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Reading Cycling Club press report, week ending 5 October 2008

By rod - Posted on 07 October 2008

Reading Cycling Club press report, week ending 5 October 2008

Stormy weekend weather couldn't keep Reading riders off their bikes.
Nick Crocker produced another top-drawer ride to almost claim the Autumn

Autumn Epic Sportive

Nick Crocker produced a stunning ride in difficult conditions to claim
2nd place in the Autumn Epic sportive. A good contingent of Reading CC
riders participated in this event, including Crocker, Fred Hale, Greg
Woodford, Steve Ferry, Russell Barton, Mike Fenwick, Nigel Elliot and
Adrian Lawson. The route through Powys and Radnorshire covers a lumpy
150km course with a hefty 3000m of vertical ascent.

Crocker started like a bullet from a gun and stormed round the course to
finish in 5:03:12, losing a little over 3 minutes to the day's fastest
rider. "I've been focussing on sportives for over two years now," he
said, "but this is the first time I have rested properly before an event
and I felt very fresh." Crocker was surprised to find how close he was
to the fastest rider, Adam Cairns. "I usually lose 15 minutes to him."
he noted. Among the many riders distanced by Crocker was Britain's
strongest amateur time-triallist, Michael Hutchinson, who took 5 hours
20 minutes to gain 9th place and, perhaps, some respect for sportive

Reading's other riders had plenty to talk about. Adrian Lawson: "The
Autumn Epic has become a pilgrimage for Reading CC and we were one of
the best represented clubs there. The overnight weather, whilst not as
bad as forecast was still grim and we set off into heavy rain and strong
winds. The rain eased after the first couple of hours. I was looking
forward to the Mountain Road from Rhayader to the Elan Valley, not
because I like endless climbs, but so I could warm up. On the descent
the sun came out briefly, and although there was still poor weather to
come, conditions gradually improved throughout the day. The killer hills
of Rhogos and Glascwm were really tough especially with my feet being
like blocks of ice. A section of flooded road was surprisingly welcome,
the water was warmer than my feet and I felt better afterwards. I left
my riding companions behind for a final flourish up the last climb at
Whitton before the glorious two-mile descent to the finish."
Mike Fenwick: "Certainly a day for anyone with webbed feet. The flooded
section had water up to my knees."
Nigel Elliott: "Some of the descents were treacherous with wet moss and
debris from the fields. Disappointed not to get a Gold standard like
last year. The event was very well organised with excellent signage."

Selected results, fastest rider plus Reading CC riders:
1 Cairns Adam 04:59:49 Gold
2 Crocker Nick 05:03:12 Gold
11 Fenwick Mike 05:24:38 Gold
21 Woodford Greg 05:32:21 Gold
118 Ferry Steven 06:11:16 Silver
245 Hale Fred 06:44:27 Silver
246 Elliott Nigel 06:44:40 Silver
284 Lawson Adrian 06:57:39 Silver
290 Barton Russell 07:00:22 Silver

Circuit Racing
Wayne Thomas rode his 99th race of the season on the Chertsey/Longcross
Circuit: "The weather held just long enough for over 80 hardy 3rd cats
to compete in a 20 lap/40 mile race. With a strong headwind for a third
of the circuit there were few breakaway attempts thus a large bunch of
riders competed in the final sprint. I finished 31st and am looking
forward to race 100 this coming weekend at Goodwood."

Time Trials
Nick English raced in a very wet VTTA 25-mile event on the Marlow course
to place an excellent 6th: "It was not much fun really! I finished on a
time of 56:44. I was happy enough with that in the conditions. I have
just one more 25-mile event left this season, on the same course in two
weeks time. I hope the weather will be more friendly."

Paul Elcock took part in the Marlow "rower's revenge" multisport event.
This consisted of a 4km row on a static rowing machine, then a hilly
25km cycle ride, finishing with a 7.5km run. He reports: "I held my
target rate for the 4km row, with 1min 50 splits per 500m (James
Cracknell holds 1min 38 splits). Conditions on the bike course were
awful with small streams carrying debris onto the road. Just getting
round without a puncture was a lottery but I went well and was 5th on
the bike leg. I had heavy legs for the run but I held on to a reasonable
rhythm to finish in 10th place overall. This is a fun local event that I
thoroughly recommend."

Fast, medium and social groups leave Reading Market Place every Sunday
at 9am sharp.

Photo caption: Nick Crocker - golden in the Autumn Epic
Photo credit: Rod MacFadyen

Roderick MacFadyen
Reading Cycling Club