Sunday 4 September 2016

NDCA Round 8 or 9? Emergency Services 10 and Derny takes a break

Wet, wet, wet!
The deluge predicted for the latest race in the N&DCA series duly arrived for the 4 TSE riders in this week's time trial (3 Sept 2016). The 10 mile loop around Naseby was as technical as it was wet and windy. A twisty, rolling, grimy, misty, wet and humid mishmash of conditions proved to be challenging yet rewarding in equal measure. Sam Hayes pulled a superb 23.49 for the distance, taking a top 5 slot on the day and also firming up his place at the top end of the series' points. Simon Doyle, back from holiday, swapped the heat of the Alps for the dank conditions of the UK to turn in a long 24 (24.51). Steve Robinson pressed home a 25.18, which is tremendous given some recent performance hurdles and niggling injuries. Hot (well, tepid and wet doesn't sound great) on the heels was James Gomm, who turned in a 25.43. James' time and associated points tally sees him shake off a lower scoring ride in the series and should see him rise up the rankings in to the top 20.

Blue light special
Gavin Ashfield, fresh on the comeback trail from a long hiatus, smashed out a long 22 in the F15/10 based Emergency Services National 10 mile competition. Gavin clocked 22.55 for the race, which is great given he's hardly raced or trained for the majority of the year. We defy anyone to simply hop back on the TT bike and drop a 22 on that course in what were pretty unfavourable conditions. Well done Gav!
Gavin Ashfield pictured in TSE colours at last! Great ride Gav.

Ernie says Adios
Nigel Hale, our very own human powered Derny man, signs off with another 20 minute 10 miler last week. Nigel's season has included PBs for 10 miles (and team record), 25 miles, course PBs and multiple wins on the CC Ashwell Wednesday night league, ditto Hitchin Nomads and course 2up records. Well done Nigel, another strong winter will see the times dwindle even further.

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.

Sunday 5 June 2016

Race round up - May/June 2016

In case Andy Roffe has ridden and I have forgotten about it, he did really well, whatever it was he did. If he didn't ride, then I am sure he will smash it up next time out.

In other news, Hugo Hocknell smashes out a 55 and Chris Hartley dips under the hour. Some people ride in threes and Roy gets his didgeridoo primed for action. Rik Palmer also managed to eat a spoonful of Chicken Naga but he moaned about how hot it was so we won't be making a big deal of it.

So here goes.

On 29th May 2016 during the ECCA Championship event Hugo clocked 55.54. Hugo was in good company as Alex Dowsett (Movistar) took the national 25 record time with a stunning 44.29. Well done Alex! Hockers had already posted a 54.44 in the Welsh CA championship earlier in May. 25s seem to be Hocker's forte this year. Not to be out done, Chris also met his goals for the year with a 'long 59' (59.44) in the Shaftesbury CC event on the same course (04 June 2016).

In the Hitchin Nomads CC promoted F14/25 (28 May 2016), Nigel Hale (59.24) and James Gomm (1.03.54) took to the rolling Cambridgeshire/Hertfordshire countryside.

Nigel Hale on the F14/25 going under the hour on a really hard roadman's course. Pic M Webb.
Earlier that day, four of Gomm and Hales' team mates participated in Rd1 of the Victoria CC 10.2 competition. David Ledgerton was the solo solo, recording a strong time of 26.19. In an inaugural outing as a trio, Simon Doyle, Sam Hayes and Steve Robinson rode the 3up team time trial part of the same event. The boys came in second by a margin of 20s. Chelmer CC took the win in the 3up but round 2 may see the boys go quicker.

And if that wasn't enough....
Roy Robinson at the ToC - pic David Ledgerton
Roy Robinson, David Ledgerton, Steve Franklin, Steve Robinson, James Gomm and Simon Doyle took part in the Tour of Cambridgeshire Chrono. The closed-road 17 miler was part of the world masters UCI qualification process. Roy may well be looking to get his sun lotion out as he is on the cusp of qualification and ready to go to Australia (for the World Champs). Like a good wine, Roy is improving with age. Results to follow.

A good day's racing on closed roads, in good company. Happy days.

Monday 23 May 2016

Roffe to the races we go - N&DCA Round 4 round up

N&DCA Round 4

Wet. Windy. Wet and windy. Lumpy roads. Wind. Wetness. Hills. Wetness. Bendy roads. Wetness. Rain. Wind. Bendy roads again. Bizarre turn at the outer reaches of the course.

Perform above in reverse direction.


Dry out. Wonder when you will find time to clean the bike thoroughly. Go to bed with Lemsip.

And so ended the N&DCA Round 4 which was hosted by A5 Rangers. The Litchborough based 19 miler was one of the toughest rides of the year to date. The elements didn't help the riders much at all but it was with great aplomb that Sam Hayes continued his rich run of form. Provisional marking gave Sam the nod somewhere near the very top of the series counting riders. Possibly 3rd place at time of writing. Sam posted a time of 45.08.

Sam's ride however was hugely over-shadowed (to the point where the author totally forgot in the first draft) by the return to racing of the veritable Andy Roffe. Like a cycling-Lazarus for the modern era, Roffe eschewed his recent diagnosis of DVT to pick the worst day possible, ever, to return to racing. Mentored by "special adviser", Chris Rimes, Roffe must have been spitting Victoria Sponge as he reintroduced his mind and body to the time trialling discipline. A time of 49.28 was a fantastic achievement (but not one that I remembered obviously), given that Andy has not spent much time getting race ready.

Well done Andy, great to have you back!
(Ed - Can you win next time, that way I'll remember to put you in the write up that Steve will conveniently ignore doing. Thanks).

The supporting cast was legion with Simon Doyle (47.24) being second in the TSE pecking order. Steve Robinson (48.33) held the continually improving James Gomm at bay (49.22). Steve Franklin produced some new found power output to make his mark with 50.13. David Ledgerton closed off the contribution with a 53.39.

Roy Robinson was a DNS with some flimsy excuse about being 70. Happy Birthday Roy! The team are all looking forward to taking to the line with you in your 8th decade.

Early indications point to the team competition tilting a bit more in TSE's favour. Onward and upward for Round 5. Let's hope the sun reappears by then.

VTTA Nationals
In drier but gusty conditions, Dave Wentworth competed on the A14/10a course to put TSE colours on the national map. Dave pushed a time of 25.08. Results still pending. Chapeau Dave!

Wednesday 11 May 2016

Busy busy busy - TSE tap out some great times all over the UK

Another couple of weeks passes by and the TSE crew have been busy bunnies. Here are some highlights, posted before the memory fades.

Cambridge CC F2D/10 (30 April 2016)
The Hocknell duo were both in action on the 10 mile Cambourne based course. Stuart, making a very welcome return to racing and getting back in to the swing of competition, recorded 34.28.

James Gomm, sporting a new Ian Cammish sourced handlebar rig, smashed out the power to continue his improvement in form, to record 23.46 (one of his fastest 10s for a couple of years). It was Hockers junior however who came back top of the team pecking order, a 22.14 was a great return for the day given the strong headwind from the turn.

James Gomm on the new rig - pic D Jones (who else?)
Simon Doyle punctured at the 6 mile mark. Fortunately he was rescued by John Iszzat of Team Vision Racing who was driving past. Thanks John!

Welsh CA Championships 25 mile (1 May 2016)
It was Hugo who again took the headlines with a barn-storming 55 minute ride on the R25/3H course. Hockers posted 55.32 to lay down the gauntlet to the team for the rest of the season. This may well be one of the fastest TSE 25 times recorded. Even more impressive given Hockers has been a tad off form going in to the event. In the second event of the day on the same course, Steve Franklin popped his "hour cherry" with his first sub-hour 25. A time of 58.13 means Steve is now mixing it up with the sub-hour crew and this time will be a good benchmark to beat later in the season. Chapeau.

Bossard Wheelers 10 mile F11/10 (7 May 2016)
Chris Hartley and Dave Wentworth took part in the Bossard Wheelers promoted 10 miler on the uber-fast F11 course near Tring. Dave squeezed the effort tube dry with a 22.36. Chris proved to be as consistent as ever with a 23.23 (course personal best).

Later that day....N&DCA Rd 3 Lamport (7 May 2016)
The rolling 10 mile 'out and back' course which runs west of Old, Northants proved to be fruitful for the 7 riders who pitched in for the latest round of the 10 race series. Sam Hayes was top of the shop for the team with a stunning 4th place ride. Simon Doyle managed to finish with a flat back tyre but came over the line in 23.59. Steve Robinson (24.50) and James Gomm (25.21) placed in the top 30. Steve Franklin recorded another solid ride with 26.10. David Ledgerton returned to full-on racing action to post a really creditable 26.52 for his inaugural ride in the series.

Former TSE rider, and friend of the team, Martin Jones (Team Bottrill) was 2nd with a brilliant 22.29. Martin's performances are worthy of high praise. Well done mate!

N&DCA Round 4 sees the team take to the 19 miler Litchborough course in a couple of weeks' time. Watch this space.

Sunday 24 April 2016

The Engine revs up at the N&DCA Round 2

The team were out in force again over the weekend. Saturday (23 April, 2016) saw 7 team members take to the start line of the Northampton and District CA Round 2 event.

With points on offer for the solo and team prizes, it was form man Sam Hayes who completed the less than perfect course in the quickest time for TSE.  Sam claimed 5th spot in the race with a time of 23.10 for the 10 miles.

Making his debut for the team was James Gomm. James is beginning his racing season in earnest now, so his rock-solid time of 26.20 bodes well for the future.

New boy James Gomm (pic Davey Jones)
Stuart Hocknell made a very welcome return to racing following a period off the bike. This was probably one of the best things we've seen in the team for a while and we are all collectively chuffed to see Stuart back in action.  Stuart came in with a time of 36.27.

Behind Stuart on the start sheet was his son, Hugo who recorded 25.42 for the distance. Steves Robinson and Franklin posted times of 24.45 and 25.33 respectively. Simon Doyle was last man off and despite destroying yet another skin suit came in with a time of 23.57.

Conditions were tough on the day with a brutal head wind to the turn and a really draggy road surface for about 6 miles of the course. Despite that, the team gave a good account of itself and bagged some good points for the relevant competitions.

Chris Rimes took the even more difficult option of running the results board in support of Fenland Clarion's Simon Pitchford.

Icknield RC - Interclub 10
As if racing in windy conditions on Saturday wasn't enough, Steve Robinson and James Gomm competed in the IRC hosted 10 miler around Ampthill. Representing their alma mater (Hitchin Nomads CC), James and Steve recorded great times of 25.20 and 24.10 respectively. Steve was particularly pleased to punch out some good power and speed. (n.b. times are provisional at time of writing).

Making his debut, Nigel Hale smashed out a 23.17 in his first race in TSE colours. Nigel's power and class on a bike is evergreen. We really look forward to seeing Nigel's season progress.

Nigel Hale in action on the IRC 10 (pic Mike Webb)

Sunday 3 April 2016

TSE on tour - today's post is brought you by the course codes F, E, C and K!

Several of the team clocked up some motorway miles over the last week or so as they spread their wings across the regions. Each time trial region in the UK is described by a letter, so this caused much consternation for the DS as we were planning our racing schedule.

TSE HQ working out which courses to ride in the next few months.

F is for 'Flipping hard even if it is shorter than it should be'
On Sunday 3rd April, 2016, David Ledgerton made his 2016 debut on the revised and foreshortened F12/30k, Icknield RC Hilly 13.8 mile course. David managed to record 39:49. We look forward to more to come from David as the season gets going.

C is for 'Cooking on gas for Whiskers'

Earlier in the day, in the Alford Wheelers 25 (based on the C25/10 course), Steve 'Whiskers' Franklin posted 1.05.07. The rolling course saw very few riders beat the hour. TSE alumnus Martin Jones (now with Team Bottrill) posted an impressive 57. Steve's time put him provisionally 2nd in his group and around 12th in the overall standings.

Steve Frankin - Alford Wheelers 25 2016
E is for 'eeeee, didn't he do well!'
On the preceding Saturday (2nd April), TSE fielded riders in two events. Roy Robinson took his winter form in to the Elite CC 10 on the rolling E91 course. The single carriageway course has a range of steady rises and drops. The cross-tailwind to the turn was complemented by an equally tough cross-headwind on the way back. Roy posted 29.33, which is a course PB by 74 seconds. 

K is for 'too be honest K is a hard one to make a funny-ish heading for'

In the afternoon, Dave Wentworth made his 2016 debut as first rider off in the VTTA Midlands K11/10T. He rode to a sub-25 minute, 24.55 in what was a tough old day. The headwind on the way back for the turn, which is the longer run by about a mile, made matters pretty tough for all competitors.

Dave was complemented on the start line by Sam Hayes, posting a 22.29 and Simon Doyle, recording 23.01. Both Doyle and Hayes were about one and half minutes down on their best times, thereby demonstrating how tough it was.

Steve Robinson must have run over a black cat, after smashing a mirror, whilst spilling salt as he sat under a ladder. He punctured in the first 100 metres. Hopefully this will be the nadir of Steve's season and it's onward and upwards as the N&DCA series kicks in.

Good Friday? Not bad at all actually

On the Good Friday, Simon Doyle was the sole TSE rider in the Welwyn Wheelers 50km Hilly. Despite facing some very strong local teams, Doyle rode in to the top 20 with a great time of 1.22.36.

Simon Doyle - Welwyn Wheelers Hilly 2016 (Davey Jones)

Tuesday 22 March 2016

The curtain rises on the 2016 season - PB's and top 10s abound

Dapper Snail's new motif for the TSE Apres-Smash It Up look
After a winter of hard training for most of the team, March allowed several team members to open up the lungs in a number of time trials.

After a strong 2015 for 'the engine' the performance bar is set high but it looks like it is going to get raised again over the next few months.

New kit, new leisure wear (courtesy of Dapper Snail) and some new riders, means we move onward and upwards.

But it's on the road where things count.

PB #1 for the year please stand up
Opening up the Team account in this year's open events was Steve 'Whiskers' Franklin. Looking to progress in his second year with the team, Steve took to the start line of the VTTA 10 event held on the O3/10 course. Steve came in with a top 40 placing, posting a time of 23.04. No doubt Steve will be breaking the 23 minute barrier this year, and with some regularity. Steve had the distinction of being the first TSE member to grace the road in our new, Champion Systems supplied kit. A PB by 28 seconds for Steve augurs well for him, and for our new kit.

Steve zooming out of frame in our new kit, so fast it is too hard to photograph...
While Steve was representing the team in the opens, Nigel Hale and Sam Hayes took the opportunity to stretch their legs on Hitchin Nomads CC's 25 mile club course. Sam and Nigel rode private time trials and delivered simply stunning early season 25 mile times on a very demanding and sporting course. Sam posted 1.00.06 and Nigel, in his inaugural ride, 1.00.27. Super impressive.

The following day, 13 March 2016, Steve Robinson and Simon Doyle returned to the scene of their 2015 Lea Valley CC victory. The E1/25b course near Newport, Essex is a rolling as it is idyllic. This year Doyle and Robinson were defeated by a fogged up helmet visor. Steve's new Lazer lid managed to microwave his head at 13 miles meaning that the duo rolled over the line in a time of 1.01.24 (for 4th place).

Steve Robinson (l) and Simon Doyle (r) sporting the old and new kits on their way out to the turn. Picture from Davey Jones.

On Saturday 19 March, a strong TSE team competed in the ECCA E2/10 event. With the reigning National Time Trial Champion, Alex Dowsett (Movistar) taking to the start line, all eyes were on this race. Dowsett smashed out the fourth fastest 10 on record (17.46) to put a 2 minute gap between him and the fastest amateur. If you want to know, 12 seconds per mile seems to be the gap between the best pros and the best amateurs. Sam 'Bling' Hayes clocked his 2nd fastest time at the distance ever with a 9th place, 21.00.

Sam Hayes at the start ahead of his 21.00
Hot on Sam's heels were Hugo Hocknell (21.44) and Simon Doyle (21.52). Hugo and Simon were just on the cusp of top 20 placings. Not bad (understatement) for two of our riders who didn't always have the rub of the green last year. Hockers took 4th place in the A5 Rangers' hilly TT a week or so earlier, so it is evident that he has got some great early season form in his legs. Simon's time was his third fastest ever at the distance. Chris Hartley opened his account for the year with a robust 23.50.

Bling Hayes in action, smashing out a 21.00 for 9th place
Speedy on his way to a 21.52 pictures from Davey Jones 
Supporting the team and the ECCA were Steve Robinson and Rik Palmer in their capacity as marshals. TSE actively supports and promotes events and we were only too happy to provide supporting duties. Without marshals and volunteers events simply do not take place. Steve had posted a 1.05.19 for a rolling 25 miles earlier in the morning as a leg loosener as well. Chapeau Sir!