Monday 29 May 2017

Race round up - 29 May 2017

A bumper packed fortnight of racing since our last update makes for some interesting reading. As the season gets in to full swing, TSE riders have graced a range of car parks and village halls around the region. Some of our activities have actually involved cycling too.

Thanks to all of the organisers of the events we compete in. No volunteers, no racing.

Saturday, 20 May 2017
The Northampton and District CA Round 4 race was a bit grim weather-wise. An already Strade-Bianche type course made matters tough, but a blistering series of downpours did enough to deter Roy Robinson from competing and enough to cause Dave Wentworth to sack off the race. Undeterred by the biblical weather were Michael Watts (40.36) and David Ledgerton (50.31)

Further to the east, the Eastern Counties CA (ECCA) 10 mile championship drew riders in with the promise of a good time. The E2 really is a siren that calls riders to metaphorical rocks. Steve Robinson, Chris Rimes, Jerome Watts, Hugo Hocknell, Simon Doyle, Ric Palmer all got drawn to the call.

Ed - I can't find the results just now, so here's some pictures from Davey Jones to whet your whistle...

Chris Rimes ECCA 10 (Davey Jones)

Ric Palmer on his shopping bike, ECCA 10 (Davey Jones)

Steve Robinson on his shiny new Di2 Boardman TT rig, ECCA 10 (Davey Jones)

Tuesday, 23 May 2017
Steve, Ric and Simon and Dave Ledgerton took their frustrations out a couple of days later on the sporting and idyllic Hitchin Nomads CC Briercliffe 10. Good battling set up a solo win for Simon Doyle with 24.08 Steve got blocked a bit and lost 8 seconds it seems but finished at the pointy end in 4th spot, with a 24.45. Strong ride from Ric Palmer with a 25.57 (his fastest course time for 4 years) and a mid 29 for David Ledgerton.

Saturday, 27 May 2017
The Victoria CC 10.2 mile series kicked off again in warm and humid conditions. The rolling E1/10.2 course saw riders compete over one of the teams' favourite locations. The rolling Essex roads really focus the mind with some nasty drags, twisty chicanes and stretching B roads.

The competitions feature 3up and 2 up team trials, plus solo events. For the hardy there is a chance to ride all three competitions.  Kicking things off were Sam Hayes, Steve Robinson and Simon Doyle in the 3up competition. The trio hold the title from 2016 and round 1 saw them punch out a course-PB to open their account (22m 34s). It was enough to pip last year's round 1 winners (Chelmer CC) by 1s but not quite enough to keep the super quick Team Vision boys off top spot.

In the solo event, Hugo Hocknell, David Ledgerton, Chris Rimes and Jerome Watts rolled out a bit later in the morning. The rain came down just as the 3up event was finishing which meant riders had to contemplate some quite greasy road surfaces.

Hugo Hocknell pulled a super-quick 23.17 out of the hat for 7th place. He then fell off on the way back to the HQ (pay attention boy). He was seen displaying his thigh-based road rash whilst walking along the country lanes to anyone who wanted (and also didn't want to) see it (we originally thought it was some form of vagabond - Ed).

Jerome Watts dipped under the 24 minute mark by 1s for 13th place. Chris Rimes was hot on his wheels with a 16th place that was secured with a 24.14. Chris's form is rising nicely and Jerome is delivering consistent times across the races he's riding. David Ledgerton nicked in to the top 50 with a 28.40. Dave got a soaking.

L-R Sam Hayes, Simon Doyle, Steve Robinson (he wasn't on the front all they way round either before he says otherwise - Victoria CC 3 up Rd 1 2017 (Davey Jones)
The series is excellently run by the Victoria CC's Christine Yareham and co, and supported by the usual high quality volunteers.


Meanwhile, in a village far, far away... Roy Robinson flew the flag for the team with an outing on the Hitchin Nomads 25 mile TT based around Guilden Morden's F14/25 circuit. To say it was blowy was an understatement. The hilly course and windy conditions make for hard riding (the antithesis of the E2 below but miles more fun we reckon - Ed). Roy posted 1.16.45. Roy cited this as a good marker for him personally, a 2min improvement or thereabouts on a similar ride on the N1 course a couple of seasons ago.

A great event, thanks to all at the Hitchin Nomads CC (especially the pusher off, he was a former Olympian we reckon). Check Michael Webb's excellent event gallery.

Roy Robinson in the Hitchin Nomads F14/25 - May 2017 (Michael Webb)
Jamie Staff pushing off (pic. Michael Webb)

Sunday, 28 May 2017 
Four riders, Simon Doyle, Jerome Watts, Steve Franklin and Steve Robinson competed in the Eastern Counties CA (ECCA) 25 mile championship. The event was held on the A11 based E2/25. The course tempts riders with the promise of a super quick time but it wasn't quite to be this time out. A strong head-cross wind on the way out saw a lot of riders' time start to diminish. A super-quick push on the way back did however help to compensate for anyone with strength in the legs remaining to capitalise.

The TSE team were off within a 20 minute window towards the end of the race. Simon was quickest on the day, taking 41st place with an 11s improvement on his PB of 56.09. Jerome held off the brace of Steves for 57.54. Steve Franklin edged out Steve Robinson for 58.02 and 58.05 respectively. The lads took 65th, 66th, 67th places in the standings. Nothing much to separate them such were the margins on the day.

Steve Robinson (this is getting confusing with the Steve thing - Ed) marked the day with a PB for the distance. Like all good testers he was unhappy with the result and vowed he can go faster next time.

Simon Doyle ECCA 25 on his way to a 56.09 (Davey Jones).

Steve Franklin - ECCA 25 2017 (pic. Davey Jones)

Jerome Watts ECCA 25 2017 (Davey Jones)

Simon, Jerome and Steve (Franklin) set a new team aggregate record for 25 miles in the process of 2h 52m 09s. Steve (Robinson) missed out on the record books by 3 seconds. We had no idea what the previous record was as we were not paying attention.

It's unlikely this record will last for long though.


Sunday 14 May 2017

Race round up - 14 May 2017

A busy week for the engine saw riders grace the roads all over the eastern counties. Some mid-week testing saw Steve Franklin smash out a 3-up 25 mile time to take top slot on the K10/25b on Tuesday 9th May 2017. Steve rode with TSE alumnus Martin Jones (Team Bottrill/HSS Hire) plus James Garrett (Rugby Velo) to record 54.54 for the distance. A 4 minute margin of victory over the other 3-up teams was evidence of the team's dominance on the road. That's some ride for a lumpy course.

Also in action on Tuesday night (9th May 2017) were Simon Doyle and David Ledgerton. Simon and Dave rode the Hitchin Nomads CC Briercliffe 10 series around the rolling SPOCO course near Southill and Old Warden in Bedfordshire. David posted 29.37. Simon took the second win for team this week with a time of 24.48. Simon's form seems to be coming back in time for the forthcoming 3-up Victoria CC competition at the end of May.

Simon Doyle - Hitchin Nomads 10 - spot the ironic road marking- Pic Mike Webb

Over the weekend the team competed in the Peterborough CC N1/10 event (Saturday 13 May 2017). Lining up to form the TSE contingent were Chris Rimes, who posted 24.11, Michael Watts with another solid performance 24.46, and David Ledgerton 28.47. Chris is moving up the field in relative terms with a much closer margin between him and regular benchmark Paul Pardoe (22.00). James Tucker from Derby Mercury took top spot with a long-20. Conditions must have been tough compared to the N1/10 outing recently in the N&DCA series, despite flexing his financial strength on new wheels, Mike was a tad slower. Stone chippings also affected times. Chris came home in 14th and Mike 17th. Top 20s are great payback.

While Chris and co were doing battle near Peterborough, Jerome Watts took part in the Tenterden based, Southborough and District Wheelers  Q10/33 10 mile TT. The rolling course is not blessed with the best of surfaces, as attested by one poor soul who succumbed to the local potholes.  Breezy conditions did not deter Jerome from closing in on a course PB. He was slightly outside his previous notch  (by 2 seconds) but 23.27 should see him just off the top 10. Neil Lauder (PMR) recorded a provisional time of 20.26 for the win.

Jerome's weekend was a double-header, the report from his Royal Sutton K10/11T ride are a mix of bathos and sheer Chuckle Brothers-inspired grin-fodder.  Jerome's own reflections are as honest as the day is long. Good job he didn't spend 4 hours in a car to and from the race....
"After a 2 hour trip, I arrived at the HQ in good time and set about a warm up on the turbo; got ready to race and rode up to the start. Set off and was riding well, no residual effects from yesterday and through first roundabout with a marshal pointing one way and with a red flag the other so sat up and pointed where I thought I should be going and got a resounding yes and onwards to the next roundabout for what I thought was the turn....but no marshals seen until I was almost past the roundabout and about to sail on a quick check over my shoulder and on with the brakes part way on to the the carriageway saw me un-clip and once clear jump off and run over two carriageways and on , on my way again past a grinning marshal standing in totally the wrong by the time I got going, cursing myself for being so stupid as to doubt myself on where the turn was, I dived back but by that time was so annoyed with myself I just coasted home.....for 24.23.
"My slowest time in 2 years."
These things happen and it's not the worst racing malady that has been experienced in TSE colours (by a long way). Here's to a good weekend on the E2 at the ECCA Champs next week.

Sunday 7 May 2017

If you want performance get more Watts - Race Round up - 7 May 2017

Lots to report this week, congratulations go to our new recruits Michael Watts and Jerome Watts (not related as far as we know) and Hugo Hocknell for setting a new 10 mile team record.

Jerome was fastest of the trio in the E2/10 based 10 miler (6 May 2017). Jerome's debut for the engine saw him take a few seconds off his LTS pb. He also edged out Hockers by 6 seconds which is no mean feat. Not to be out done, Michael riding his first E2 event notched a long 22. Between the three of them they took 16s off the previous 10 record that was set by Hocknell, Doyle, Hayes on a blowy day in March 2016. It'll be interesting to see how long it lasts! Good to see a 20 on the board and more people knocking on the sub-21 mark. TSE again punching above our weight, quality over quantity and all that. It's certainly going to get a bit punchy over the warmer months as folks focus on their target events. Pictures from Davey Jones, who else.

Times: Jerome Watts 20.57, Hugo Hocknell 21.03, Michael Watts 22.24

Jerome Watts on his TSE debut
Michael Watts resplendent in our Ellmore Clothing 2017 kit
N&DCA Rd 3 2017
Meanwhile, around the lanes of Northants, the N&DCA squad took part in round 3 of this year's contest (6 May 2017). Sam Hayes was 9th overall with a time of 23.29. The Lamport based N3/10 course is similar to the E2/10 in that it is made of tarmac and is 10 miles long. And that's about it. Sam's time was a really strong marker and it'll be good to see where he sits in the pecking order on the faster courses. The winning time was 22.03. Sam and Ric had put in good times in the local Hitchin Nomads 10 earlier in the week. Sam claiming the fastest time on the Southill course for 2017 (and the win).

Helping to keep Sam motivated were Steve Franklin who continues to dazzle (24.47), Chris Rimes and Steve Robinson who were separated by 2 seconds (25.11 and 25.13 respectively), Ric Palmer continues to demonstrate that class is permanent by recording a 25.37, Dave Wentworth recorded more points in his tilt at the Masters competition with a time of 27.18, and last but not least David Ledgerton was just outside evens with 30.02. In his mitigating remarks David 'fessed up to racing with a cold plus not having ridden for an extended period. Simon Doyle showed some sense (for once) and DNS'd due to illness. He reckons he'll be back soon, he was observed mumbling something about the 10 mile team record going...

Keep 'em peeled. More news as it happens.