Report – 13th September 2013

Congleton Cycling Club’s Chain of Events 

Weeks of 20th August to 10th September 

31st August

Stretford Wheelers 25-mile TT on Byley Course

Five Members rode this event on the same roads as used for our recent 50-mile TT but in cooler and very windy conditions. Our top three performers all recorded excellent 1hr 1 minute rides, with Ben Norbury slightly faster than Nick Decker, closely followed by Kelvin Milward. Mike Jones posted 01:03 and Peter Hayhurst, 01:19. The clear winner was, as usual, Simon Bridge (Manchester Wheelers) with 53:14.

BDCA 100-mile TT on Uttoxeter Course

Pete Smith was our sole representative. He recorded 4:22:07, a PB! The winner was Charlie Taylor (South Pennine CC) with 3:35:39.


Schwalbe Tyre MTB Marathon in Ruthin

Charlie Evans rounded out his MTB season with the Schwalbe Tyre MTB Marathon in Ruthin, North Wales on Saturday 31st August. The 50 mile route was based around the Clwydian hills, climbing Moel Famau and Moel Arthur and conditions were dry and dusty – rare for North Wales! Due to UK bridleway regulations, such events cannot be run as races, however riders are still timed! He recorded the 12th fastest time of the day, placing him 6th in the Masters age group with a time of 4hrs 29 mins. 

1st September

Clubrun to Roaches Tearoom – 45 miles

Fourteen Members enjoyed a windy and tough but pleasant “Autumn” day in the hills. Denise and David Hurst, Dean and Tristan Roberts, John Broadbent, Jim Cook, Sam French, Mike Line, David McVitie and Marcus Rohrmann did the complete ride which started with the first leg of our Hilly Reliability (to be held soon due to cancellation last Spring) – up Blacky Bank, Timbersbrook, Cloudside, Rushton, Swythamley, Bearda, Wincle (where Roy Hayhurst headed for home), Allgreave, Gradbach and around the back of the Roaches to the popular venue – where they met Sue Collins, Stephen Kane and Peter Hayhurst who had ridden a more direct route. After the usual nourishment, they head back along the Roaches and down the steep and twisty lane (in ideal, dry conditions) to Meerbrook where they cheered the riders in the Tour of Britain Sportive – but instead of heading up Gun Hill, the Club rode via Abbey Green (saying Cheerio to John Broadbent who lives in Leek) to Rudyard and then Horton, up to Lask Edge (via either short and steep or longer and not-so-steep climbs), where they again cheered the ToB Sportive riders all the way to Biddulph Park – where our riders went their separate ways – homeward bound. Altogether a very enjoyable day in the Hills!

Half Ironman Triathlon, Whitchurch

Sue Blake reports on her successful Triathlon: “I recently competed in, and completed, my first half ironman distance triathlon in a time of 06:06:32. The event involved a 1.2 mile wetsuit swim in Dearnford Lake, Whitchurch, Shropshire, followed by a 56 mile bike ride and a 13.1 mile run. I had a target to finish in around six and a half hours so I was extremely pleased with my time. And to add to the big grin I was wearing as I crossed the line I found out I’d won my age group. Pete Tatton also competed in the event finishing ahead of me in a time of 05:39:39. I believe Pete has been motivated enough by the event to sign up for a full ironman which is double the above distances. But that’s another story I’m sure he’d love to share. You won’t hear about me doing an ironman next year though, as I’m focusing my efforts on open water swimming and cycling next year. Next year’s challenges involve a swim in Loch Ness called the Monster Swim, and possibly a 12 hour time trial.”

7th – 8th September

ABC Centreville 25-mile TT on Chelford Course

Four Members rode this event in dry, mild and breezy conditions. Kelvin Milward was our fastest rider with 01:02:16, followed a long way behind, by Peter Hayhurst, 01:21:32; Denise Hurst, 01:22:36 and Dave Hurst, 01:28:31. The winner, as usual, was Simon Bridge (Manchester Wheelers) with an amazing time of 52:39.

Buxton CC Hill Climb on Long Hill, Whaley Bridge

On a very bright and dry morning but with a strong head wind, our two representatives performed well, with Nick Decker posting 16:32 and Mike Jones, 17:00. The overall winner was Tejvan Pettinger (Chinmoy CT) with 13:13. Vanessa Whitfield, 16.44 was fastest lady and Sean Davenport with 15.39, fastest Junior.

Clubrun to Railway Café, Delamere – 62 miles

Denise Hurst (leader), Stephen Kane, Mike Line, Marcus Rohrmann, Dean & Tristan Roberts, Jo Langford, David McVitie and Jim Cook plus Sue Collins & Mark Tilstone who rode direct. Denise Hurst reports: “The route we took was made up of a variety of flat and hilly terrain and went via Brereton, Middlewich, Church Minshull, Cotebrook, Utkinton, Summertrees, Willington over and down the Yeld and then down one of the rough tracks passing the visitors centre at Delamere to have our lunch stop at the railway station café. Marcus stated that he didn’t realise we were into cyclo cross on our club runs and said he might have to bring his mountain bike another time. We had one puncture on route which most of us had a hand in helping out to mend. It was lovely weather all the way. We all had lunch, including some of Mike Line’s chips which he had left on his plate. On our way home we travelled back to Cotebrook around to the front of Oulton Park where we turned for Whitegate and crossed the River Weaver riding up another rough track into Davenham and on to Lach Dennis, Allostock, Goostrey, Swettenham, to Congleton.”

Raid Pyrenéen Challenge – 18 Cols, 740km in 100 Hours

In September, three Members – Richard Cowan, his son Tom, and Bill Boynton – took on the tough Raid Pyreneen, a challenge to cycle the length of the mountain range over 18 cols from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean in less than 100 hours. In total, they faced a journey of 740 km and ascent of 12,800m. They were in a group of 20 riders with logistics organised by Marmot Tours.

Day 1 – after a dipping of toes in the Atlantic, the group departed at 09.00am and headed up the coast road for a while before passing through the Basque heartland crossing Col De St Ignace (169m) and Col De Pinodieta (176m) to the walled town of St Jean Pied de Port and then the first significant climb over Col D’ Osquich (500m). Nearly 170 km completed.

Day 2 – tackled the most feared cols in the Pyrenees. After riding to Laruns, the group went straight up the stunningly beautiful Col D’Aubisque (1709m) then up Col de Soulor (1464m) through rock tunnels, followed by a swoopy descent to Argeles-Gazost.  Up the gorge to Luz-St Sauveur, turning left to climb Col De Tourmalet (2115m), made famous by the Tour de France.  Conditions were difficult – temperature approaching 35°C, reaching the top, after an uphill ride of 2h 26 min.

Day 3 – the riders faced another hot day and five more cols, starting with the picturesque Col d’Aspin (1489m) and Col de Peyresourde (1569m). Col Des Ares (797m) and Col De Buret (602m) were then despatched, before tackling the 14% inclines of Col de Portet D’Aspet (1069m).

Day 4 – a good night’s sleep makes a huge difference and our trio were immediately tackling Col de Port (1249m), a gradual and beautiful climb followed by a great descent to Tarascon. Up the valley to Ax-les-Thermes, the route then turned left up the seemingly endless and brutal Col du Pailheres (2001m). Cloud cover and lower temperature helped the riders to ride over two more awkward cols; Col des Moulis (1099m) and Col du Garavel (1262m). Finally they had to take on Col du Jau (1506m).  The reward was a scenic twisting final descent to Prades and the feeling that their odyssey was nearly complete.

Day 5 – the group had to reach the finish before 1 p.m. so there was no room for errors of navigation or mechanical delay.  The Congleton riders led a well-organised peloton on the steady descent to the coast at over 20 mph and then tackled the hilly cliff roads through fortified Collioure and other resorts, descending with feelings of euphoria to the beach at the final destination of Cerbere at 12:30. Compared with most other cycling experiences, the pressures and uncertainties of the Raid Challenge had built enormous team spirit and supportiveness.

13th September

World Triathlon Championships in London

John Broadbent was selected for his age group (65-69) for Great Britain at the World Triathlon Championships in London. At this sprint distance, which is a 750 metre swim, 22.5 km bike ride and a 5 km run and he finished 30th (11th Brit.) out of 58 in his Age Category, in 01:29:31. The Age Category winner was Dieter Waller (Germany) in 01:17:18.

Future Events

For Clubruns (Saturday / Sunday, A/B) and the final Bob Job events of the year – the Hill Climb on Ganney Bank, the Hilly Reliability Ride (postponed due to bad Spring weather) and the Horseshoe / Viaduct AUDAX – see website:

 The Club meets every Thursday at 8.30 p.m. at the Rugby Club, Park Street, except for the first Thursday of the month where the venue is Beartown Tap. Anyone who would like to swap ideas and stories on all cycling topics is welcome to attend.