Report – July 25th 2011

Congleton Cycling Club

 This report includes the last rides of our dear member, Karl Austin and it is therefore very difficult to write enthusiastically about any of these events. Out of respect to Karl, the Club Events of 5th and 12th July and were cancelled and only resumed on 19th July – albeit in an atmosphere of sadness.

 Gisburn Dirty Dozen – Solo 12 Hour Mountain Bike Enduro, Gisburn forest. Jamie Willetts reports:

“Having arrived late on the Friday night there was no time for a practice lap to suss out the course prior to the race, so the first lap was going to be interesting. Chatting to some of the other competitors in the pub I was glad to here there was only one technical descent and the whole course should be fully rideable, wet or dry. Over night heavy rain damped the course nicely and we all woke early for the 7.30 start to a drying course. Luckily the weather gave bright but cool conditions with light winds were ideal for the race. After the Le Mans style running start I grabbed my bike and went off fairly easily. I overtook a large number of people in the first few laps before settling into 40-45 minute laps of the 8 mile course. 14 Laps and 11hrs 30mins of racing later, I finished in 10th place.”

Well done Jamie!

 June 25th / 26th

– Prescot Eagle 10-Mile TT at Rainford

Peter Hayhurst and Peter Nelson enjoyed the smooth, traffic-free roads and managed 27:44 and 30:07 respectively on a breezy but warm afternoon.

 – Club-Run to Pott Shrigley

Bob Banner, Stephen Kane and Dave McVitie braved the heat-wave to Prestbury, Adlington and up to Pott Shrigley where they met Sue Collins and Mark Tilstone who had done a longer ride. They returned via Bollington and Prestbury to complete 55 miles back to the Congleton Food & Drink Festival..

 – Otley C.C. 50-Mile TT at Dishforth

Alf Hilton’s venture into Yorkshire paid off with a fine 2nd place in 01:48:05, just 9 seconds behind Matt Moorhouse(Preston C.C.) – 01:47:56.

 – North Lancs 100-Mile TT at Bassenthwaite

Karl Austin posted 04:23:57. The clear winner was Derek Parkinson (Cleveley’s R.C.) with a course record 03:37:17.

 Dartmoor Classic Sportive

Jamie Willets reports:

“Returning for the third year on the trot, I was looking forwards to riding on Dartmoor again, as it covers some of my favourite climbs and areas of the moor. The day started cool with thick mist over the lower climbs out of Bovey Tracey and Holne Hill, but bright sunshine once up on top of the moors. With temperatures predicted to be in the low to mid 20’s I knew it was going to be a long hot day in the saddle. By lunchtime any clouds there were had burnt off and temperatures in the high 20’s were sapping my legs of energy and of those around me also, many riders including myself experiencing cramp at different points. Completing the 105 miles and 9800 ft of climbing in a time of 6hrs 49mins, I was glad for some shade and a cold drink.”

 June 28th – Club 10-Mile TT on Chelford Circuit

On a mild, sunny evening, 12 Members and 8 Guests put in good performances. Steve Hulme was fastest of the Congleton riders with a time of 22:43, but fastest overall was Nige Wood (Will’s Wheels) in a time of 22:24. Other Members results: Karl Austin – 24:02, Andy Malbon – 25:55, Jon Leigh – 25:55, Peter Tatton – 25:59, Edgar Reynolds – 26:54, Tony Elliot – 27:05, Chris Clowes – 27:10, Mick Byrne – 27:42, Steve Sladin – 28:46, Peter Nelson – 30:15.

Timekeepers: Joyce Austin, Bob Dale. Marshals: Jill Elliott, Peter Hayhurst.

 July 2nd / 3rd

YCF “50” TT at Dishforth / Thirsk

Our Members had a very successful outing to North Yorkshire. Neil Skellern’s 1:44:32 was a PB which secured 3rd place and Alf Hilton’s 1:47:42 put him in 8th place. The winner was Kevin Dawson ( with 1:41:06.

 La Marmotte 174K Sportive, French Alps

Mike Harrison more than made-up for his previous disappointing rides by finishing 81st out of 5000+ riders in this toughest and most prestigious Challenge Ride which climbs the Cols of Telégraph and Galibier and then Alpe d’Huez (as Tour de France, last week) plus the Glandon at the start.- a total of 5180m climbing. Here is his report:

 “The day started around 6.30am as we took our places at the start. I thankfully had an forward start placing, only just behind the 400 who had qualified for the “race”.

I got into a fast moving pace-line on the valley road to the foot of the Col du Glandon which ramps up to 8% from the start. The scale of the mountains hits home, when after an hour and a half, you are still going uphill and this is only the first of the four climbs. The weather was sunny and reasonably cool with little wind though by the time I had descended to the valley for nearly 20 miles I was frozen.

After a quick ride down the valley we turned right onto the Col de Telégraph, a steady 9 mile climb through a forest, then a short 2 mile decent followed by the dreaded Col de Galibier. This really is a monster, approximately 20 miles long, climbing to nearly 9000 feet. Nearing the summit, every time I took a drink I went dizzy. Must’ve been the rarified air at that altitude. I felt envious of the other riders in semi pro teams who were having drinks and food handed up on each mountain. After a 30 mile drop and a headwind ride down the valley to Bourg d’Oisans we started the last and most famous climb – Alp D’Huez. This starts off with a series of hairpin bends: 3 miles at an average gradient of 10-12% then thankfully gets a little easier until you can finally see the ski resort ( and finish line ) way above you. Although always insight, the buildings never seem to get any closer as the miles and hills take their toll. I finally sprinted (sort of ) across the line in a time of 6 hours and 56 minutes, thankful to have sneaked inside 7 hours for the first time in 3 attempts but mostly relieved to finally stop pedalling !

Quite how the Tour de France riders actually race around here after 18 days racing is mind boggling.”

 July 9th / 10th

CTT National “100” TT Championship at Dishforth / Thirsk

On a windy day and against the top riders in the country, Neil Skellern recorded another magnificent PB of 3:41:43. This provides a sound basis for his attempt at his usual top BAR placing. The winner was non-other than Michael Hutchinson with 3:24:45.

 VTTA (Mcr&NW) “25” TT on Chelford Circuit

Kelvin Milward claimed 15th place with 1:02:56.

 MDTTA “100” TT Championship on Byley to Siddington Course

On a dry, cool day with little wind – in other words – good conditions, our Members did not perform as expected but Neil Skellern has to be “excused” for his modest 4:28:25, due to his PB at the same distance the previous day. His motive and success was to gain valuable points in the 2011 MDTTA Cheshire Points Series, in both Individual and Team Categories. Alf Hilton suffered from cramps for the last 20 miles, necessitating 3 stops and a massage but still managed 4.09.49 for 4th place. Dave Mulroy lost 20 minutes due to a puncture and thus finished with 5:06:01. Peter Hayhurst also suffered with cramps for the last 40 miles and slumped to a 5:24:35. Our riders were supported by Tony Elliott, Peter Nelson, Dave McVitie and Georgina and Bob Norton

 Club-Run to Priest’s House Café, Audlem

Following their marshalling duties at the Waggon & Horses in the above “100”, Georgina and Bob Norton, Dave McVitie, Peter Nelson and Doug Taylor had an enjoyable ride to Audlem.

 July 14th – Karl’s Funeral

Karl’s Obituary and Tribute appeared in last week’s Chronicle. All Member’s and former Members paid their personal tributes to Karl by riding and / or attending and working at the reception. The few that could not attend, due to being away on holiday, sent their apologies and messages of condolence.

 July 16th / 17th 

Club Social Ride to Cranage Craft Centre

Georgina Norton and Katie Mulroy did a 30 mile ride around the lanes, In pouring rain, including a stop at Cranage Craft Centre.

 MDTTA and VTTA National “50” TT Championships on Chelford Circuit

The weather improved in the late afternoon with only the odd heavy shower. Neil Skellern gave further proof of his fine form with 1:52:30 for 3rd place (and 1st Over-40), behind Charles Taylor’s winning 1:49:33, from a full field of 125 entrants. Peter Hayhurst managed 2:27:54 for 24th place on VTTA Standard.

 Hills & Plains of Cheshire AUDAX 210K & 110K Rides

These events were organised, as usual, by Rob Waghorn and attracted 60 entries. 30 riders rode the Hills & Plains 200K. Stephen Kane and Bob Norton and 3 others rode the 110K – Just the Hills and 25 riders started the Just the Plains 110K. Some failed to complete the ride due to the very wet conditions. All were grateful for the cheese on toast and tea / coffee provided by Avril Waghorn, supported by Georgina Norton.

 July 19th

Club “25” TT on Gawsworth – Siddington Circuit

There were just seven riders, including 1 guest, for the Gawsworth ’25? circuit on a cold and blustery evening. A minute’s silence was held in memory of Karl before the start. Winner was Kelvin Milward with a time of 1:04:35. Other Members’ results: Brendan McLaughlin – 1:06:43, Sue Collins – 1:08:12, Darren Nicholls – 1:14:30, Tony Elliott – 1:16:36, Edgar Reynolds – 1:20:25.

Timekeepers: Bob Norton, Bob Dale
Marshals: David McVitie, Peter Hayhurst, John Green, Ruth Goreham

 22nd / 24th July

CRUFC 24-Hour Rugby – World Record Attempt

This well-organised, entertaining (for supporters), strenuous (for players), tiring (for players and supporters) event was timed by six of our Members. Avril and Rob Waghorn, Georgina and Bob Norton, Denise and David Hurst worked in pairs, in shifts, covering the 26 hours from preparation through to finalising the paperwork. The previous record was beaten by approx. 20 minutes – so everyone was extremely happy.

 Mersey Roads 24-Hour TT in Shropshire / Cheshire

Wayne Jackson was our sole representative and also a TT novice at this distance / duration. He covered a splendid 246 miles in the first 12 hours – and was in 2nd position – but then faded and failed to complete the 24-Hours. He will pace his riding better in next year’s event. The winner was Philip Kelman of Deeside Thistle, with 479 miles.

 The Outlaw Ironman Triathlon – Nottingham

Dave Mulroy attempted and succeeded – in 11hrs 42mins 31secs! This was not only his first Ironman (2.4 mile swim + 112 mile ride + 26 mile run) but also his first Marathon run. He and his supporters were pleased with his 118th place out of 600+ competitors.

 Our new website:

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.