Monday 26 October 2015

2015 In Review - Another great season for Team Sales Engine

2015 saw the Team Sales Engine cadre expand and develop to new highs. Exisiting team members continued to compete and perform around the region at a very high standard. Our new members fitted in brilliantly and have helped move 'The Engine' up yet another level.

2015 Team
We welcomed five new riders this year. Martin Jones, Andy Roffe, Chris Rimes, Andy Blower and Steve Franklin. Our newbies complemented the existing active roster of Sam Hayes, Dave Wentworth, Chris Hartley, Roy Robinson, Stuart and Hugo Hocknell, Simon Doyle, David Ledgerton, team founder, Steve Robinson and his son, Ben Robinson.

Rick Palmer acted as the ever-present and enthusiastic DS for the group during his sabbatical from racing. Fortunately Rick never followed through with his promise of Ra-Ra skirt and pom-poms for the N&DCA series.

Outstanding performances
Martin Jones led the charge this year at the National level. Martin is the first TSE rider to step up to the CTT nationals and did the team proud with strong performances in the National 25 (54.15 for 51st in the country at the distance) and at the National 10. The 10 saw Martin held up by traffic but still record 21.46.  Martin knocked out a series of 20 minute 10 mile performances wherever he rode, and was also our top points scorer in the N&DCA series. Martin was 3rd overall and 2nd in the short-course series. An amazingly consistent set of results proves that 'effort in' leads to 'rewards out'. A 20.21 TSE best for 10 miles says it all really.

Martin Jones
Sam Hayes's season was equally impressive. Having kicked of the year with sub-hour 25 rides on the sporting courses of Essex and Herts, he went on to claim 5th spot in the N&DCA overall and 4th in the short-course events. Victories in the Victoria-2up team time trial series with Steve Robinson, saw Sam and Steve retain their 2014 title. In August Sam proved that he was in the form of his life, by blasting around the Tempsford based F1b/25 course in 54:33, to knock 9 seconds off his fastest ever 25. Sam also took half a minute out of his 2014 time at the RTTC National Closed Circuit Championship in October. He took 35th spot this time around.

Sam Hayes
We could probably fill a page on Sam and Martin alone but the team palmares for 2015 doesn't stop with Martin and Sam. 

N&DCA Success
The Northants & District 10 race time trial series is one of the toughest and well regarded in the UK. Riders compete in a number of competitions based on age or distance, and its fair to say 'The Engine' did brilliantly well in all of them...

Firstly, the N&DCA 2015 team award saw TSE come home in 2nd spot. Fenland Clarion pipped us to the title by 3.5 points. Whilst we didn't retain our 2014 crown it is clear to see that this was a two-horse race again. In terms of performances the team punched well above its weight in terms of overall placing (best 3 rides on short courses plus best 3 rides on the remainder):
  • 2 riders in the top 5
  • 4 in the top 20
  • 5 in the top 25
In the short course competition (best 4 short distance rides):
  • 3 riders in the top 5
  • 4 in the top 10
  • 6 in the top 20
In the Masters Z
  • 1 rider on the podium
Great results given we were not at anything near full strength. Watch out next year for a real push to get the title back. Congratulations to all who took part and thanks to N&DCA for promoting this series.

Strength in depth - a selection of our riders' 'stand out' performances
In terms of more individual performances, Andy Roffe was a notable name on many 'Top 10' N&DCA results boards this year. In his TSE maiden season he also clocked 20.58 in the VTTA Championships in June. The '20' is sandwiched by a number of 21 minute and 22 minute rides for the 10 mile distance. Andy should be a contender for the N&DCAoverall next year having placed 5th in the short course series. Andy Blower's debut season saw him in action in three open events for us, the quickest run out was his contribution to the team at the Lampard RC 10 on the F15/10. 23.58 saw him clock a +25mph ride.

The 10 mile distance also proved fruitful for another of our newbies. Chris Rimes recorded 21 minute times in the Team Cambridge and Chronos RT events. Chris's time in the Chronos RT contributed to the team win for Chris, Sam and Simon. Chris figured in the early rounds of the N&DCA with a notable 8th place in Round 3 and capped off the season with a +25mph ride in Round 9.

Steve Franklin, in his inaugural season for the team posted a set of solid times around the K courses and on the N&DCA circuits. 23.35 at the Royal Sutton 10 (May) and a short-4 on the F14/25 were great times. The ever-improving Franklin will be posting quick times again next year. Steve was 16th in the N&DCA short-course series and 18th overall.

Dave Wentworth bashed out a 22.54 on the Icknield RC promoted 10 in September. He had preceded this tremendous ride with a number of 23s on the F and E courses, including the VTTA championships in June. In August Chris Hartlesmashed around the 10 mile, Hull based V718 course in 23:05 to match his best ever performance at the distance to the second.

David Ledgerton made huge strides this year in terms of getting his performances to a level he was happy with. Dave bloomed with a 23 in the Team Cambridge 10 and a really good 1.05.12 in the Finsbury Park 25. A good winter should see Dave go well next year and build on 12th spot in the N&DCA 'Masters X' category and 24th overall.

In an up and down season Simon Doyle kicked off the year with victory in the Lea Valley 2up 25 mile TT with Steve Robinson (March). Having developed a lung infection his mid-season was impacted but he went on to record a life-time PB for 10 miles of 21.44, two sub-hour  rides around F14/25 and a final flourish of 8th place in his age category at the National Closed Circuit series in October.

The Hocknell boys also have seasons to remember. Stuart was 3rd overall in the Masters Z category of the N&DCA series. Hugo knocked everyone for six by smashing out a 54.54 for 25 miles in the VTTA E2/25 in August. Hugo has suffered with a number of coughs and bugs this year, so to pull that out of the bag was a fantastic achievement. Chapeau!

Three generations of Robinsons troubled the timekeeper this year. The senior of the triumvirate, Roy Robinson, recorded 26.20 for 10 miles in two events, the Bossard 10 in August and the VTTA 10 in June. The Ox has certainly still got the power and he will be another one to watch in the improvement stakes.

Team founder, Steve Robinson posted victories with two 2up partners, Sam and Simon (see above). He also went on to clock a sub-hour 25 with a 58 on the F1b/25. Pretty good when you consider he hates riding for more than half an hour at a stretch. A 21 minute 10 tandem ride with Sam Hayes and 22 minute 10 solo performances underline his consistency and versatility. And finally, junior member of the squad, Ben Robinson scored notable tandem victories and age-related performances stoking around the Kettering CC and Norlond Combine events. Ben also took part in his first solo, open TT. A 10 around Bicester Airfield where he recorded 37.20, which is pretty impressive for a nine year old. A glowing career beckons.
Ben and Steve Robinson in Tandem action (Kettering CC)
And we've not even bothered reprising our efforts in the UCI  Amateur World Championship qualifiers in the Tour of Cambridgeshire.

As well as some fantastic individual and team rides, we also promoted our own 'open' 10 mile time trial and hosted a round of the N&DCA. The team supported ECCA and other events through marshalling duties. Although we are racing mad, we are also aware of the need to put things back in to the sport.

Well that's it for 2015...  we'd all like to say thanks to all of those of you who have supported us in whatever way you have, especially our significant others. Watch out for even more from 'The Engine' in 2016.

Monday 19 October 2015

Curtain falls on spectacular 2015 season - RTTC National Circuit Championship - 18 October 2015

Sam Hayes and Simon Doyle represented Team Sales Engine in the National Circuit Championship which was held at Thruxton Park motor racing circuit in Hampshire. This is the second year that the event has been run by Cycling Time Trials (Road Time Trials Council) and Antelope RT.

Building on the 2014 format, the event has developed in to a 200 rider contest, with all ages and categories represented. The event is a closed road time trial that takes on 5 laps of the scenic Thruxton motor sport circuit with riders being set off at 30 second intervals.

The early rides saw the Juniors and Ladies do battle around the 2.3 mile circuit. Dame Sarah Storey took top honours in the female contest with a stunning time of 25.05 for the total 11.4 mile distance.

Simon was off #127, just after 10am, the wind had definitely picked up during the course of the morning, meaning a gritty head wind in the first half of the twisty road circuit. Lapping consistently, Simon put in a time of 26m 59s to average 25.57mph. This was good enough for 55th place on overall classification and 8th in the Masters A category (40-45). This more than made up for the mechanical issue that robbed him of a decent time in 2014.

Simon Doyle - Image from Charles Whitton
Sam Hayes commenced 15 minutes later (#157), by which stage the conditions had deteriorated further. However, his current excellent form was more than enough to push him up the general classification list with a rock-solid 25m 52s time: an average speed of 26.68mph.

Sam Hayes - image (c) Huw Williams 

Sam's time was 48 seconds quicker than 2014, a great ride by the form man, and a fitting ending to a really progressive and remarkable season for the team.

Brett Harwood (Terry Wright Cycles RC) took top spot. Full results at - results. Thanks to all at CTT, Antelope RT and supporters, sponsors etc for making this such a great event.

Friday 2 October 2015

Martin Jones frustrated (but still quick) at the National 10

There's been little question about who has been the fastest member of Team Salesengine in 2015, with Martin Jones consistently topping the times for the team.

This speed carried Martin into the 10 mile National championships with high hopes of a top 50 finish.  On the day Martin was on good form, but was really unfortunate to get caught at one of the main roundabouts on the course which cost him a huge chunk of time.

Having stopped and re-started he blasted to the finish to record a time of 21:46, just over 2 minutes behind the eventual winner Richard Bussell, and in a finishing position of 74th.

Martin estimates that the traffic disruption cost him in excess of 20 seconds, which would have seen him battling for a top 50 place. Luckily he was sanguine about the problems he faced, and has already re-focused on helping the team retain the Northampton & District series winners trophy that we won in 2014.

Team Salesengine place strongly at the Kettering CC 10

Almost perfect conditions greeted a number of members of Team Salesengine as they took to the start line of the Kettering CC 10 in late September.

First off for the Team was Roy (Ox) Robinson, who finished with a massive smile on his face in a time of 30:43 to take 48th place in the open TT bike event.

Sam Hayes was a force to be reckoned with in the road bike category, finishing in a superb 3rd place overall with a rapid time of 24:50.

Making his debut in Team Salesengine colours was an old friend of the team Neil Fitzgibbon. Having not raced for over a decade, Neil took to the start line with great base fitness, but no real idea of how competitive he would be. As it turns out, the answer was that he was absolutely flying, bagging a superb 10th place in the road bike event, and 2nd place in the novice category with his time of 25:44.

Steve and Ben Robinson were battling for honours in the tandem event, finishing in a strong 2nd place overall, and 1st place in the tandems with a junior rider section, in a time of 26:32.

As the season draws to a close the superbly organised Kettering event shows the strength in depth that Team Salesengine now has, and proved a great way to round off a superb season.

Ben Robinson makes his solo 10 debut

Having been racing on the tandem for the last year, the youngest member of the Team Salesengine team made his solo time trial debut at the Bicester Millennium CC 10. The race took place on 4 laps of a 2.5 mile RAF airbase, and saw Ben at just 9 years old competing with riders at least a decade older.
Having clocked 42 minutes in training Ben was hopeful of getting close to 40 minutes and a 15 mph average, but determination and good weather conditions saw him smash his target. His efforts on the day delivered a new PB of 37:20, and he's already set his sights on going much quicker in 2016.

Sunday 13 September 2015

VTTA 10 TT Report

The VTTA 10 mile time trial saw four riders on the startsheet for the Six Mile Bottom-Four Wentways event, 12 September 2014.

The E2/10 course is a classic 'out and back' affair with riders pacing themselves southwards on the A11 before retracing to Six Mile Bottom. With Dave Wentworth a DNS it was down to Hugo Hocknell, Chris Hartley and Simon Doyle to see what they could muster.

Hugo was off #1 and posted a time of 23m 18s. Conditions were not great. On what is one of the fastest courses in the UK, the wind decided to kick riders in the teeth on the way out. The race therefore becoming a damage limitation exercise. Limiting losses on the way out was key in terms of keeping the average speed up. The push on the way back was considerable with averages being nearly 10mph higher than in the first five miles.

Chris Hartley tapped out a perfect 24mph average speed to come home with a time of 25 minutes dead. Doyle was off later in the field (#82) and following a 6 week time trial hiatus almost drew level with Hugo, a time of 23m 20s was a fair return. A winning time in the 21 minute range was mooted. Results pending.

Saturday 29 August 2015

Chris Hartley matches his lifetime best in Hull

Hull may seem like a long way to drive to spend a little over 20 minutes on a bike, but when it is a chance to visit probably the fastest course in the country (the fabled V718) it is definitely worth the effort.

The downside to the Hull course is that it is frequently very windy, and that was the conditions that faced Chris Hartley when he arrived up North.  The less than ideal conditions, and a season that has been disrupted by illness, would make you think that a quick ride wasn't on the cards, but Chris was having none of it.

He smashed round the course in 23:05 to match his best ever ten mile performance to the second. So congratulations Chris, and based on that ride it shows that a strong winter, and an illness free early season, will see you well into the 22's in 2016!

Sunday 16 August 2015

Lifetime best for Sam Hayes at the Finsbury Park 25

After a week of watching the weather forecasts which all promised no wind at Tempsford on Sunday morning, the team arrived at the start of the Finsbury Park 25 knowing that quick times could be on the cards.

The F1/b may be a bit slower than the fabled (and much flatter) F1a due to the hills from Langford to Baldock on the A1, but it can still serve up good times if you're strong enough.

On the day Sam Hayes proved that he was certainly strong enough, and in the form of his life, by blasting around the course in 54:33, to knock 9 seconds off his fastest ever 25. Given the lack of traffic, the rolling nature of the bottom end of the course and the rising headwind on the return, this really was a simply stunning ride by Sam.

Next up for the team was Steve Robinson, who hadn't broken the hour for at least 17 years due to his dislike of 25's. A strong ride from Steve saw him record his 2nd fastest ever 25 with 58:59, an agonising 8 seconds away from his lifetime best. Worryingly for Steve, this ride shows that he can record decent rides at this distance, so he may now need to do a few more to improve on his best ever time.

If there was an award for greatest improvement by a rider in a season then David Ledgerton would have it in the bag. After a disrupted winter that lead to a slow start to the season for David he has steadily got faster and faster all through the year, and is now motoring well. David clocked 1:05:12 to record his fastest 25 in 5 years, clearly demonstrating that the speed is coming back.

Jones leads the team home at the Coventry CC 10

Martin Jones continued his rich vein of form this week with another fantastically rapid 10 at the Coventry CC 10 on the K11/10T.
A strong headwind put paid to his shot at a lifetime best, but even so he blasted the course in 20:37 to take an excellent 12th place and once again prove that he is the strong man of TSE this year.
The battle for second fastest counter for the team was a close one, as age and experience in the form of Dave Wentworth went up against youthful exuberance from Stephen Franklin. In this case it was experience that just paid off, with Dave clocking 24:11 to edge out Stephen 'Whiskers' Franklin who finished in a strong 24:26.
After a season disrupted by a number of illnesses it is fantastic to see Dave going so well in the latter stages, but he still needs to look over his shoulder, as Whiskers just keeps getting quicker.

Monday 3 August 2015

August heralds august performances for The Engine - Race Reports

National 25 - 2 Aug 2015
The opening weekend of August saw riders in action across a couple of events, one of which was Sunday's CTT National 25 mile time trial championship near Marlow, Bucks (2nd Aug 2015).

Martin Jones in action at the National 25 TT championship 2015- Source TimeTriallistUK
Martin Jones flew the flag for the Team at the Nationals, posting a fantastic time of 54.15 to take 51st place. The defending champion, Matt Bottrill could only claim 2nd spot this year with a time of 48.24. Ryan Perry scooped top honours with a time of 48:04. Martin is the first (of hopefully many) TSE rider to take on the National 25. Results.

Chronos RT 10 - 1 Aug 2015
The Saturday prior to Martin's landmark ride, the team were out in force on Saturday's Chronos RT promoted F2A/10, 10 mile time trial (1 Aug 2015). Steve Robinson set the standard with a 22.15, his third fastest time in 17 years. 

The head wind to the turn took its toll on many riders so strong efforts were needed to reduce time losses in the first half of the race. These outbound  efforts helped riders to then capitalise on any tailwind assistance for the eastbound return leg. David Ledgerton continues to improve and posted 24.20. Roy Robinson was next off and tapped in a rock-steady 26.45, 

Steve 'Oleg' Robinson opening the day's account.
David 'The Ledgend' Ledgerton.
Ox Robinson powering home

A trio of sub-22 minute rides then followed with Sam HayesChris Rimes and Simon Doyle posting 21.06, 21.50 and 21.44 respectively giving the team an aggregate (and winning) 'best 3' time of 1h 04.40.

Dave Wentworth underscored the team's performance with a 25mph-plus ride of 23.20. 

Sam 'Bling' Hayes turning the goldie-looking cranks to be first amongst TSE equals
Buster Rimes back with some block-busting beats
'Speedy' Doyle on the way to a life-time PB.

Mick Hodson of St Ives took the win, with 19.57.

Building on success
Sam Hayes' ride was his second quickest at the distance ever, Simon Doyle shaved 5 seconds of his lifetime PB (set in 2014). Chris Rimes' time is even more impressive as it his first competitive race for several months. Welcome back Chris aka Buster Rimes!

Images courtesy of hedge-row raider and all round good-guy Davey Jones.

Sunday 26 July 2015

Steve and Sam top the Victoria 2up Championship - Martin Jones smashes the N&DCA 25 - 25 July 2015

The Engine has seen riders posting quick times all over the region in the last few weeks, In truth it's hard to keep track with the mid-week 10s and club events. Martin Jones and Steve Franklin have been bothering the scorers in the midlands (on the K courses) and Roy Robinson has been making incursions on the Kent courses.

Four of the team were recently (18 July) at the Team Cambridge 10 on the F2D/10, version that turns at Madingley roundabout. Dave Wentworth led the team home in 23:46, David Ledgerton followed with 24:09, Roy Robinson with 26:31 and Stuart Hocknell with 30:04.

And that's just a snippet. So on to a quick round-up of this weekend's open events, And yes, the lads smashed it, proving that the team is evolving further.

Happy and Glorious, Victorious in the Victoria
Like London buses, you wait a few days for races to come along and then you get two on the same day. As defending champions the dynamic duo braved the rather chilly and windy morning conditions to go and smash out a short-23 on the rolling 10.2 miler.

Sam Hayes (rear) and Steve Robinson (front) in action in the third round of the Victoria CC 10.2 mile 2up
Dave 'The Legend' Ledgerton, deciding that one race in a day isn't enough used the Victoria event as a precursor for the afternoon's 25. Dave pushed out a 26-minute time for the 10.2 (26.22), demonstrating to all, that he is well and truly getting back to form.

David Ledgerton

It didn't rain over us (N&DCA Rd 7)
As if that wasn't enough, Steve decamped to Guilden Morden to set up the N&DCA Round 7 event. 'The Engine' were promoting this round of the event, with the support of our chums in the Bonito Squadra Corse. The event was based on the rather tough F14/25 Guilden Morden circuit.

The weather was dry but the wind conditions were challenging in places. However, this did not stop man-of-the-moment Martin Jones from stamping his mark on the top end of the results board. Martin clocked 55.51 to take 6th place (and 3rd place in the counting scores for the Association competition).

Martin Jones powering through the southern section to the turn

Following in Martin's footsteps (or tyre tracks?) were Simon Doyle, Steve Franklin and David Ledgerton. Doyle posted a 59.58 to just nip under the hour mark for the second time on this course in a week. 
The strength and quality of the field was so high that 18 riders posted 25mph+ times. 
Steve Franklin, in his inaugural F14/25 course ride, turned in a very creditable 1.04.15 to claim more points in his pursuit of glory in the over-arching competition. 

David posted a new LTS PB of 1.07.20.

Steve 'Whiskers' Franklin

Speedy Doyle

The N&DCA event was made possible through the support and commitment of many, including Mary and Chris Hartley, Rik Palmer and John Pick and, importantly, though he won't say so himself, Steve Robinson, 

Results are posted on the TimeTrialling Forum - N&DCA Rd 7 2015

All snaps courtesy of Davey Jones.

Sunday 5 July 2015

Andy Roffe hits his stride with a sub 21 minute 10

There was a time when a 21 minute ten was pretty much the benchmark for the quickest members of the team, but these days you need to be able to go sub 21 to really be able to claim to be one of the team's true fast men.

Over the last few weeks Andy Roffe has proved that he is right up there with Martin Jones and Sam Hayes by clocking a cracking 20:58 at the VTTA 10 the E2 at Newmarket to take a superb 11th place. Andy also followed this up with a 21:04 a couple of days later on the F20. Strong rides indeed!
Andy Roffe smashing it!
Andy was supported at the VTTA E2/10 by Dave Wentworth who, despite being full of antibiotics, rode superbly to clock 23:58. Dave has been knocked back this year by a few illnesses, but shows that even when on prescription drugs he can still clock some cracking times!

The following week saw a number of the team return to the E2 in search of PB's. Andy Roffe showed that he is the very epitome of consistency by clocking 21:10, his 3rd circa 29mph ride in 7 days!

Dave Wentworth was next up for the team, substantially improving on his previous ride to clock 23:35, and edge out the team's 3rd counter Chris Hartley who clocked a very creditable 24:13.

Roy Robinson is another of the more senior members of the team still putting in strong times. Having never ridden the E2 before he took to the course like a duck to water and recorded 26:20, his 2nd fastest 10 in the last ten years, and a sure sign that retirement seems to suit him.

Sunday 21 June 2015

Martin Jones becomes team's fastest ever...

After a number of super quick rides it was almost a matter of time before Martin Jones took the record of fastest ever 10 by a Team Salesengine rider.

On the 16th June Martin visited the K11/10T in the Midlands with his sights firmly set on putting the advice of Matt Bottrill, and all the weeks and months of hard work, to best use.

The previous best of 20:26, set by Phil Silver in 2014 was eclipsed by 5 seconds to take the new club record to 20:21, a simply stunning time for a course that doesn't usually get mentioned in the top 3 fastest courses in the country. This suggest there is still mote to come, but for now the team are simply celebrating such a stunning ride. Well done Martin!

The team battle at the Tour of Cambridgeshire

After many years of racing up and down the open roads of Britain, the opportunity to compete in a fully closed road time trial complete with start ramp proved a huge draw for a number of the team.

At the inaugural Tour of Cambridgeshire Team Salesengine had representatives in a number of the age categories.

The best result for the team went to Martin Jones, who seemed almost immune to the 25 mph wind to blast round the hilly course in 38:18 which was quick enough for 47th out of the 533 finishers and saw him qualify for the amateur world championships later in the year.
Martin Jones catching Steve Robinson from 3 minutes right on the line!
Next up for the team was Hugo Hocknell, who showed that after months of illness he is getting back to his rapid best with 41:14. Frustratingly Hugo missed the Worlds qualification by just one place.

An agonising 4 seconds back from Hugo was Steve Robinson, who enjoyed one of his strongest races of the year to finish with 41:18 and a clear aim of worlds qualification in 2016.
Steve Robinson leaving the Start ramp at the Tour of Cambridgeshire
Unlike Steve, Simon Doyle was having a slightly worse day than he was hoping for, which saw him slip behind Hugo and Steve for a change with his time of 42:21. After so many strong rides this year, it is just a blip, and will no doubt add fuel to the fire for faster rides later in the year.
Simon Doyle battling up the main climb of the Tour of Cambridgeshire
Next up was David Ledgerton who clocked a strong 47:35. As we often see with David, he races himself into form, and as the season is progressing his tomes are getting ever more competitive, so we know there is still more to come.

The final member of the team was Roy Robinson who was doing battle in the 65-70 age group and again showed promising progress with an excellent time of 51:19, a good 2 plus minutes quicker than expected, and a time inside not just many in his age group, but a lot of much younger riders as well. Good showing Roy.
Roy negotiates the very slippery first bend out of the arena

Saturday 6 June 2015

Martin Jones bags a magnificent second place

At round 4 of the season long Northampton & District series Martin Jones proved what a massive boost he is to the squad by taking 2nd place on the day, and bagging a maximum points score towards the individual and team prizes.

Due to roadworks the lumpy course had been shortened to 15.6 miles, which martin blitzed in 36:25, just missing out on the win thanks to a strong ride by Jon Simpkins of sponsored team Drag2zero.

In the team competition Martin was supported by Hugo Hocknell, who continue his battle back to fitness with a strong 18th place with 39:57, closely followed by another of our 2015 recruits, Stephen Franklin who came 24th with 41:43.

David Ledgerton scored some useful points in the overall competition by finishing 40th in 46:57 and Stuart Hocknell took a few scalps on his way to 50th place with 56:44.

These results leave Martin in a strong 4th place in the overall competition, and now looking to be a serious contender for the win, and the team head the team points series by a strong margin with 6 rounds to go.

Monday 25 May 2015

Simon Doyle quickest of a strong team showing at the Lampard 10

There was potential for a Janet Jackson style, nip slip, wardrobe malfunction for Simon Doyle at the Lampard 10 on the F15 when his skinsuit zip failed. To protect the eyes of all observers Simon was forced to race in a heavy and un-aero winter top, but it didn't seem to slow him down too much.

Taking advantage of reasonable, but not super fast, conditions he blasted the course in 23:15 making him quickest of the team by 43 seconds from Andy Blower who showed improving form with his 23:58.

Next up for the team, and only just behind Andy was Dave Wentworth with a really strong 24:08 which just pipped Chris Hartley who rode to a fantastic course PB of 24:32.

Sam and Steve open the defence of their Victoria CC title with a win

As the defending series champions the pressure was on Sam Hayes and Steve Robinson to open their defence of the Victoria CC 10.2 mile 2-up title with a strong ride. With a 04:30 start, and the beginnings of a throat infection, it was looking tough for Sam in particular.

But as always he managed to pull a stunning ride out of the bag, working well with Steve to drive the pair round the lumpy course in a new PB time of 22:59 to give them the win by 7 seconds.

No doubt the competition will be back for round 2 in June, but hopefully with better health and more sleep the TSE pair will go quicker still.

In the solo event David Ledgerton was flying the flag for the team, and recorded a creditable 28:00.

Sunday 17 May 2015

"Jones the Speed" raises the game for the Engine

Martin Jones turned on the class on the K11/10T course on Sunday (17 May 2015) to record a striking 20.56 and a top 10 placing in the Royal Sutton CC 10 mile time trial. Jones' time was the fastest of the year for the team and is an enviable benchmark for the rest of the squad going forward (thanks Martin!).
Martin Jones speeds his way to glory

 Steve "Whiskers" Franklin and Dave Wentworth also contributed to the team effort, with Whiskers recording a PB of 23.35. Davecontinued his vein of good form to nip ahead of Steve with a 23.33.

Steve Franklin en route to a new PB
Dave Wentworth continues to build on his 2015 form

If that wasn't enough, Andy Roffe, Chris Rimes and Hugo Hocknell flew the flag on the previous Saturday (16 May 2015) with another triumvirate of great times. This time the Engine were racing on the demanding N1/10 course near Peterborough. Andy recorded 22.03, Chris 23.03 and Hugo, in a welcome return from a lingering illness, 24.03.

Elsewhere in the region on the Saturday, Simon Doyle and Dave Ledgerton took the opportunity to race the North Road CC F14/25, 25 miler around the rolling hills of Guilden Morden. Doyle posted 1.01.25 and Ledgerton came home with 1.13.05.

Not many teams can field three teams in three different districts (F, N and K) and still have half of their riders working out how to take down a tent or work out where the tonic water is ;-)

Saturday 2 May 2015

May Bank Holiday Racing Results - 02 May 2015

The Team took to the roads of London North and Midland Districts on Saturday 2nd May, 2015. Martin Jones and Steve Franklin rode the K41/10 course near Rugby. Windy conditions and rough road surface didn't deter the dynamic duo with Martin recording 22.10 and Steve 25.24 for the 10 miles.

Further south, the team fielded 9 riders in the Cambridge CC promoted 10 mile time trial on the Cambourne based F2D/10 course. A strong head wind to the turn took its toll but Andy Roffe and Chris Rimes both managed sub-22 minute performances.Sam Hayes rounded off the counting scores in the team (best 3) competition, giving The Engine an aggregate time of 1h 05m 39s. At the pointy end of the results board Andy was 11th, missing out on the top ten by 3 seconds. Chris came in 16th, with Sam 22nd.

Pictures from Davey Jones.

Andy Roffe on the F2D/10

Chris Rimes

Sam Hayes

Simon Doyle

Dave Wentworth

Chris Hartley

Andy Roffe 21.29
Chris Rimes 21.54
Sam Hayes 22.16
Simon Doyle 23.44
Andy Blower 24.11
Dave Wentworth 24.16
Chris Hartley 25.25
David Ledgerton 26.13
Stuart Hocknell 30.42

Results for the TT are on the TimeTrialling Forum.

Monday 27 April 2015

N&DCA 2015 Round 2 wrap - 25 April 2015

The team was out in strength again in defence of their 2014 team title in the Northampton & District Cycling Association (N&DCA) 10 mile time trial.

11 of the team's scheduled starters participated in the competition but Hugo Hocknell was ruled out due to illness. This event was based on the N1/10 course near Sawtry. A rolling "B Road" with numerous round-abouts made for good competition.

Leading the team in what looks like to be a strong competition was Andy Roffe. 35 seconds separated him from Martin Jones, Sam Hayes and Chris Rimes. Peppering the top 20 with four riders was no mean feat given the gusty conditions.

Andy Blower made his debut with the team, recording a rock solid time of 24m 58s.

Snaps courtesy of Davey Jones (as ever).

Andy Roffe on the way to a brilliant 8th place.
Martin Jones hot on the heels of Andy for 2nd spot in the team

Chris Hartley sporting a new Cervelo P3
Roy "Ox" Robinson

8th Andy Roffe 22.10
11th Martin Jones 22.14
13th Sam Hayes 22.27
18th Chris Rimes 22.45
34th Simon Doyle 23.49
36th Steve Robinson 23.57
48th Andy Blower 24.58
68th Chris Hartley 26.07
77th David Ledgerton 27.25
97th Stuart Hocknell 31.39
99th Roy Robinson 31.47

Full results: TT Forum

The event was won by friend of the team, Simon Norman of Arbis-Colbert, with a time of 21.09.

Sunday 19 April 2015

St Ives CC 10 - 18 April 2015

"The Engine" revved on at the St Ives CC 10 mile time trial on 18 May, 2015. Pick of the bunch was Chris Rimes' top-ten placing in a very strong field. Chris recorded a time of 22.28.
Chris Rimes blasting to a top ten
Hot on Chris's heals were Andy Roffe and Sam "Bling" Hayes with shared honours in joint 12th place (22.40).
Andy Roffe looking narrow and fast on his way to 12th place
Sam Hayes trying to find that crucial second to pip Andy Roffe. An honourable draw!
Dave Wentworth was in the top half of the results board with a time of 25.11.

In the tandem event Steve Robinson and son, Ben, took another 1st place with a time of 26.41.

Thanks to St Ives CC for promoting the event.

Results are available at VeloUK.

Tuesday 7 April 2015

Easter Wrap and N&DCA 2015 Round 1 Preview

To wrap the Easter activities up Christ Hartley competed on the F11/10 course in Hertfordshire to tap out a time of 24.46. The newly chipped road surface on the course was not deemed favourable, let's hope the road surface beds down as this is one of the quicker courses in the region.

Looming large on Saturday 11 April, 2015 is the Northampton and District Cycling Association's (N&DCA) Round 1 time trial. Based on a circuit around Middleton in Northants, riders will face 18.7 miles of technical "sporting course" riding. With TSE taking up 10% of the assembled field the team will be optimistic in terms of bagging points against the Association's other clubs in the 10 race series.

Martin Jones and Hugo Hocknell take the first two seeded places (#10 and #20 respectively), Chris Rimes, Andy Roffe and Sam Hayes take "5" places. Stuart Hocknell, Simon Doyle, Steve Robinson and rookie Steve Franklin make up the rest of the squad.

I don't know what this line up means to our competition but it certainly scares the hell out of me.

Monday 6 April 2015

Team SalesEngine promote successful open time trial - Easter 2015

Saturday 4th April saw the Team move in to organisational and logistical duties with its promotion of the 10 mile time trial near to Cambourne, Cambridgeshire.

A strong field of 89 riders were announced in the preceding week, with local hot-shots Justin Layne (CC Ashwell), Simon Norman (Arbis-Colbert) and Dave McGaw (Cambridge CC) catching the seeder's eye. 

It was favourite and top-ranked Jason Bouttell (VeloVelocity) who triumphed on the day. Going off at #90 meant that suspense was building at the HQ to see who would prevail. It was to be Bouttell's day, being the only rider to break the 30mph barrier (19.57) to nudge ahead of Layne and McGaw who tied for 2nd place (20.04).

Katja Rietdorf (Team Milton Keynes) captured the Ladies' prize by over a minute from Francesca Rust (VeloVelocity). Team Velovelocity also captured the "fastest three" team prize by 1 second over St Ives CC.

Thanks go to the time-keepers, marshals, HQ staff and unsung heroes and heroines who made the race possible.

Full results can be found via Cycling Time Trials.

Sunday 5 April 2015

More top tens - Martin Jones and Sam Hayes are flying

It's still early season, but the Team Salesengine boys are already racking up a stack of top ten placings.

Martin Jones kicked off his season at the Skegness Wheelers 25.  After several weeks of illness Martin wasn't sure how well his form would hold up, but proving that whislt form may be temporary, class is permanent, he stormed round in 1:00:20 for 6th place overall. Suggests that podiums are not far away...

Meanwhile, further in land three of the team were tackling the 19.3 miles of the Icknield Hilly around the tight, twisty and lumpy lanes of Buckinghamshire.  Sam Hayes lead the team home with a strong 46:40 for 7th place overall.

Sam Hayes 
Next up was Steve Robinson who clocked 50:25 for 25th place followed by David Ledgerton with 59:40.

David Ledgerton

Steve Robinson

Sunday 22 March 2015

Eastern Counties Cycling Association (ECCA) 10 Mile Time Trial - 20 March 2015

The Team bandwagon rolled out to the wilds of the Cambrideshire/ Suffolk borders to compete in and support the ECCA promoted, 10 mile  time trial on the A11-based, "E2/10" course. 

The team not only fielded a 3 man team in the form of Chris Hartley, Hugo Hocknell and Simon Doyle but were also putting something back in to the sport, with Directeur Sportif Richard Palmer and Chris Rimes pushing off in support of the organisers. Despite being a recently formed racing team, our ethos is always to promote the sport and Chris and Rik gave up their afternoons to support our friends in the ECCA.

Conditions for the riders were cold and blustery with a strong wind whipping in from the north. This made the race a ride of two halves, any assistance gained on the outward leg was neutralised on the homeward leg. The bluster in the wind required maximum concentration for riders on deep section wheels. Hugo continued to progress from his outing at the A5 Rangers event, recording a 23.10. Chris Hartley made his 2015 inaugural ride and notched 25.08, just shy of 24mph average. Doyle continued his early season form (having ridden the Lea Valley CC and Hitchin Nomads CC 2-Ups with comrade Steve Robinson in the preceding weeks) to record 22.34 for the 10 mile distance. 

These performance auger well for the Easter period where several TSE riders will be in action around the sporting course "SPOCO" time trials in the region.

Simon Doyle on the return leg - picture Davey Jones.

Andy Roffe 4th and Chris Rimes 9th at Wisbech Wheelers 10

Cold but calm conditions greeted two of the teams newest (but already fastest) members when Andy Roffe and Chris Rimes made the journey East to the Wisbech Wheelers 10.

Andy managed to record a staggering time of 22:38 on a course that isn't renowned for quick times to bag 4th place on the day, just 40 seconds behind the winner.

After having had several months out last year Chris Rimes demonstrated just how quickly his form is returning with an excellent 23:50 for 9th place overall. It's surely only a matter of a few weeks until Chris is back battling Andy at the sharpest end of the races.

Their times also show how strong the team is becoming, with top 10's are now becoming an almost weekly occurrence, and the new guys fitting in brilliantly and adding great strength in depth to the team.

6th place for Hugo Hocknell at the A5 Rangers

Hugo Hocknell took to the start line of the A5 Rangers 15.4 hilly suffering with the last remnants of a cold and sore throat that has been present for weeks now, so his expectations of a good ride weren't high.

Despite the lingering illness, Hugo managed to record a strong result of 42:47 for 6th place overall against a quality field.  His time was 3 minutes down on his course PB, which shows that he has paid the price for his illnesses, but it also points to strong underlying form once his health recovers.

With the season just getting started there will be plenty of strong rides to come.

Sunday 8 March 2015

Lea Valley 25 - a win for Simon Doyle and Steve Robinson

Warm weather and a robust headwind back from the turn greeted four members of Team Salesengine at the Lea Valley 25 on the notoriously lumpy E1 course at Saffron Walden in Essex.

Simon Doyle and Steve Robinson re-formed their 2-up partnership of 10 years ago to hammer round the course in 1:00:38 to give them the win on the day by 19 seconds.

Steve and Simon enjoying the tailwind and descent to the turn before things got really painful on the return leg.

In the solo event Sam Hayes showed that he has come out of the winter with excellent form, recording 59:59 to take 8th place against a high quality field.
Sam Hayes hammering his way to 8th place.
Chris Rimes looking aero and rapid.
Chris Rimes made his debut in Team Salesengine colours and showed that his form is improving fast after a few months off. His time of 1:01:19 put him right in the hunt and he finished 20th on the day.

The event shows that the team now has amazing strength in depth and it's going to be a rapid year for all!