Sunday, 31 July 2016

Win, PB, PB, PB - business as usual for The Engine - Race Round up 31 July 2016

The weekend has proved to be a bit of a stellar one (not that kind Ric) for the team with Personal Bests and event victories abounding for "The Engine's" riders.

Victory in the Victoria
Kicking things off were Sam Hayes, Steve Robinson and Simon Doyle. The triumvirate were competing in Round 3 of the excellent Victoria CC 10.2mile team time trial series. The lads needed to fend off a keen TMG Horizon team, and our local friends in Hitchin Nomads, for the win on the day. A time of 22.49 was enough to secure the win by 4 seconds. By claiming the maximum points for the event, they also claim victory in the series. A just reward for some consistent performances and well drilled team time trialling (30 Jul 2016).

(L-R) Simon Doyle, Steve Robinson and Sam Hayes - Rd 3 Victoria CC 10.2 (pic Davey Jones)
Riding in the solo events were Hugo Hocknell and David Ledgerton. Hockers put in a shift to go sub-24 minutes with a time of 23.57. David, riding his first TT of the day (some of us can do two in a day - ahem), posted 26.50. Stuart Hocknell rode to a time of 38.16.

Time waits for no man in the Chronos
Joining David Ledgerton in the afternoon, on the Chronos RT F2A/10 (near Cambourne) were James Gomm and Dave Wentworth. Ledge made good going and clocked a time of 24.41. Two really robust rides in a day is a real achievement. Hot on his heels was Dave Wentworth, making a welcome visit to this version of the course our resident "flat cap Northerner type" tapped out a +25mph average with a time of 23.24. Last and by no means least in the pecking order was "young James Gomm". The not quite baby of the team capitalised on a host of training and effort to crack the magic 23 minute barrier for the first time, recording a lifetime PB of 22.47. Well done James, everyone in the team is really made up for you and glad to see how much your racing has come on since joining the fold.

Olden and Golden (VTTA E2/25)
(very) Early on Sunday morning (31 Jul 2016), Simon Doyle and Nigel Hale took themselves up to Newmarket to have a tilt at the famously quick E2/25 course. The 25 mile course is one of the quickest in the UK, on its day. The early coolness in the air and relative lack of traffic made the outbound leg of the brilliantly organised VTTA event heavy going for the first 50-60 riders. Simon was off #17 and had to use his experience to keep things ticking along and adjust his  ride to make the most of the road in the last 5 miles. Simon PB'd with a time of 56.20. An improvement on his previous best by 1m 04s .

It was Nigel Hale though who, despite his usual self-deprecating analysis, pulled off one of the rides of the year. Nigel beat his previous 25 mile best by 40s, recording a time of 53.52. That time secured 12th spot. A few seconds separated about half a dozen riders in the bottom half of the top 10. Awesome work Nigel. The day's conditions were anything but perfect. Both performances bode well for warmer and more conducive conditions. A celebratory Burger King breakfast was just the ticket. Although that did take longer to arrive than either of the time trials...

In the Valleys - breaking news!
Capping off the weekend was Steve Franklin. A more sociable start time and good conditions gave Steve the chance to pull a 55.25 on the Bynea CC R25/3h course in South Wales. A very good time indeed for the rookie. A warm up that involved pigeons, bowel movements (should that be posted here? - Ed) and race that included the circumnavigation of 7 roundabouts led to a power output that gave Steve a very tidy PB to take in to 2017.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Race round up - 24 July 2016

N&DCA Round 7
Given it's summer it is probably a bit churlish to complain about the heat but it's one thing having a cold beer by the bbq when the sun has got his hat on, it's something quite different if you are trying to make a bike go as quickly as you can for 10 or 25 miles against the clock. The Round 7 N&DCA 25 mile time trial (23 June 2016) served to prove that point.

The lastest event, which incidentally has been organised by TSE Supremo Steve Robinson, saw riders compete around 2 laps of the tough F14/25 course near Guilden Morden, Herts. Sam Hayes was in incredible form, recording 58.01 and claiming 7th place overall. Simon Doyle narrowly missed out on a sub-hour ride with a time of 1.00.11, helping him to sneak in to the top 20.

Hugo Hocknell (1.01.45) and Andy Roffe (1.01.56) were 24th and 25th respectively. In their ongoing duel in the series James Gomm (1.04.56) shaded out Steve Franklin (1.06.26). Roy Robinson and David Ledgerton took the decision to leave the midday sun for the mad dogs.

Sam and Simon are now within sight of a top 10 place in the series and the team are peppering the top 20 now too.


Many thanks to all those from TSE and other clubs, association and non-association who helped make the event possible. No volunteers = no sport. Simples.

If riding that wasn't enough, James Gomm took the evening to get himself back up to speed for the following day's F1b/25 Verulam CC 25. James posted a 1.01.32. Kind of shows how hard the N&DCA event was the previous day as Jame is a 58 rider.

VTTA F11/10
Simon Doyle and Dave Wentworth were the team's representatives in the VTTA event on the Tring Bypass on 20th July 2016. Simon was 5s off a pb with a time of 21.05 (+5.13 on standard time). Dave came back with another rock solid performance, 23.25 (+4.24). The rather extreme heat and strident headwind made it hard to capitalise on the downhill advantage to be gained after turn 1 but the guys acquitted themselves well.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Team Cambridge TT - 16 July 2016

Blustery conditions greeted the team as they took part in the Team Cambridge 10 on the F2D/10 course near Cambourne. First off was Simon Doyle. Simon hit the turn in under 10 minutes but payback time came quickly as the tailwind transformed itself in to a nasty headwind.  Andy Roffe made another step towards his best with a time that shaded Simon out by 1 second. Andy's warm up and preparation were nullified thanks to traffic problems on the way to the event. Hockers (Hugo) rode a very consistent time trial to better Andy and Simon. A mere 7s split these three. 

Hugo Hocknell - pic Davey Jones.
Riding to a new PB was James Gomm. This time he wasn't held up by traffic and it is now a only a matter of time before he posts a sub-23min 10. James had obviously passed his traffic hex on to Sam Hayes. Sam's short 21 would have been even quicker if he'd have not been held up on the final junction. Roy Robinson rounded things of with what he claims is/was one of his most focused performances for some time. Well done guys, another set of strong rides on a tough old day.

Roy Robinson in so-called warm weather attire - pic Davey Jones.

James Gomm on the way to a new PB - pic Davey Jones.

Simon Doyle - pic Davey Jones.

S Hayes 21:17
H Hocknell 22:13
A Roffe 22:19
S Doyle 22:20
J Gomm 23:03 (PB) 

R Robinson 27:25

Sunday, 10 July 2016

TSE host successful open time trial - July 2016

As a team we pride ourselves in contributing to the sport. On 9th July 2016 Steve Robinson took on the responsibility for leading the organisation of our annual 10 mile TT.

So after the aborted first effort back in April, it was great to finally get our event run, and to see such a high quality field despite clashes with other events locally. No roadworks to contend with on this time of asking.

Congratulations go to Francesca Rust and Simon Norman for their wins, in blowy (but thankfully dry) conditons, and huge thanks to everyone else who took part.

Finally, a big shout out to all of the Team Salesengine crew who pulled together to help make the event a success. To name check all involved – John Pick and Mary Hartley for ?mekeeping, Sue, Holly, Ben and Daisy for their efforts at the HQ, Simon Doyle (after also riding to a 21.53) and Roy Robinson on results, Andy Blower and Sam Hayes at the start and all of the marshals – Chris Hartley, Hugo Hocknell, Gavin Ashfield, Ric Palmer, James Gomm, Andy Roffe, Chris Rimes and David Ledgerton. All legends and all vital to making it all run so smoothly.

We loook forward to seeing you all again in 2017!

Report (via CTT)
Simon Norman (Bedfordshire Road RT) clinched victory by four seconds in the Team Salesengine 10, on a day when the top four riders were separated by 21 seconds. Norman who has already tasted victory this season in the Northampton & District CA 15 and Cambridgeshire CC 10 set a time of 19 minutes and 50 seconds on this occasion to seal the victory. Despite him clocking an average speed of 30.25 miles per hour his time was slower than his personal best of 19.08 which he set in the Hemel Hempstead CC 10 last month. Hot on his heals was Matt Sinclair (Lutterworth Cycle Centre RT) whose time of 19.54 was enough for second on the day with Justin Layne (CC Ashwell) finishing third a further six seconds back.

First woman home on the day in a respectable time of 23.59 was Francesca Rust (Ely & District CC). Beds Road RT took the team award (Norman, Green, Cook).


Saturday, 2 July 2016

More success for the team

In a week that saw our own team 10 mile record go, James Gomm, Steve and Ben Robinson continue the performace improvements.

First in action today (02 July 2016) were Steve and son Ben in the Norwich ABC 10. Based on the B10/43 course the lads posted a time of 25.34 on their racing tandem. A course best by 10s and a win by 5mins in their seniors/juniors category.

Ben (Stoker) and Steve (Pilot).

Later in the day James notched a 23.11 on the Ware based, F20/10 course. This was a personal best for James and shows that he's got a "monkey off his back" in terms of chasing an improvement on his best 10 time.  It's only a matter of time before he cracks 23 mins.

Next up is the TSE promoted 10 mile TT - 9 July 2016. Read about it here first folks.

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Team 10 Record Terminated!

Breaking News!

Nigel 'Terminator' Hale smashes the TSE 10 mile time trial record with a blistering 20.01.

Riding in the VTTA series based on the E2/10 course near Newmarket, Nigel improved on his lifetime personal best by 5 seconds as well as scalping the existing team record that was set by Martib Jones (20.20) last year.

Nigel Hale 20.01 - pic Davey Jones

Wait till he gets favourable conditions.

Brilliant ride, well done Nigel!

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Bling and Hockers post-PBs! 8 out of 10 riders prefer Whiskers. Hale on the podium.

It's difficult knowing where to start with the plaudits this week as the TSE riders manage to out perform themselves all over the shop.

On the hotly contested ECCA 25 that was run on 25/06/16 Sam 'Bling' Hayes and Hugo 'Hockers' Hocknell gave their respective PB's a real tidy up as they battled the conditions on the famously renowned Newmarket based course. Sam reduced his 25 mile PB significantly to post a 52.57. We'll have to check the record books but that may well be bragging rights in the team for quite some time. Hot on his (w)heels was Hockers. He also smashed his PB with a time of 54.12 despite a run of Hockers Jnr based contagion. It's a real shame that we didn't have a third rider as a team time and team record would have been a possibility. Chapeau!

Meanwhile, in a galaxy far, far away, or Northamptonshire as it is called, Steve 'Whiskers' Franklin turned in his performance of the season to date (so say we) in Rd 6 of the 2016 N&DCA TT series. Although Steve is still learning his craft he's evidently becoming an ardent student as he nailed a 53.06 for the 20.8 mile sufferfest around Lamport and Old. Running him close was James Gomm. Despite suffering a bout of hayfever and panda-eyes, plus the obligatory hold up with cars, Gommo notched 53.36. Another solid performance.

Simon Doyle and David Ledgerton were on the road a tad later. They also got the same soaking that Steve and James got. Ledgie consolidated his position in the points series with a 56.56. Simon improved on his 2015 time by over a minute, posting a time of 50.10. This should help 'Speedy' claw up the points board.

Completing the day's racing was Dave Wentworth. Dave pitched up to the Dunstable RC event on the Tring based F11/10 to record another +25mph time of 23.48. Gladly a less eventful post-race scenario greeted him this week.

Sunday (26/06/2016) saw another run of miserable weather as 4 riders set off for (potential) glory, again on the F11/10 course in the NORLOND Combine 10 TT. Our Stella (Artois not McCartney) loving DS (Ric Palmer) made a most welcome debut to the open TT scene following a 2 year sabbatical. Ric managed to break his tri-bars on the outward leg but he persevered and got on the drops to post a 25.38. This is a great achievement as a) he had the courage to enter and break his open 'duck' and b) it was a tough old day. Try riding for 6 miles in to a headwind....

Keeping Ric company were: Nigel Hale, posting a 21.23 (Nigel routinely posts short-20s so this shows how hard things were); Simon Doyle who was back in action for another double-header, he was a minute or so down on the last F11/10 endeavour (22.10) and finally; Steve Robinson who brought the team in to the reckoning for the team prize with a 23.19. Steve was held up significantly at turn #1, thereby robbing him of a long 22. Breaking news - Nigel looks like he landed himself in 3rd spot in the solo competition. Even more reason to celebrate.

Well, that's all for now folks. Stay tuned for more top class time trial reportage in the near future.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Nice 'n' Speedy does it

It's hard to keep track of what the TSE riders are up to at the moment such is the variety and geographic spread of the time trials we are riding. 

Here's this week's round up.

During the week Nigel 'Ernie the Derny' Hale took a punt on the  E2/10 (almost literally as it was that wet), to ride round 2 of the VTTA series that runs during June. He had to settle for a 21 this week. By his own standards he viewed the ride as "not that good". Which by other peoples' standards translates to a great performance.

On Saturday 18th June, 2016, Roy 'Ox' Robinson took to the  Thanet RC 10 mile time trial at Fowlmead Country Park near Deal, Kent. Roy set a new course PB by 40 seconds with a  28:27 in windy conditions. "Satisfying" was the verdict from the great man himself. 

Meanwhile in Essex, David Ledgerton was our sole representative in the Victoria CC Rd 2 10 miler. The usual E1/10 course was subject to roadworks so the E91/10 near Chelmsford had been employed by the organisers. David clocked 26.33 for the sporting course. Hugo Hocknell was incapacitated by a bug. 

In the "3 up team" version of the same event Sam Hayes, Steve Robinson and Simon Doyle reformed to do battle with a strong field. A new triumvirate of Chelmer CC claimed top spot but our trio put in an improved shift on round 1 to clock 22.34 on their inaugural run on this course, The TSE lads take the series lead but will be up against it in the next two rounds. "Gotta be in it to win it" and all that. 

Simon (Speedy to his mates) went on to do a hot-shoe-shuffle to get across to Tring, Herts for the F11/10 based Hemel Hempstead CC 10. With 6 hours between rides an intense set of stretching, foam rolling and banana eating helped him to bag a 21.00 time for his second event of the day. A lifetime best by 44 seconds. It's not often we go fast-course riding but Simon's time shows how you can benefit from riding SPOCOs and technical circuits. Joining him in the event were Chris Hartley and Dave Wentworth. Chris recorded another 23 for the distance in the overflow event (23.56). Dave recorded 23.08 in the main event with Simon. 

Rounding off a Saturday of activity was James Gomm. Riding the Herts Wheelers' F20/10 near Ware, James was held up by what seems to be a convoy of every vehicle within 100 miles of Hertford. This robbed James of a 10 mile PB by nanoseconds. 23.20 was recorded. It is only a matter of time before he cracks a 22. Keep calm and carry on James!

And finally, congratulations to TSE alumni Martin Jones on a new 25 mile PB. Well done Martin.

Our thoughts are with Dave Wentworth, whose wife Jill was taken ill during the course of Saturday afternoon - now on the mend apparently. 

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Back in the game

Well done to Rik Palmer for pinning a number on after a couple of years' break. A very creditable 28.12 in the Hitchin Nomads CC non-aero 10.

Onwards and upwards Rik.

Rik (l) and Nigel Hale (r) at the finish

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Hail Nigel - fastest on the roster for 10 miles

It was Nigel Hale's turn to take the plaudits this week with a simply stunning 20.22 for 10 miles. Taking part in event one of a four series VTTA E2/10 set of races, Nigel was within 1 second of the team's previous best at the distance. Martin Jones's record is safe by the skin of its teeth, well at least until Thursday and round 2. Nigel is now the quickest on the current roster and is certainly coming in to some form (despite him saying otherwise, frequently!).

Over the weekend (11th May) a mass of TSE riders took part in round 5 of the N&DCA series.  Andy Roffe returned to action again and proved that his form is coming along nicely. There was no truth in the rumour that he ate all the cakes at the HQ afterwards.

This latest event was based on the N15 course (over a 15 mile distance) near Sawtry. Sam Hayes was quickest again, consolidating his position on the leaderboard. Simon Doyle had a PB, as did James Gomm (which he clipped again the following day).

Sam Hayes 34.19, Simon Doyle 35.33, Andy Roffe 36.25, Steve Robinson 36.43, James Gomm 37.57, Steve Franklin 38.40, David Ledgerton 40.22, Roy Robinson 44.40, Stuart Hocknell 57.10.

Our mate Simon Norman from BRRT won with a blisteringly quick 31. Well done Simon.

The N&DCA series pits team mates against their peers over 10 races, the points gained from race form the basis of how well riders are performing against the field over the year. There'll be a few diversions to go and ride some vanity courses which offer an opportunity to obtain a flattering PB time, but the series is where the real tests of ability seem to be occurring. Loads more racing to come over the next few weeks.