Click the links below to see the full report for each race. This page will be updated after each event.
- March 11th, Duncan Sparrow RR, Pimbo
- March 17th, Trii 122, Lanzarote
- March 25th, Tow Green RR, Bickerstaffe
- March 29th, Lewis Balyckyi Glasdon, Preston
- April 1st, Frank Morgan Memorial, Clitheroe
- April 8th, Bashall Eaves RR, Clitheroe
- April 29th, Oulton Park Duathlon, Oulton Park
- April 24th, May 1st, 8th and 15th, Dave Astles Cheshire Series Road Races, Siddington
- May 13th, Monster Mojo, Peterborough
- May 16th, The Litherland Series, Merseyside
- May 20th, TLI Crit Champs, Oulton Park
- May 26th, Oldo Glentress Seven, Scottish Borders
- May 27th, Vic Sutton Memorial RR, Beverley
Written By Julie Harrison
The distances for this race were 10k run, 40k bike, 5k run and the event was held at Grafham water in Cambridgeshire. I’m not a great fan of duathlon races to be honest but I wanted a break from winter training. I was really looking forward to giving the bike leg a blast, but was dreading the run!
Woke up to frost on the car, quite thick fog on the morning of the race and I was concerned that the organisers would cancel but the gun went off at 8.30 as planned and quite frankly I was needing an iron lung by 8.35. The run was held off road on an out and back course which was quite undulating, I broke the tape in 50.51 in 4th position (in my new age group of 55-59), then jumped onto my bike after a quick change of footwear.
I loved this bike course – it was ‘wavy’ and the road surface was so much better than we are used to up north. I overtook quite a few competitors here and I made up 1 place in my age group with a bike split time of 1.13.55, which I was more than happy with.
Onto the last run and I fully expected all the people from the bunch I had overtaken on the bike to come flying passed me, but I think there were only 4 which showed my endurance was good.
I ended up 3rd in my age group and 36th female overall with a final overall time of 2:24:35.
All in all a good day out.
Written by Karl Smith
My first event of the 2018 season – the Cull Cup on Pimbo. As we know, training in winter is horrible, cold, wet, and windy and to make me do it, I focus on the first upcoming races.
Having actually trained well I was looking forward to getting the season of to a flyer both for myself and Bott and Co cycle team. Having managed to avoid having a cold over the winter, I only go and get one a few days before the race, not a happy bunny. I still decided to race (too keen for my own good).
So I trained well all winter, weight down on last season, then start with a cold. After a fast start on what was a good day for early season, I kept myself in the large bunch saving energy for later, as riders tire and maybe a group could force an advantage. What else could go wrong?
Well, a crash! But luckily I just got round the falling riders only for my rear mech to go in a rider’s wheel behind me. We both kept upright, but my rear mech now did not work very well, apart from top gear. Bad cold, damaged bike, not how I had planned this event would be while out training in the cold.
Being a racer, that’s what you do keep racing. It continued to be fast and I made and covered a few attacks but nothing seemed to be getting away, I decided to wait for the sprint. As nothing was going my way in this race, two riders got a gap with 4 miles to go; they hung on with Thomas Cornwall winning from Chris Quin. In the sprint for 3rd I struggled with being over geared, I had to use top gear and with it being head wind and slightly uphill, it was a bit too high, but
I managed sixth in the bunch for 8th place from a field of 80.
So, the first event over and I’m actually looking forward to a good season for myself and the team.
Karl Smith and Bott and Co cycle team are going to be winning a few races this year
Written By Julie Harrison
This was my second time racing this event but this year I opted for the shorter distance which consisted of a 1900 meter swim 23.5 mile bike with a 7.5 mile run to finish.
The swim took place in Cucharas beach at Costa Teguise in Lanzarote and the conditions for the first lap were perfect, then a swell came from nowhere for the 2nd, all in all I had a decent swim and made it back to the beach in 38 minutes this put me in 7th overall in the women’s field and 1st in my age group.
Onto the bike which roughly had a 5 mile climb followed by a loop then a 5 mile descent. I pushed the pace really hard and was rewarded with the 3rd fastest bike split of the females, next up the run which felt so hard from start to finish.
It took place on the front at Costa Teguise alongside the ocean, so the setting was quite nice but I really struggled to find any pace, nevertheless I hung onto 1st position for the age group win.
Written By Karl Smith
The clocks went forward, the sun came out and there was a vets road race run by British Cycling.
The Town Green RR under BC rules for over 50’s is what faced us today based on a new circuit around Town Green near Ormskirk. With sleep still in our eyes from a 9am start and the clocks going forward marking the start of British summer time; we set off on what turned out to be the nicest day to date this year.
John Agnew was obviously feeling strong and sat in the front for almost all of the first two 7 mile laps and was still up at the front towards the end of the race. The race probably lit up after the first two laps when Steve Davis and I attacked with for a short while had a gap over the bunch.
After we were caught, attacks and counter attacks followed. One move had us all on full gas for half a lap, and it was that strong man Agnew with Tony Lowe that opened up a 30 second gap with two laps to go. A few miles later Andy Bennett, last year’s strong man, Si Deplitch pre-race favourite having finished 2nd in the Clayton Spring Classic and Kevin Chadwick got themselves a gap on the bunch.
I could not let these guys go and sprinted after them again followed by Davis, a team mate of Bennett’s. After a short but flat out effort, we joined Bennett’s little group, then a few miles later we caught Agnew and Lowe, and the seven of us had a 30 sec gap on the bunch with the last lap to come.
We worked well together but the gap wasn’t really opening, so we had to keep working until the last lap. With a few miles to go, riders stopped working and we started the cagey stuff. One eye was on the others in the break, the other checking if the bunch were going to catch us. Agnew tried again to gap us, he had been strong. But we responded, Lowe tried, again we all accelerated. The finish came into view, a seven man sprint for the Town Green Trophy. I jumped first, need to be more patient, as the line came nearer Andy Bennett and Si Deplitch went past me with Andy taking a great win. I took 3rd from Chadwick, Davis, Agnew and Lowe in that order.
It turned out a really good event run by Brain Rigby and the Saint Helens CC, who as well as running this over 50’s race also ran a 40 to 50 year old race on the same day.
Written By Tom Ashcroft
The Lewis Balyckyi Gladston Crit series was my first criterium of the season being a 1st year Junior. I knew it would be much harder than the youth crits. There were lots of attacks that were brought back. The riders in the bunch worked hard to chase the riders that attempted to get away.
During the last lap, I took the corners sharp through the bends, maintaining the same speed and sprinted to the finish line to take 1st position and my first win for the team!.
A big thanks to Jerrod Hartley for organising such a great event every week.
Written By Tom Ashcroft
The Frank Morgan Memorial Road Race on Kirkby industrial estate was a really good race. The weather was great and quite warm for a change!
Two lads were up the road to take first place and second place which was very impressive considering there was so many strong riders in the bunch. I took 1st junior and 6th overall which I was extremely pleased with.
Written By Karl Smith
Sunday 8th April, my first target of the 2018 season. The Green Jersey RR, event 1 in the Lapierre eight race series and on roads I ride on at least once every week, very local!!
These events are open to everyone between 17 through to very old, so three races are run on the day. My race had riders aged 45 to 55 and forty starters. Boy did they all come to race! It was fast from the start and despite this three riders broke away including Andy Bennett, one of many favourites. The break gained around a minute on us, and constant attacks from riders seemed the game plan of the bunch.
Andy Turner (national champion), John Fiddes and I threw in numerous attacks. After one of my attacks which was neutralized by a strong chasing bunch, Carl Potter rode through hard as the bunch eased, what a nice move, in no time he had the gap that all the attacks before could not get. We were now in the last 15 miles and two of the initial three man brake found the pace with Andy Bennett too much and were being overtaken by Carl and then picked up by the bunch.
Carl was riding strongly now and bridged the gap to Andy, so now with 2 laps to go, 8 miles, it was Andy and Carl up the road with the bunch at about 40 seconds. The penultimate lap saw no attacks, as a few of us started to ride through in a combined effort. The bell sounded for 1 lap 4 miles to go.
Andy or Carl going for the win and about 30 riders to race for the other placings and points for the series. At the top of a climb with 3 mile to go, l attacked hard, very hard. It proved decisive as I finally got the gap from the bunch. I rode strongly to the finish to take 3rd ahead Andy proved too fast in the sprint and took a great win with Carl taking a well-deserved 2nd, shortly after I crossed the line came a thundering bunch, led home by Raymond Bell. Now it was down to the judges to sort out the placings and points.
As the series is one of my targets, it has proved a good start for me, 3rd on the day and 2nd in my age category, it’s been a good start with a long way still to go to find the overall winner.
Thanks must go to Rob Pie and the Green Jersey Cycle Team for running the event.
Written By Ray Holmes
The popular series of 4 evening events was my starting point for racing in 2018, having decided to push my season start back to later in the year, so I can have a go at the Mallorca Masters event in October.
Race 1 was a shock to the system after a long winter of training indoors and limited work on my favourite hill reps during April. John Moore from Manchester Bicycle Club went literally as soon as the flag was dropped and got a gap with two other riders. I hesitated for a few seconds ñ never a good plan ñ before setting off to try and get over to the leaders. I had to make a massive effort as my race fitness was not where I wanted it to be. I only just made it across and as soon as I made contact John Moore attacked again and got a gap. That was the last we saw of him and he went on to take the win. The rest of the lead group worked together but we could not gain on John and I managed to take the sprint for 2nd place.
Race 2 was a carbon copy start from race 1 ñ John Moore again attacking right at the start and getting a gap. Again I had to chase and got over to a group of 3 leaving 4 of us in the lead but this time John had a team mate ñ Martin Harney ñ and the two worked myself and Steve Davies over by John attacking first with about 2 miles to go and I chased him down only for Martin to immediately counter attack and get away to take the win. As with race 1, I took the sprint for 2nd place.
Race 3 and I was determined not to miss out. I had got back to where I wanted to be with my training and from the start I stuck to John Mooreís wheel and sure enough off he went again but this time with me in tow and it was just the two of us for the whole race out front and even though John tried to catch me by surprise and sprint away with a couple of miles to go I managed to haul him back and take the win on the line.
Race 4 I was on helper duties and was radio man in the lead car so no riding that night for me.
As ever these were a great series of events and fantastic training to kick start my season and get me ready to defend my TLI Crit champs title on Oulton Park.
Written By Julie Harrison
This race was originally meant to take place in March but due to the arctic conditions on race day, it was re-arranged for the 29th April. I only decided to race a few days before but I am really glad I did as I had a good day out.
I had previously done this race in 2015 so I really wanted to beat my time from then. The first run was just under 10k and as usual I watched all the rabbits disappear into the distance after the starters gun sounded – I wasn’t worried as I knew my biking legs were ready. Quick change after 42 mins, (my exact time from 2015) then onto the windy bike.
I passed a fair few rabbits and climbed up the overall rankings and even though there was only me in my age group, I made it my aim to chase down as many women as I could. After 1 hour 11mins, I made it back to transition made up as this was over 7 minutes faster than 2015. I wasn’t looking forward to the last run and jokingly asked the marshals whether I could just do another 9 laps on my bike but they were having none of it.
I completed the run in 21.30 so 7 minutes faster than 2015. I finished 1st in 55-59 age group and 5th female overall. Happy days.
Written By Julie Harrison
I entered the monster mojo middle distance triathlon at the last minute as I wanted to gauge my fitness 2 weeks before Ironman Lanzarote which is my main race for spring this year.
The weather forecast was not looking good but they got it wrong and the day dawned bright with a bit of wind. I was out of the swim in 38 minutes and this was good enough for around 8th or 9th female overall. Again there was no other female in my age group, so my aim was to get as high position overall as I could. I set off on the 51 mile bike ride and I felt really strong overtaking everyone apart from 1 woman who was out the swim in front of me.
My bike split of 2.36 put me in 2nd place overall but I knew it would be very difficult to hold off the fast younger runners and sure enough I was overtaken by 2 other women leaving me in 4th place. Age group win and also the first over 50 to finish.
Written By Steve Stoneman
I decided to race at the BC Litherland series in Liverpool on Tuesday evening to get the ball rolling for the year. I donít really train in the winter these days, just tick over to keep some sort of condition and tend to start April time. I am lucky I can get decent condition in a relatively short time which is a surprise especially as am ageing very quickly!!
The race is a short closed circuit of a km round with tight turns; these were always my forte in my younger days. First race was 3/4th category event with around 20 riders so not the biggest race but a lot of young guys and these days donít really know the competition. However I knew one guy was good so just kept an eye on him. I knew early my legs were good and got a gap on the tight bend and attacked early. This guy followed me and we were away.
I gained half a lap within half an hour and was going to be a sprint between the two of us. I sussed his cornering out on the final bend before the finish as itís a 180 degree turn so you come out of it a low speed. I knew his line and started the sprint right on his wheel in the right gear and launched my sprint past him and won by several lengths.
I then decided ride the better category Elite/1/2/3 event. These guys are stronger usually so needed to use my race brain better!! There were only 10 riders which make them quite hard, especially as it was 50 minutes long. I was still out of breath after the 1st event which wasnít ideal, so really struggled the first 10 laps or so with the attacks but I guess we have to rely on our years of experience. Anyway I managed to get into rhythm and got in a break with 3 others.
This stayed away with one young guy sitting on so had him marked!
Quite easy tactics really, I knew positioning into the last bend was key and know from the first race my sprint was good, but didnít know the other guys. So I made sure I covered all attacks to keep the break together, so into the last lap I knew this kid sat on would go before the last corner, so he did, I was straight on him and entered the bend 2nd, pulled out in a low gear and went for it. I flew past him and knew the other two would not get out of the bend close enough, again won by several lengths.
Not a bad evening winning both races at twice their age and no one has won both races in the same night before!
Written By Ray Holmes
Going into this without having as much early season racing in my legs as previous years, I really had to train hard for this one – a lot of high intensity work up my local hills. Iíve perfected this training over the years on specific hills which are about 3-5 minutes long and for each one I push myself to the absolute limit. I literally had to stop pedalling altogether for 10-20 seconds at the top to recover my composure before heading to the next hill.
In a way itís better than racing because I repeat these efforts consistently and as a coach I know consistency is key to getting fitter – so yes, I do practice what I preach ?
Race day was a fabulous warm and sunny morning – perfect racing conditions for a crit. A field of around 60 took to the start line and I could tell there were some serious contenders here and lots of people wanted this title. So off we went for the 50 mins plus 3 laps of racing, which means about an hour. It windier than it looked from the side lines so tactics would play a big part in this one.
There were repeated attempts to establish a group off the front but nothing was sticking for the first 30 mins ñ I was playing the waiting game as Sean Kelly says when he is commentating on Eurosport. I always keep an eye on the clock in these races so I know exactly how long there is to go. I waited until we had been riding for 40 mins and started to think about trying to split the group. I attacked up the long drag to the finish and took a few others with me and we got a good gap but as with all the other attempts to establish groups, it did not work and the whole race came back together just as they put the 3 laps to go board up.
So I changed my tactics and went back to hiding in the wheels to save all my energy for a final bunch sprint for the win and that paid off.
I managed to get a great position about 6th in line up the long drag for the final time, and then as we came round the last bend it was a tailwind and I used my biggest gear and started to build up my sprint from about 300 meters from the line.
I won by about a bike length and so retained my title for the 3rd year in a row ñ well chuffed with that.
Now to reset some new objectives for the rest of the year ñ watch out for an update in a few months.
Written By Nick Shaughnessy
After a less than ideal week running up to the race I wasnít even sure I was going to be able to make it. However I got myself organised and got up early to drive to Peebles on Saturday morning. Imagine my delight at 5:30am to discover the M6 was shut! A massive diversion via Settle put nearly an hour on my journey so I only arrived 30 minutes before the start.
Fortunately the 7 hour race is a pairís relay so my partner for the race Chris was ready to go. That bought me 25 minutes while he completed the start loop. I was to do the first full lap which was 11km and took me about 40 mins. We were in 3rd in our category at the end of my lap but not far behind 2nd. Chris managed to pull us back to 2nd on his 2nd lap and from then on thatís where we stayed.
As the race went on I started to enjoy it more and more. My laps were consistently around 40mins but I was getting faster on the technical sections and steadier on the climbs. Where my first lap Iíd killed myself on the climbs and bounced off every root and rock on the descents.
Chris had a crash and a puncture on his last 2 laps but fortunately it had no effect on our result. We finished 2nd in our category which we were both more than happy with but most of all we had a great day out riding some fantastic trails with loads of nice people.
Written By Karl Smith
Winner, winner chicken dinner!!
On a beautiful sunny morning I was picked up by my dad who took me to Beverley for the Vic Sutton Memorial Road Race. What an experience this was, and worryingly I seem to be going more like my dad every day!! Only a few junctions for the entire journey, he got everyone wrong, variable speed limits had him fully confused even though they were all off. But we did eventually get there and what a lovely place for bike race.
Oh yes, the bike race, 49 mile, 7 laps with a 3.5 mile tailwind stretch all slightly up hill. Fifty riders braved the sunny day and straight up the climb from the off. It was a fast first lap despite no attacks and I sat near the back. Having missed the National Circuit Race last week due to man flu, l was seeing how the legs were. Second time up the climb several riders opened up a gap, as we continued up the hill some riders started to come back to the bunch as others attacked off the front.
I had to get involved, this looked dangerous. About 9 riders were in front of me, some going forward, some coming back. As we top the climb and turned into a strong head wind, 4 riders were together in front of me and another rider. I put it in top gear and made the big effort to bridge, I made it but the other lad could not hold my wheel and he had missed the move.
It was a good working group of 5 and we just distanced the bunch. The laps and miles ticked by with the group all working together and so we started the last lap. With a big gap over the bunch we now stopped working and there were a few attacks up the climb, but nothing serious. Was everyone tired? It had been a fast pace for this tough course. Turning into the headwind I made my mind up to have a go.
As we approached a left turn I found myself on the front for about 500 yards, thinking they would not expect an attack from someone on the front, I just pressed hard on the pedals as I entered the sharp corner, just enough to lift my pace a bit. Out the corner with my pace lifted I attacked hard (if you are going to attack with 2 miles to go, surprise is your biggest weapon, and attacking from the front like this did probably catch them out). I never got more than a 200 yard gap though, and the last 700 yards were all up hill.
There was a downhill to come, a flat bit right into the wind, then sharp left and 700 yards to the line. So down the hill and on to the flat, I decided to not kill myself ( experience tells me that if a rider is just in front and looks like he’s coming back no-one chases ) I saved just a bit of energy for the final 700 yards. With only a small gap I took the final turn and really attacked the climb. As the gradient eased with 300yrd to go I checked the gap, it had gone out again and the Vic Sutton Memorial was mine, winner winner – all done in my new Bott and Co racing kit.
Thanks to the Hull Thursday Road Club for a super event.