You are hereReading Cycling Press Report, week ending 2 October 2011

Reading Cycling Press Report, week ending 2 October 2011

By rod - Posted on 04 October 2011

Reading Cycling Press Report, week ending 2 October 2011

Hill-climbs, Track Nationals and Audax.

Kingston Wheelers and Wigmore CC Hill-Climbs

Reading's Joe Harris is taking the brief hill-climb season seriously and over the weekend scored excellent results. He reports on two short but intense rides done wholly in the big ring:
"On Saturday I rode the John Bornhoft hill climb run by Kingston Wheelers on Leith Hill. The hill is 1570 yards long and consists of three ramps with flatter sections in between and a long drag to the finish. In the 60 rider field I was second last to go. I started aggressively and got up to speed quickly, pushing it hard all the way in the big ring. With the hill being fairly long it has to be ridden quite tactically with sections where I needed to remain in the saddle and other sections where I had to get out of the saddle and just push a really hard gear. When I made it to the finish I was pleased because my legs felt really heavy and I felt I'd got everything out. I finished in 4th place with a time of 3.51.4, just 3 seconds off 2nd place. The event was won by Peter Tadros with 3.34.4, John Storms 2nd 3.48.5, Daniel Sullivan 3rd 3.51, myself 4th 3.51.4
The most pleasing part of the day was my year on year improvement on this hill: 2009: 4.17, 2010: 4.05, 2011: 3.51.4"

"On Sunday I rode the Wigmore cc open Hill climb on Hollingbourne Hill near Maidstone in Kent. This hill is 1350 yards long with an average gradient of 1 in 8, three quarters of the way up the gradient hits 13% for a short stretch, then it flattens off. I hadn't seen the hill before so I wasn't sure what to expect. I did a steady ride up it as a warm-up and decided I should try and push the big ring (53t) all the way. I knew it was going to be a gamble as with a 23t biggest rear sprocket my legs could bog down on the steep section and I would lose all momentum and rhythm. I started strongly and rode the lower slopes from the saddle then as the gradient cranked up I got out of the saddle and sprinted all out up the steepest part which was lined with spectators. I was surprised to find that I just kept going faster and faster and didn't appear to be slowing at all. I kept knocking it into a harder gear and crossed the line with loads of speed. I felt really good over the top and knew I couldn't have gone any harder. When I finished I was leading the scoreboard comfortably but there were still 8 riders left including some top hill climbers. Peter Tadros was last guy up and he beat me by 9 seconds so I had to settle for second place, however with the smallest margin yet.
1st Peter Tadros (in gear quickvit) 3.07.7
2nd Joe Harris (Reading cc) 3.16.8
3rd Will Manger (in gear quickvit) 3.18.2

Henley Hilly Hundred Audax

On Saturday a number of RCC riders rode or helped to organise the Henley Hilly Hundred, an annual 100 kilometre Audax ride to celebrate the hills of the Chilterns in autumn. Audax riding is about completing a route self sufficiently with the help of a route sheet and planned refreshment stops. The Henley Hilly has a reputation as a bit of a late season leg tester as it zig zags through tiny lanes with grass growing up the middle and beech trees meeting overhead.
Kevin Mayne reports: "The Chilterns were an absolute picture with the unusual combination of summer weather and autumn trees. Out to Chinnor from Sonning Common it followed the southern edge of the hills. There was hardly a flat bit of road for 50km. I rode most of the first 30km with a group of about six including Chris Thomsett and Adam Thompson, two of RCCs younger and lighter time-triallists but there was no way I was going to hang on to them as the climbs kept coming. After the coffee stop in Chinnor the return was more of a set piece, four bigger climbs with flatter links. I just rode with other people on the flat and then used my lowest gears on the final climbs as my legs deserted me." He added: "Anyone wanting to try the ride themselves can download the route sheet from or for something less challenging that takes in the same scenery try the Chilterns Cycleway, a 170 mile circular route passing right around the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty which comes within a few miles of Reading: "

Photo caption: Reading CC's Chris Tomsett rode the Henley Hilly 100km Audax
Photo credit: Rod MacFadyen

UK National Track Championships, Manchester Velodrome rider Nicholas English reports on a satisfactory participation in the UK track champs in Manchester:
"It was hard to get specific preparation in for the Track Nationals, a couple of trips to Newport velodrome and a single session at Palmer Park was all that I managed. I needed to convert myself from a long distance rider to a pursuiter in just a few weeks.
A late afternoon start to the 4km pursuit heats meant a long drive up to Manchester on Wednesday morning. Peter Weir of Maidenhead CC came with me to provide pacing advice and general support. On what turned out to be one of the hottest days of the year it was already very warm in the track centre when we arrived. As the track nationals are under UCI rules I had to have my bike measured in the jig. In my heat I had a good start and was on or a touch quicker than where I expected to be after 1km. The key to a pursuit however is not the first 2k but the last, and I slipped a little off the pace I started on to finish with a 4:46, 50kmh or just over 31mph. The eventual winner was Olympic Bronze medallist Steven Burke with a 4:23, my time was good enough for 17th, and was a PB, so satisfying.
Two days later we returned for the team pursuit. AWcycles had both senior and junior teams entered, the senior team being me, Rob King, Alex Peterson and Neil Cooper. I was the only one who had done much track racing this year, with the others concentrating on picking up points on the road. Having practiced with Neil starting off we realised that his sprinter's kick would leave us all struggling after the first lap so Alex took the starting gate, followed by Neil, then me and Rob. In the heat I was still gapped on the start but later was able to come on strong through the later part of the race, too strong as it turned out. Because we hadn't kept the pace smooth the team broke apart. As a result our time of 4:38 was respectable for 9th place in the qualifiers but not the best we could do.
The final was better paced. Having learnt our lesson from the heat we had an improved strategy and despite tired legs went 3 seconds quicker to take 8th place overall. Having to come round a disintegrating Birmingham Uni team on the final lap may have cost us 7th. It was a good first trip to the National Team Pursuit however and the experience will help next year."

Sunday Clubrun
All groups leave Reading Market Place at 9am on Sundays.

Roderick MacFadyen