandudno via Deganwy. They had an afternoon coffee stop on the road around the Great Orme (Marine Drive), before carrying on round the Orme and back to Llandudno. The route back the Abergele was to Rhos on Sea and the on to the Sustrans North Wales Coast path. A good day out, 64 miles with about 4000 feet of climb. 

Vale of Evesham Tour

Denise and David Hurst had a lovely weekend in the Vale of Evesham cycling to Bourton-on-the-Water on Saturday (approx.. 50 miles) and then to Broadway on Sunday where they sat in the glorious sunshine talking to other cyclists. They stayed on a fruit farm at Hayles Abbey near Winchcombe.

Easter Weekend (incl. Tuesday) Events:

Tour of the North (N. Ireland) – 4-day RR

Mike Harrison rode the Tour of the North again in N.Ireland over Easter – 4 days in length, 3 road stages, each around 75 miles and a short prologue up the driveway of Stormont Castle. He finished 39th overall out of 110 starters, which was not as good as last year but unfortunately all the three top British pro teams rode (rapha, node 4 and sigma) plus Dave McCann doing motorbike impressions ! The weather wasn’t too bad and stayed mainly dry, if cool and breezy. James Moss of Node 4 ran out the winner after a dominant display by his team.

Exposure 24hr – European MTB solo 24hr championships.

Another epic ride by Jamie Willetts who reports:

“I arrived on the Friday before the event to what can only be expected from a 24hr event- torrential rain. A practice lap of the 11.5 mile course ensued which I was hoping would be the only wet one of the entire event, as the mud round Newcastleton eats brake pads very quickly. The lap had been improved this year making it a bit longer, but removing some horrible bits of grassy field climbing and being replaced with more single track climbing. This now gave 1500 – 1600ft of climbing per lap which would be challenging.”

“The Saturday dawned dry-ish and sunny which was a blessing and we were lucky that the weather held for almost the entire race. The worst bit of any 24 is the waiting for the start; there is nothing left to do as all the training is done and the bikes are ready, all I had to do was strap race numbers to the bike and remember to put my timing chip on – I managed to get to the start with plenty of time but without the timing chip. This left me with a 15 minute return trip to camp to pick it up – not the sprint warm up that I needed! After the midday start things went well and I soon got into my groove, starting with a couple of slower laps to get my body working and seeing where it was and then pushing from there. I soon caught up with a friend Dean Pointer (team cycleaid) and we ended up riding together for about 3 laps working well and gaining back a large number of places. At 7hrs I was in 37th position but was unconcerned as I was on my target speed and number of laps. By the end of lap 8 which finished at about 10pm I was up to 31st. Unfortunately between 12-1 I hit a very low spot, but some amazing riders forced me through. A 30 minute stop at 4.30 am to let by body rest and an attempted sleep for 10 minutes gave me my second wind, before I was kindly kicked out of my slumber and forced back on the bike by my wife, Abbi. By this time I had slipped off my schedule a bit but 2 laps later the sun was up and spirits were raised with it. I had been in 27th at 5 am and when I came in at 9am for my final pit stop I was told I was in 24th with the next rider 10 minutes ahead. The legs found a final reserve of energy and I flew the final lap as fast and hard as possible to try and catch the rider in front. I managed to pass several riders during the final lap, but it is very difficult to tell who is in your category. I crossed the finish line at about 10.30 which having gone faster on the last lap, left me right on the cusp of being able to push in a final lap within the 24hr limit. As I had given it my all I didn’t think that I could manage another lap in the remaining time, that and a flat tyre made my decision for me.”

“Overall I finished in 20th in class and had a cracking time. I am already planning for next year! Massive thanks must go to Abbi who kept me motivated and looked after me through-out and to Jay and Maddie Horton and the rest of their pit crew for helping Abbi and staying up for until the wee small hours of the morning to push me through my rough spot and also to Twelve50 bikes for supplying me a cracking race weapon and supporting my racing this year.”

Club Reliability Ride – 150-miles to Ludlow and return

Denise Hurst, Wayne Powell and Peter Smith rode this event which was initiated some years ago by our famous long-distance rider, Karl Austin and as this was the first year without Karl their thoughts were very much with him throughout the ride. From the 7 a.m. start, the morning was wet and cold but by lunch in the café in the Market Place, opposite Ludlow Castle, the sun appeared and the return ride via Bridgenorth and Stone, Werrington would have been very enjoyable had there been no headwind. They arrived back the Rugby Club at 8 p.m.

Clubrun to Delamere Station Café – 60 miles

Georgina and Bob Norton, Bill Boynton, John Broadbent (new Member), David Hurst and Peter Nelson enjoyed the pleasant conditions as they rode via Goostrey, Davenham, Hartford and Hatchmere to this popular venue. The return route was via Cotebrook, Wettenhall, Church Minshull, Middlewich and Brereton Heath. 

VTTA 10-mile TT on Chelford Course

In wintery conditions (hail showers), our two representatives struggled. Peter Nelson  the elder) made his 2012 TT debut and was pleased with his 33.33 but Peter Hayhurst (the younger) struggled to 31.52. The winner was Carl Ruebotham, Team Swift, with 22.09. 

Club Hilly Time Trial – Mossley / Rushton / Timbersbrook – 9.5 miles

Thirteen riders dodged the showers in our first evening time trial of the year. Winner over the 9.5 mile hilly course was 15-year-old and son of Member, Andrew Thomas, Will Thomas (Velocity RT), continuing his good form, in a time of 28:40. Stephen Jackson was fastest of the Club members in 32:22.

Result Details:

1 – Will Thomas, Velocity RT, 28:40

2 – Ben Trotter, Macclesfield Wheelers, 30:38

3 – Stephen Jackson, Congleton CC, 32:22

4 – Pete Tatton, Congleton CC, 33:14

5 – Chris Goodwin, Macclesfield Wheelers, 33:33

6 – Mike Jones, Congleton CC, 33:56

7 – Andy Malbon, Congleton CC, 34:21

8 – Robert Kerr, Crewe Clarion, 35:24

9 – Mike Line, Congleton CC, 35:27

10 – Wayne Powell, Congleton CC, 38:26

11 – Stephen Kane, Congleton CC, 40:40

12 – Tony Elliott, Congleton CC, 42:40

13 – David Hurst, Congleton CC, 44:47

Timekeepers: Bob + Georgina Norton

Marshalls: David McVitie, Roy Hayhurst, Kelvin Milward, Denise Hurst, Peter Nelson, Jamie Willetts

Weekend of 14th – 15th April

Macclesfield Wheelers 25-mile TT on Chelford Course

In very wintery conditions, Peter Nelson and was pleased with his 01.27.10. Peter Hayhurst slumped to 01.27.44. The winner was Simon Bridge, Manchester Wheelers, with 53.03.

AUDAX: Ironbridge 207K and Hawkstone 133K

These events are organised by Rob Waghorn; ably assisted at the Rugby Club HQ by wife, Avril and Bob Norton. 34 riders endured bright sunshine but low temperatures (+1ºC at start) and a headwind return leg.

19 riders, including our Denise Hurst, commenced the 207K ride at 8 a.m. and rode via Market Drayton to Ironbridge and after a lunch stop, returned via Whitchurch, arriving at the Rugby Club between 5 and 8 p.m. 15 riders commenced the 133K ride at 8.30 a.m. and also rode via Market Drayton but then cut via Hodnet then Hawkstone Park to Prees Heath for their lunch stop, before returning via Burford and Church Minshull, arriving between 3 and 5 p.m.

Due to prior commitments, Bob Norton and Roy Hayhurst rode the 210K route on Saturday – which served as a useful check in case of roadworks.

Clubrun to High Legh Garden Centre

David Hurst, Olivier Foerster, David McVitie and Bob Norton started at 9.30 a.m. just as the sun started to warm the air a little. They rode via Middlewich, Lower Peover and Great Budworth to High Legh and enjoyed the usual nourishment and chat before returning via Tatton Park, Whipping Stocks and Bate Mill.

Future Events: Saturday, 21st April, Social Ride of approx. 15 miles to café and return loop. Meet at 10 a.m. at Unicorn PH on Holmes Chapel Road, West Heath.

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The Club meets every Thursday at 8.30pm at the Rugby Club, Park Street and welcomes anyone who would like to swap ideas and stories on all cycling topics.