Fred Bamforth – Favourite Ride – Yorkshire & The Peak District From Oldham

 

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In our new series we look at our writers and friends favourite rides and routes around the UK and worldwide, first up is Fred Bamforth.

 

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The Maxim ‘Quality not Quantity’ is often over used, but in cycling terms a good ride in hilly terrain can very quickly prove it….

Oldham is set within the foothills of the Pennines and over the years has been an amazing base for rides in the Saddleworth area, a hidden gem with a myriad of routes and styles of climbs that means you can never get bored.

In the modern era of cycling numbers matter so long climbs that offer ‘meters gained’ appeal to the climbers out there. One of my fave rides delivers in this respect, with long climbs, steep climbs and some amazing scenery.

image1-2 2Heading South-east from Oldham gentle undulations give way to the day’s first long climb from Stalybridge to Mottram Cutting, providing a great warm up for what is to come later. Within the cutting is a retaining wall where a ‘fossilised frog’ was found and is marked, so as you begin the gentle descent to Mottram village try to spot it on your left!

 

The road here goes downhill for a few miles, but in traffic, this means that once you’ve got towards Glossop following the A57 on the flat valley road the glory of hitting the base of the Snake pass is all the better. One of the classic northern climbs and a staple of the legendary old Tour of the Peak race the Snake delivers the challenge that its reputation has built over the decades. 

 

snakepass1What goes up must come down, and how! The twists and turns as you cross from Derbyshire into Yorkshire are what cyclists dream of and as you skirt the edge of Ladybower reservoir (of Dambusters fame) you begin to rise again before turning left onto Strines Moor. This next section of road gives a roller coaster reversing some of the route that le Tour de Yorkshire took. With steep descents and equally steep climbs, this is a test for you and your bike, good braking and swift gear changes are needed to ensure a smooth passage through this section.

Arriving at the A616 after this rural fairly quiet piece of road can be a shock as the next few miles heading North can be very busy with traffic, once past the Flouch roundabout and back into the lanes towards Holmfirth sees less vehicles and some splendid terrain.

After passing though Holmfirth and heading west on the A635 the climb over Saddleworth Moor beckons to its lofty height on the ‘Isle o’Skye’ road. This is usually a gritty head/cross wind fest but the sense of achievement of cresting the lip of the summit and dropping into Saddleworth towards Greenfield, and seeing the amazing view down the Chew Valley and over Dovestones Reservoir is something you will never tire of. 

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After some of the monster climbs the day has already thrown at you the mere couple of miles climbing out from Greenfield over Lydgate back towards Oldham on the A669 will not faze you, giving one last classic view over the Cheshire Plain and Manchester as you look down from this last big rise and the roll back in.

If you’ve got a favourite ride you’d like to share with us please get in touch.

3 Roe Cross Rd, Mottram in Longdendale, Hyde SK14 6SD, UK

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Official 2015 Cheshire Classic Film by CyclingShorts.cc

 

 

Cheshire Classic Women’s Road Race 2015 Results

Delamere Dairy Sprint – Joanna Rowsell (Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International)

Advanced Medical Solutions Team Prize – Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International

Your Sports Therapist Aggressive Rider – Sarah Storey (Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International)

Position Name Team/Club Category
1 Dame Sarah Storey Pearl Izumi Sports Tours Intl Elite
2 Laura Trott Matrix Fitness Elite
3 Alice Barnes Betch.NL-Superior-Brentjens MTB Racing Team 3rd
4 Emily Kay Team USN 1st
5 Katie Curtis Pearl Izumi Sports Tours Intl 1st
6 Louise Mahe IKON – Mazda 1st
7 Charline Joiner Team WNT 1st
8 Laura Greenhalgh Les Filles Racing Team 2nd
9 Henrietta Colborne Bonito Squadra Corse 2nd
10 Emily Nelson Team USN 2nd
11 Nicola Juniper Team Giordana- Triton Elite
12 Eve Dixon Team 22 1st
13 Gabriella Shaw Pearl Izumi Sports Tours Intl Elite
14 Jennifer George Les Filles Racing Team 1st
15 Natalie Grinczer Fusion RT Gearclub Bike Science 2nd
16 Helen Ralston Les Filles Racing Team 2nd
17 Rose Osbourne Team WNT 2nd
18 Anna Christian Wiggle Honda 2nd
19 Susan Freeburn [email protected] House 2nd
20 Ellie Campbell Fusion RT Gearclub Bike Science 3rd
21 Gabriella Leveridge Velosure Starley Primal 2nd
22 Jessie Walker Matrix Fitness 1st
23 Gemma Sargent Racing Chance Foundation 2nd
24 Bethany Taylor Bonito Squadra Corse 2nd
25 Kayleigh Brogan Aprire Bicycles/HSS Hire 2nd
26 Elizabeth-Jane Harris Army Cycling Union 2nd
27 Ella Hopkins IKON – Mazda 3rd
28 Nicole Oh Les Filles Racing Team 2nd
29 Jennifer Hudson Fusion RT Gearclub Bike Science 2nd
30 Julie Erskine IKON – Mazda 1st
31 Rebecca Nixon Fusion RT Gearclub Bike Science 2nd
32 Gabriella Nordin GB Cycles.co.uk 2nd
33 Manon Lloyd Team USN 1st
34 Charlotte Broughton Corley Cycles – Drops RT 2nd
35 Chanel Mason Army Cycling Union 2nd
36 Rebecca Rimmington IKON – Mazda 1st
37 Rebecca Carter Team WNT 2nd
38 Annasley Park Team Giordana- Triton 2nd
39 Bethany Hayward Pearl Izumi Sports Tours Intl 1st
40 Amy Gornall Aprire Bicycles/HSS Hire 2nd
41 Louise Laker [email protected] House 2nd
42 Josephine Gilbert Velosure Starley Primal 2nd
43 Vanessa Whitfield Team 22 2nd
44 Frances White Team Jadan 2nd
45 Bethany Crumpton North West MTB Race Team 3rd
46 Hannah Payton Corley Cycles – Drops RT 2nd
47 Ciara Horne Pearl Izumi Sports Tours Intl 2nd
48 Lucy Shaw Matrix Fitness Development 2nd
49 Joanna Rowsell Pearl Izumi Sports Tours Intl Elite
50 Penny Rowson Matrix Fitness 2nd
51 Katie Archibald Pearl Izumi Sports Tours Intl Elite
52 Rebecca Womersley Corley Cycles – Drops RT 2nd
53 Joanne Blakeley Team 22 2nd
54 Hannah Walker Team WNT Elite
55 Lucy Harper Aprire Bicycles/HSS Hire 2nd
56 Helen McKay Les Filles Racing Team 2nd
57 Pia De Quint
58 Nicola Soden Carnac-Planet X 2nd
59 Elinor Thorogood Aprire Bicycles/HSS Hire 3rd
60 Ellie Coster Team USN 2nd
61 Melissa Brand IKON – Mazda 2nd
62 Nikola Butler Pearl Izumi Sports Tours Intl 2nd
63 Victoria Strila [email protected] House 2nd
64 Lauren OBrien Team Giordana- Triton 2nd
65 Alexis Barnes [email protected] House 2nd
66 Emily Attfield Velosure Starley Primal 2nd
67 Chloe Weller [email protected] House 2nd
68 Rebecca Raybould Poole Whls CC 2nd
69 Sandra Mackay Carnac-Planet X 2nd
70 Ruth Taylor Manchester Whlrs Club 2nd
71 Emma Grant IKON – Mazda 2nd
72 Keira McVitty Team Giordana- Triton 1st
73 Sarah Rose Team 22 2nd
74 Sam Burman Team WNT 3rd
DNF Delia Beddis Les Filles Racing Team 2nd
DNF Karla Boddy IKON – Mazda 1st
DNF Laura Cheesman Velosure Starley Primal 2nd
DNF Tracy Corbett Les Filles Racing Team 2nd
DNF Laura Massey IKON – Mazda Elite
DNF Brit Tate Team WNT 1st

Book Review – The Breakaway – Nicole Cooke

Nicole Cooke - The BreakawayThe secret of Autobiography Publishing is timing and by and large thanks to Ms Cooke’s former colleagues at British Cycling her timing has been made perfect, Future editions of this book will contain a big ‘thankyou’ for proving her right. Shortly after publication the BC squads for the World Championship were presented, without an entrant for the Female Time Trial, an Olympic event, detailing the wholesale lack of strategy employed by them, and this lack of ‘Joined Up Thinking’ becomes the main theme as Nicole scales her way to the top.

This book could really have had the more Chauceresque title of ‘A Tale of Two Millars’ as Little Nicole begins her interest in cycling as a sport after watching Robert Millar in the Alps but ends with the sad realisation that shamed drug cheat David Millar was, despite his lies and falsehoods, still holding sway in the sport, even after his unmasking, still operating in GB Team colours alongside a then in form Ms Cooke, getting better attention and help and unlike Nicole not coming up with the goods.

It is this and many other inequalities and inequities that Nicole lists throughout her career captured for the first time in print. The term ‘Autobiography’ is a smidge misleading here as the basis of this tome is a small amount of Childhood preamble which is fairly cut & paste from most riders of the pre ‘Deep section wheel/Di2/Carbon everything’ generation seeing Nicole make do and mend with ‘hand me down’ equipment, ‘money was tight but we had fun while all the other kids had better bikes etc’, before hitting the world of Pro Cycling hard at the ripe old age of 16…. Anyone looking for an in depth opening into the life of Nicole will be disappointed as once she gets into big time Cycling she enters a storyline of training, over training, more training and some racing. We are treated to many blow by blow accounts of her battles with riders all round the world which if you and I related would sound like a massive name dropping  session but to Nicole it was another day at the office. This underlines the level she operated on and provides the mystery of the piece which is why British Cycling could never [despite her success] use her as a blueprint to help bring on other female British talent. The biggest giveaway is that for Nicole to break into the British squad is that she needed legal help from such a young age. The resulting Race CV generated over the next years is testimony that most of her methods were correct and should have been studied better.

Perhaps the saddest aspect of the book is the endless list of riders, especially on the Welsh cycling Union side, that are messed about and rejected. Money, not talent, is always the issue and the list of these casualties mounts as the book goes on. This is counterpointed by the all too present reality that the names behind the scenes, actually drawing a living wage are mostly the same, highlighting the double standards on quality control that exists. These rejected riders were mostly lost to the sport, showing the lack of vision these bodies and teams have, a sport cannot be sustainable if only the tiniest elite element is cared for.

Without providing too many spoilers Ms Cooke’s biggest battles are behind the scenes, off the bike tussles, with a nebulous array of Welsh Cycling Union, British Cycling and assorted team staff (sometimes a crossover of all the above), which as the book develops give rise to the concept that cycling in Britain is more than heavily male dominated and even in the Lottery cash boom time that exists; the backup of Female coaches for the talented female riders is non-existent. Some of the names listed as being obstructive will surprise, leaving you thinking, ‘What him?? I thought he was a good guy??!!’, Ms Cooke is not afraid to mention these people which underpins her reputation for honesty. To offset any negativity this provides she does however always give praise to when and where it was required throughout her career.

CyclingShortsNicoleCookeTheBreakawayReviewRatingThe book offers a few frustrations, we know how Nicole’s career ends but there is no reference to where she goes now or what she would like to do with her time. But it serves as an apt wake-up call for the cycling scene in Britain that action is still needed to bolster the female side of the sport and take advantage of a boom time for women’s sport.

Cycling Shorts gives The Breakaway by Nicole Cooke 91% earning it our Star Buy rating.

Don’t forget to ether our competition to win a signed copy of Nicole’s book. Click here to enter.

The Breakaway by Nicole Cooke is published by Simon & Schuster UK (31 July 2014)

Available in Hardback & Digital: RRP £20.00

The Cycle Show 2014 NEC Birmingham

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Bioracer Pixel Jacket

This years show runs from 26th – 28th September 2014 and has exhibits from just about every brand you have heard of in the Cycling World and then some.

There are many highlights and there has been a push this year to get some of the fresh new equipment on show for the punters to drool over.

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Kim Madsen presents New XTR Di2 Gruppo

Top of this list was the Shimano stand where Kim Madsen and his team have unveiled the new XTR Di2 Groupset and have set it up on a working bike along with a 3D interactive Trainer that when wearing the magic 3D goggles allows you to actually ride in the mountains!! There will be big queues to play with this so get there early!! Kim and his team are part of Shimano’s drive to keep the fun and excitement in cycling and when you see the faces on the grown-ups testing the new kit you will see this plan’s working!!

For Weight Watchers the big draw will be Treks stand featuring the new super light Emonda range which features there lightest ever production model. The excuse that they haven’t got one in the colour you want is out the window as they have a vast range of custom options to match your team or club kit, seeing is believing  but this bike is measured on how fast your jaw drops when you lift it and say ‘Wow’!!

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Jules Thrasher

Bioracer have a fantastic simple stand which shows their new super safe Pixel range which reflects light the give riders visibility in poor light, ideal for winter and at the other end of the scale their much talked about Speedsuit time trial wear actually had people queuing to see what Martin and all the top testers have been using to help cheat the wind.

The exhibition is vast so take sensible shoes and enjoy the entertainment such as at 14.15 pm everyday Jules Thraser from ATG training giving a demo on how to program Shimano Di2 components, easy when you are shown well!!

Inside The DeathStar – Cycling Shorts.CC at the Tour De France

 

RodEllingworthIf proof was needed of the popularity of Cycling as a sport in the UK now then a good Barometer has to be the ten deep crowds around the infamous Team Sky ProCycling Team Bus, aka The Deathstar. Not ten deep with the general public but with actual accredited worthies in and around the Tour de France!!

Team Sky Bus aka The DeathStarOne key difference with Cycling is and hopefully always will be access to the riders and team staff. Within minutes of approaching Team Sky’s allotted piece of Leeds City Centre we were granted a few seconds with a very, very busy Rod Ellingworth, Performance Director within last year’s Winner’s team. A few years ago a British Team, with British winners at this race would have been a dream but now even the coaches, all be it famous ones now have to face the public and sign autographs!!

So using my old racing ties with Coach Ellingworth and around the chaos at Le Grand Depart we stole a few seconds with Rod who will be a man in demand for the next three weeks!!

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