Another month, another national champion photo for the headline image. Fred won VCLs 8th and 9th (by my count) national championship in the last 15 years of recent memory, to add to the club’s 7th, and his first last month. To make the first result even sweater, Ethan took the silver medal alongside him in the pursuit.
Meanwhile, Rachel, Georgie and Charlotte all put in good performances too. We also had our best turnout in the junior category, with Chaz, Andrew, Josh and Louis all representing. Max put in some solid rides, with an especially good flying 200m qualification – 11.765. After the success of the pursuit, Fred picked up a bronze in the points race, while Ethan came 5th. Fred finished the week off with a 10 lap attack just holding off the bunch in a frantic finish to win the scratch race.
Not wanting to miss out, and after only realising she wasn’t eligible for the British National Championships last year, Amy teamed up with Autumn Collins to represent at the Junior Irish National Track Championship.
Autumn won two golds in the Match Sprint and 500m TT and a bronze while Amy won one of each, a gold in the Scratch Race a silver and a bronze.
Taking to the line after the world best women (Bronzini, Vos and Armistead made up the podium positions) a number of youth riders represented both the South East and London, in the first of 3 regional team competitions finishing off the season.
Ethan, Fred, Georgie, Charlotte and Rachel were all on the London boys and girls teams, while Louise was on the South East team. While some of the far flung team booked two nights in a hotel, Fred and Ethan rode up to the race to represent the London home team. Fred led Ethan out to a well deserved first major win of the year. Cementing a year with plenty of podium positions.
The following day, in the wake of Hurricane Bertha, around 15 VCL riders put numbers on the front of their handlebars, and left home from 4.30am to take part in the Ride 100 (reduced to 86 due to some very dodgy conditions). Steve White took the mens club sportive champion crown, completing the course in 3 hours 42 mins – an average speed of 23mph! Christine was the 46th fastest women in the entire event in 4 hours 1 minute. But remember, it wasn’t a race…
After a few days of dry weather, the torrential conditions were back to obliterate the final round of the cyclo-cross summer series organised by Jason and Shaun. The freak weather conditions and flash flooding meant around 20 riders didn’t finish the main race due to mechanical problems, with a number of other just plain giving up! Philip, with over 20 years cyclo-cross experience tactically ran a few key claggy sections, to preserve his bike, out last some of his rivals and finish the race in first, to also win the series. Hopefully it will be January by the time those conditions return.
As well as winning the overall event, Philip along with Christine were the only two riders to rise to the challenge of completing the South London Triple – riding Crystal Palace, Herne Hill, and Summer Series 3 days in a row. Making the most of the wide variety of grassroots racing on offer locally, and celebrating what a broad range of ability we have in our club of “trackies”.
Not wanting to miss out on the numbers on the front of handlebars fun and expanding on his best-all-rounder title, Philip was this years only VCL representative at the Brighton Big Dog – riding in the singlespeed pairs with friend of the club Alec Briggs. For the third year in a row he won one of the niche catagories – next year maybe most clashing kit? Hopefully we’ll also have a better club turnout next year overcoming injuries, work commitments and general laziness.
Rounding off a dominant couple of weeks, Philip finished off with a bunch sprint win for third at the cross rider’s favorite road race, Parham Park.
Meanwhile that was just the support race for the Surrey League’s womens 3 day. Christine put in a great performance in only one of her first few road races.
The month finished with a little foreign road racing. Ethan was invited on one of the Ledgendary John Barclay’s trips to Belgium, to join most of the rest of the top South East riders in the Tour of West Flanders. Judging by the performance they are one of the favorites for next months Inter-Regional Road championship.
Max continued an increasing trend of also popping over to Belgium for a spot of high-quality racing.
Almost as far away, a smaller than usual contingent traveled to the final national youth circuit series in Scarborough. Tim Writes:
In the U14 boys, Max Cheatle started well, scoring points on the first Prime lap, but struggled with the hill for top 20 finish. Tom Gloag unfortunately got caught in a crash early on and had to complete the race with only two useable gears.
In the U16 boys, both Ethan and Fred looked comfortable on the flat part of the circuit, with Ethan picking up Prime points. Once they hit the hill, Fred struggled with the pace, but stayed in touch for a top 30 finish. With a lap to go Ethan attacked off the front with Tom Pidcock and the two of them stayed away to the finish, Tom just holding Ethan off in the final sprint.