The 2012 Cycling Revolution Begins

Revolution 37 Clancy & Tennant 1km Madison – ©Swarbrick.com

The first Revolution of the 2012 series got underway in awesome style, with thrills and spectacular spills. This year we see a change to the format with 12 rather than 8 teams and some new sponsors show off their jerseys. Sim and I braced ourselves for a busy evening.

Elite Flying Lap:
Returning to the track were Olympians Jody Cundy, Steven Burke [IG-Sigmasport] and Ed Clancy [Rapha Condor Sharp]. They certainly got an enthusiastic welcome from the crowd and they really raised the roof in the first event [the Flying Lap], Ed took the win by nearly one second (13.009) over Jody Cundy [FACE] who put in a stunning performance (13.908) and Steven in third (14.149). A great first time appearance for the race at a Revolution (if my memory serves me correctly), and a great start to proceedings for Team Rapha.

Revolution 37 Women’s Sprint – ©Swarbrick.com

Women’s Sprint Events:
The other change to this series is that core events will stay the same throughout the season and there’ll be additional guest races that will change each meeting [they don’t count towards the Team series competition]. This round it was the turn of the ladies in a series of women’s sprints and keirin races, specifically Team GB versus the Netherlands. Team GB were represented by Victoria Williamson and Dannielle Khan [cyclist and successful speed skater] and The Netherlands; Yvonne Hijgenaar and Elis Ligtlee. The sprint crown belonged to Vitoria Williamson taking the Sprint and Keirin wins and again as part of the two woman GB sprint team.

DHL Future Stars Girls:
After the 2011 domination of the DHL Girls podium for the past two years we were missing the formidable Emily Kay as she moves onwards and upwards. Our very own Ellie Coster who finished last years series just behind Emily returns in fighting form determined to take the vacant podium position. Heather and I perused the DHL girls riders list before the racing started and she pointed out her tip for new young rider to watch, “Amy Gornall! She’s got the natural tactics, I’ve seen her race before and she’s the whole package. Destined for big things, in the same way Emily intuitively knows when to attack, it’s her first Revolution but she won’t be phased by it”, and sure enough moments later she was running away from the pack in the early stages of the first girls event; the points race. She only came away with one point in the end but she’s clearly not here to make up the numbers, Amy had consistent results throughout the evening, not a bad start for a young rookie! So watch this space. Others to watch this year are Kimberley English, Lucy Harper, Emily Haycox.

Revolution 37 DHL Future Stars Girls – ©Swarbrick.com

Click play button to listen Sim’s interview with Kimberley English.

Click play button to listen Sim’s interview with Laura Cheeseman & Lucy Harper.

Jessica Roberts [Raleigh GAC] had a great points race, she won with 12 points and the nearest anyone came to her were two Emily’s (Capewell and Haycox) each with 5 point. Ellie Coster [howies] took her revenge in the 6 Lap dash but she couldn’t shake Jess Roberts off the podium, Jess took 3rd and Emily Nelson 2nd. In the final girls event Ellie Coster came 2nd in a frantic Scratch race, the winner was her team mate Emily Haycox, which sadly meant Ellie didn’t quite take the series lead. Jessica Roberts kept on fighting and hoovered up the 3rd place points to sneak the championship lead and podium for the opening Revolution, amazing tactics. The top three female riders are each separated by one point, Roberts (76), Coster (75) and Haycox (74).

DHL Future Stars Boys:
In the Boys league the competition looks like it’s going to be a tough top ten of riders scrapping it out throughout the season. Already showing their strengths are Jack Hoyle, Charlie Tanfield, Levi Moody and Leon Gledhill. In the Scratch Race it was a frantic finish with Tristan Robbins [howies] just beating IG-Sigmasports Ben Chapman to the line, closely followed by Gabriel Cullaigh of NetApp Endura. In the 6 Lap Dash Team Sportscover-Altura in their Revolution debut powered across the line with Leon Gledhill in 1st followed by team mate Levi Moody and Joe Evans [Rudy Project RT] in 3rd.

Revolution 37 – DHL Boys Points Race – ©Swarbrick.com

The drama of the evening was provided by the boys Points Race with a two part crash, caused by riders clipping wheels but throwing other riders off as they tried to avoid calamity further down the field. I tried to tot up the number of riders involved it appeared to be half a dozen in the home straight, then as they exited into the first corner just in front of me a second group came down very heavily. One of the Rapha riders did the most amazing standing tumble with his bike and landed on his feet with bike falling to the floor as he skidded to a standstill on his cleats – quite a manoeuvre. A number of riders were unable to rejoin the race including Charlie Tanfield who was on course for another good result but he picked up a nasty splinter. Charlie is one to watch in the boys competition.

Ned Boulting popped over for an interview [online shortly] between filming for the ITV4 highlights show [airing 31 October 2012 8pm] and to sign copies of his book ‘How I Won The Yellow Jumper‘ [for Cycling Shorts next competition]. So Ned… What is like to be UK’s face of cycling now? “That’s Gary Imlach, not me! You need to ask Gary Imlach what it’s like.” he said with a with his usual cheeky smile.

Elite 1km Madison Time Trial:
In the Madison the clear winners were Rapha’s Ed Clancy & Andy Tennant in a brilliant time of 56.005.

Revolution 37 Jody Cundy – ©Swarbrick.com

Elite Points Race:
Infighting in the Cycling Shorts ranks surly not? [not really] but Tom Murray said, “During the points race Jody ‘leant’ on my leg, it was captured on the camera under my saddle. Looks like I will be getting married with a Jody Cundy tyre mark down the back of my leg, it was close racing!”. In the end the race was expertly won by Owain Doull of howies with 24 points, Alex Dowsett [Team Sky] who was one lap up on Owain; came in second with 20 points and Ed Clancy in 3rd with 18. Tom made it into 6th place after his tyre tattooing with a total of 17 points. Jody didn’t finish.

Elite Australian Pursuit:
The Australian Pursuit is always a crowd pleaser and you can see heads in the team and media area centre track bobbing up and down like meerkats to watch what is a 360 degree race unfold around them. In the dying moments of the race there were three riders battling it out Andy Tennant, Alex Dowsett and Leif Lampeter [Rudy Project RT], this race is always a favourite of Leif’s and he remained out of trouble and took the win while Tennant and Dowsett battled for 2nd and 3rd respectively.

Elite Elimination Race:
The race was on early for Ed Clancy but sadly it didn’t pay off, but his effort helped create some tired legs in the pack to allow his team mate Andy Tennant to take victory over Joe Kelly. Clancy and Tennant’s experience shone through and popped some more points in the Rapha bank.

Elite Scratch Race:
In the final championship race of the evening Ed came back in style, the peloton were lapped and there was a one two battle on the line for the final sprint. Ed Clancy sealed victory for Rapha with his win. John Dibben [Rouleur] took 2nd and Christian Grasmann of Rudy Project RT came 3rd.

At the end of the evening the DHL Future Stars Team was howies. Jessica Roberts [Raleigh GAC] and Tristan Robbins [howies] now lead the individual DHL competitions.

Olympian Lizzie Armistead took to the Apron during a break in racing but not in the usual lycra look we are used to. She was interviewed by Hugh Porter. After taking second in the Olympic Road Race to Marianne Vos, Lizzie announced that she would be going head to head with the multiple World Champion at the next Revolution. This promises to be a truly epic battle.

More interviews from Revolution 37:
Click play button to listen to Sim’s interview with Ned Boulting.
Click play button to listen to Sim’s interview with Matt Holmes.
Click play button to listen to Sim’s interview with Adam & Simon Yates.
Click play button to listen to Sim’s interview with Ellie Coster & Emily Haycox.

 
Don’t forget you can catch the highlights show on ITV Player

You can download the full event results in PDF format by clicking here.

Revolution Series Round 2 is on 1st December at Manchester.
To find out more about the series and to grab one of the few remaining tickets left for the rest of the series visit www.cyclingrevolution.com

 

Andy Tennant & Ed Clancy – Team Rapha Podium – ©Anna Magrath – Cycling Shorts.

Elite Championship Standings after Round 1

1 Rapha Condor Sharp 62
2 Rouleur 53
3 Rudy Project RT 46
4 Maxgear 41
5 howies 37
6 FACE 30
7 Sportscover 28
8 IG-Sigma Sport 26
9 Team Sky 24
10 WD40 23
11 NetApp-Endura 14
12 Raleigh-GAC 6

Jessica Roberts & Tristan Robbins – DHL Future Stars Podium with Martyn Ashton – ©Anna Magrath – Cycling Shorts.

Future Stars Teams After Round 1
1 Howies 259
2 Rapha Condor Sharp 192
3 Raleigh GAC 181
4 Sportscover 180
5 IG Sigmasport 176
6 FACE Partnership 174
7 WD40 163
8 Rudy Project RT 147
9 NetApp Endura 110
10 Rouleur 109
11 Sky Procycling 107
12 Maxgear Racing 83

Future Stars Girls After Round 1
1 Jessica ROBERTS Raleigh GAC 76
2 Ellie COSTER Howies 75
3 Emily HAYCOX Howies 74
4 Emily NELSON IG Sigmasport 59
5 Lucy HARPER FACE Partnership 58
6 Beth HAYWARD Rapha Condor Sharp 57
7 Kimberley ENGLISH Rapha Condor Sharp 57
8 Victoria KINRADE Rouleur 49
9 Henrietta COLBOURNE Sportscover 48
10 Laura CHEESMAN FACE Partnership 46
11 Emily CAPEWELL WD40 45
12 Hannah BLOUNT Rudy Project RT 45
13 Lauren O’BRIEN NetApp Endura 44
14 Bethany TAYLOR Raleigh GAC 44
15 Amy GORNALL Maxgear Racing 40
16 Jessie ANSELL WD40 38
17 Naomi JOHNSTON Sky Procycling 28
18 Megan LEWIS IG Sigmasport 26
DHL Future Stars Boys

Future Stars Boys After Round 1
1 Tristan ROBBINS Howies 70
2 Levi MOODY Sportscover 68
3 Leon GLEDHILL Sportscover 64
4 Joe EVANS Rudy Project RT 64
5 James SHAW Sky Procycling 52
6 Maximilian STEDMAN IG Sigmasport 51
7 Matt GIBSON WD40 49
8 Charlie TANFIELD Rouleur 44
9 Fabio CLOSE Maxgear Racing 43
10 Ethan LEE Rapha Condor Sharp 41
11 Joe WILTSHIRE Howies 40
12 Harrison FIELDING Raleigh GAC 40
13 Benjamin CHAPMAN IG Sigmasport 40
14 Sean NOON NetApp Endura 39
15 Jake KELLY Rudy Project RT 38
16 Jack HOYLE Rapha Condor Sharp 37
17 Jack ESCRITT FACE Partnership 35
18 Harry CREW FACE Partnership 35
19 Christian BRAYBROOKE WD40 31
20 Gabriel CULLAIGH NetApp Endura 27
21 Karl BAILLIE Sky Procycling 27
22 Thomas SCAMMELL Raleigh GAC 21
23 Sean MCGOVERN Rouleur 16

Elite Flying Lap
1 CLANCY Ed Rapha Condor Sharp 13.009
2 CUNDY Jody FACE Partnership 13.908
3 BURKE Steven IG Sigmasport 14.149
4 WOOD Oliver Sportscover 14.419
5 GRASMANN Christian Rudy Project RT 14.494
6 DOULL Owain Howies 14.522
7 YATES Simon Maxgear Racing 14.534
8 LOWE Sam Rouleur 14.589
9 SCHEP Peter WD40 15.006
10 DOWSETT Alex Sky Procycling 15.075
11 MCEVOY Jonny NetApp Endura 15.481
12 HOLMES Matt Raleigh GAC 15.864

Elite 1km Madison Time Trial
1 Rapha Condor Sharp 56.005
2 Rudy Project RT 57.697
3 Rouleur 58.511
4 Howies 59.047
5 IG Sigmasport 59.628
6 WD40 59.812
7 FACE Partnership 1:00.164
8 Maxgear Racing 1:00.504
9 Sportscover 1:00.605
10 Team SKY Sky Procycling 1:01.695
11 NetApp Endura 1:03.204
12 Raleigh GAC 1:04.659

Elite Points Race
1 DOULL Owain Howies 24 -1 lap
2 DOWSETT Alex Sky Procycling 20
3 CLANCY Ed Rapha Condor Sharp 18 -1
4 DIBBEN John Rouleur 18 -1
5 GRASMANN Christian Rudy Project RT 18 -1
6 MURRAY Tom IG Sigmasport 17 -1
7 SCHEP Peter WD40 15 -1
8 YATES Simon Maxgear Racing 12 -1
9 HOLMES Matt Raleigh GAC 10 -1
10 WOOD Oliver Sportscover 10 -1
11 KELLY Joe FACE Partnership 8 -2 laps
12 TENNANT Andy Rapha Condor Sharp 3 -2
13 LAMPETER Leif Rudy Project RT 1 -2
14 YATES Adam Maxgear Racing 1 -2
15 SLATER Alistair Sportscover 1 -2
16 LOWE Sam Rouleur 0 -2
17 GEOGHEGAN-HART Tao Sky Procycling 0 -2
18 LATHAM Chris WD40 0 -2
19 BURKE Steven IG Sigmasport 0 -2
DNF SCHWARTZMAN Michael NetApp Endura 10 -2
DNF MCEVOY Jonny NetApp Endura 0 -2
DNF HARRISON Sam Howies 0 -2
DNF CUNDY Jody FACE Partnership -10 -3
DNF HAMPTON Russell Raleigh GAC -10 -3

Elite Australian Pursuit
1 LAMPETER Leif Rudy Project RT
2 TENNANT Andy Rapha Condor Sharp
3 DOWSETT Alex Sky Procycling
4 SLATER Alistair Sportscover
5 MURRAY Tom IG Sigmasport
6 CUNDY Jody FACE Partnership
7 SCHEP Peter WD40
8 HAMPTON Russell Raleigh GAC

Elite Elimination Race
1 TENNANT Andy Rapha Condor Sharp
2 KELLY Joe FACE Partnership
3 LOWE Sam Rouleur
4 YATES Simon Maxgear Racing
5 GRASMANN Christian Rudy Project RT
6 SLATER Alistair Sportscover
7 DIBBEN John Rouleur
8 WOOD Oliver Sportscover
9 YATES Adam Maxgear Racing
10 MCEVOY Jonny NetApp Endura
11 GEOGHEGAN-HART Tao Sky Procycling
12 MURRAY Tom IG Sigmasport
13 LATHAM Chris WD40
14 DOWSETT Alex Sky Procycling
15 SCHWARTZMAN Michael NetApp Endura
16 BURKE Steven IG Sigmasport
17 HAMPTON Russell Raleigh GAC
18 DOULL Owain Howies
19 SCHEP Peter WD40
20 LAMPETER Leif Rudy Project RT
21 HOLMES Matt Raleigh GAC
22 CUNDY Jody FACE Partnership
23 CLANCY Ed Rapha Condor Sharp
24 HARRISON Sam Howies

Elite Scratch Race
1 CLANCY Ed Rapha Condor Sharp
2 DIBBEN John Rouleur
3 GRASMANN Christian Rudy Project RT
4 HARRISON Sam Howies
5 YATES Adam Maxgear Racing
6 MCEVOY Jonny NetApp Endura
7 SCHEP Peter WD40
8 DOWSETT Alex Sky Procycling
9 YATES Simon Maxgear Racing
10 TENNANT Andy Rapha Condor Sharp
11 LOWE Sam Rouleur
12 LAMPETER Leif Rudy Project RT
13 MURRAY Tom IG Sigmasport
14 KELLY Joe FACE Partnership
15 LATHAM Chris WD40
16 GEOGHEGAN-HART Tao Sky Procycling
17 HOLMES Matt Raleigh GAC
18 HAMPTON Russell Raleigh GAC
19 WOOD Oliver Sportscover
20 BURKE Steven IG Sigmasport
21 SLATER Alistair Sportscover
22 DOULL Owain Howies
DNF CUNDY Jody FACE Partnership
DNF SCHWARTZMAN Michael NetApp Endura

DHL Future Stars Girls
Points Race
1 ROBERTS Jessica Raleigh GAC 12 points
2 CAPEWELL Emily WD40 5
3 HAYCOX Emily Howies 5
4 COLBOURNE Henrietta Sportscover 3
5 HAYWARD Beth Rapha Condor Sharp 3
6 COSTER Ellie Howies 3
7 ENGLISH Kimberley Rapha Condor Sharp 3
8 ANSELL Jessie WD40 2
9 HARPER Lucy FACE Partnership 2
10 TAYLOR Bethany Raleigh GAC 2
11 O’BRIEN Lauren NetApp Endura 1
12 NELSON Emily IG Sigmasport 1
13 GORNALL Amy Maxgear Racing 1
14 CHEESMAN Laura FACE Partnership 1
15 KINRADE Victoria Rouleur
16 BLOUNT Hannah Rudy Project RT
17 LEWIS Megan IG Sigmasport
18 JOHNSTON Naomi Sky Procycling

6 Lap Dash
1 COSTER Ellie Howies 2:03.409
2 NELSON Emily IG Sigmasport
3 ROBERTS Jessica Raleigh GAC
4 ENGLISH Kimberley Rapha Condor Sharp
5 HAYCOX Emily Howies
6 KINRADE Victoria Rouleur
7 HARPER Lucy FACE Partnership
8 O’BRIEN Lauren NetApp Endura
9 CHEESMAN Laura FACE Partnership
10 BLOUNT Hannah Rudy Project RT
11 HAYWARD Beth Rapha Condor Sharp
12 GORNALL Amy Maxgear Racing
13 TAYLOR Bethany Raleigh GAC
14 COLBOURNE Henrietta Sportscover
15 JOHNSTON Naomi Sky Procycling
16 CAPEWELL Emily WD40
17 LEWIS Megan IG Sigmasport
18 ANSELL Jessie WD40

Scratch Race
1 HAYCOX Emily Howies
2 COSTER Ellie Howies
3 ROBERTS Jessica Raleigh GAC
4 HARPER Lucy FACE Partnership
5 HAYWARD Beth Rapha Condor Sharp
6 NELSON Emily IG Sigmasport
7 BLOUNT Hannah Rudy Project RT
8 KINRADE Victoria Rouleur
9 CHEESMAN Laura FACE Partnership
10 ENGLISH Kimberley Rapha Condor Sharp
11 TAYLOR Bethany Raleigh GAC
12 COLBOURNE Henrietta Sportscover
13 GORNALL Amy Maxgear Racing
14 ANSELL Jessie WD40
15 O’BRIEN Lauren NetApp Endura
16 CAPEWELL Emily WD40
17 JOHNSTON Naomi Sky Procycling
18 LEWIS Megan IG Sigmasport

DHL Future Stars Boys
Scratch Race
1 ROBBINS Tristan Howies
2 CHAPMAN Benjamin IG Sigmasport
3 CULLAIGH Gabriel NetApp Endura
4 TANFIELD Charlie Rouleur
5 EVANS Joe Rudy Project RT
6 NOON Sean NetApp Endura
7 WILTSHIRE Joe Howies
8 SHAW James Sky Procycling
9 STEDMAN Maximilian IG Sigmasport
10 ESCRITT Jack FACE Partnership
11 GLEDHILL Leon Sportscover
12 GIBSON Matt WD40
13 MOODY Levi Sportscover
14 CREW Harry FACE Partnership
15 KELLY Jake Rudy Project RT
16 LEE Ethan Rapha Condor Sharp
17 FIELDING Harrison Raleigh GAC
18 SCAMMELL Thomas Raleigh GAC
19 CLOSE Fabio Maxgear Racing
20 BRAYBROOKE Christian WD40
21 MCGOVERN Sean Rouleur
22 BAILLIE Karl Sky Procycling
23 HOYLE Jack Rapha Condor Sharp

6 Lap Dash
1 GLEDHILL Leon Sportscover 1:45.498
2 MOODY Levi Sportscover
3 EVANS Joe Rudy Project RT
4 TANFIELD Charlie Rouleur
5 CLOSE Fabio Maxgear Racing
6 SHAW James Sky Procycling
7 ROBBINS Tristan Howies
8 KELLY Jake Rudy Project RT
9 STEDMAN Maximilian IG Sigmasport
10 CREW Harry FACE Partnership
11 CHAPMAN Benjamin IG Sigmasport
12 BRAYBROOKE Christian WD40
13 LEE Ethan Rapha Condor Sharp
14 HOYLE Jack Rapha Condor Sharp
15 BAILLIE Karl Sky Procycling
16 GIBSON Matt WD40
17 ESCRITT Jack FACE Partnership
18 FIELDING Harrison Raleigh GAC
19 SCAMMELL Thomas Raleigh GAC
20 NOON Sean NetApp Endura
21 WILTSHIRE Joe Howies
22 CULLAIGH Gabriel NetApp Endura
23 MCGOVERN Sean Rouleur

Points Race
1 MOODY Levi Sportscover 9 points
2 GIBSON Matt WD40 5
3 FIELDING Harrison Raleigh GAC 5
4 HOYLE Jack Rapha Condor Sharp 5
5 ROBBINS Tristan Howies 4
6 EVANS Joe Rudy Project RT 3
7 GLEDHILL Leon Sportscover 3
8 LEE Ethan Rapha Condor Sharp 3
9 STEDMAN Maximilian IG Sigmasport 2
10 WILTSHIRE Joe Howies 1
11 CLOSE Fabio Maxgear Racing 1
12 SHAW James Sky Procycling 1
13 NOON Sean NetApp Endura
14 BAILLIE Karl Sky Procycling
15 BRAYBROOKE Christian WD40
16 ESCRITT Jack FACE Partnership
17 KELLY Jake Rudy Project RT
18 MCGOVERN Sean Rouleur
19 CREW Harry FACE Partnership
20 SCAMMELL Thomas Raleigh GAC
DNF CHAPMAN Benjamin IG Sigmasport 2
DNF CULLAIGH Gabriel NetApp Endura
DNF TANFIELD Charlie Rouleur

Revolution Sprint Omnium
200m Time Trial
1 WILLIAMSON Victoria Great Britain 11.700
2 KAHN Danielle Great Britain 12.002
3 LIGTLEE Elis Netherlands 12.009
4 HIJGENAAR Yvonne Netherlands 12.072

Round 1
1 WILLIAMSON Victoria Great Britain 12.074
2 HIJGENAAR Yvonne Netherlands
1 LIGTLEE Elis Netherlands 12.228
2 KAHN Danielle Great Britain

Finals
1 WILLIAMSON Victoria Great Britain 12.091
2 LIGTLEE Elis Netherlands
3 HIJGENAAR Yvonne Netherlands 12.407
4 KAHN Danielle Great Britain

Team Sprint
1 Great Britain (WILLIAMSON Victoria, KAHN Danielle) 35.703
2 Netherlands (HIJGENAAR Yvonne, LIGTLEE Elis) 36.195

Keirin
1 WILLIAMSON Victoria Great Britain
2 KAHN Danielle Great Britain
3 HIJGENAAR Yvonne Netherlands
4 LIGTLEE Elis Netherlands

 

 

 

 

howies return to the Revolution


howies track team will be returning to the to race in series 10 of Revolution which starts this weekend. Confirmed howies riders for Saturday’s event include Sam Harrison and Owain Doull.
The Welsh brand will be supporting 6 Welsh juniors as well as national and professional riders in four track meets over the winter.

Alex from howies said “We’re proud to be part of a nation responsible for producing current Olympic and World cycling champions and Revolution will be a great place for our Welsh team to race against giants in cycling. This years team kit has also been designed with elements of the Welsh flag for riders to fly in…. Pine. Rubber. Lycra and speed. We can’t wait”.

Other teams racing this season are: Team Sky, Rapha Condor Sharp, IG-Sigma Sport, Raleigh-GAC, NetApp-Endura, Rudy Project RT, Maxgear, Team Sportscover, Team WD40, Rouleur and FACE. These teams will bring a number of stars to the track; Sky and Rapha have named Alex Dowsett and Olympian Ed Clancy. The lineup also includes three of our own writers; Tom Murray (IG-Sigma Sport), paralympian Jody Cundy (riding for FACE) & six day rider Christian Grasmann (Rudy Project RT).

Cwmheulog Hill-Climb

‘Cheering on a Competitor’ – My daughter Megan takes on the climb – Image ©David James

When I wrote my first blog for Cycling Shorts I was quite worried when I would be able to write a follow up. Well here I am one day after my “Ponderings from the Velodrome” went online and I find myself with about five hours to kill as I’m on a rapid return journey to Manchester by train.
As I get on the train in Abergavenny I am quite excited to be able to wear my new adidas Sennheiser headphones which were a present from Becky, so my first job is to select some appropriate music on my iPod and make a choice; either continue reading Rough Ride by Paul Kimmage, someone who I am really pleased to say I share a birthday with, or get my note pad and pen out and start scribbling. The fact that you’re reading this gives away the winner!

I did suggest last time that I would write about organising my first ever hill-climb and the thrills of cyclocross, but as the hill-climb was such a success and as I have been hassled ever since to make it an annual event, I am going to stick to just the one subject.

When as a family we first joined Abergavenny Road Club nearly ten years ago I remember one of the first ever road events we went to watch was the club’s Hill-Climb Championship. Living in Abergavenny we are fortunate to have many fantastic road climbs in close proximity to the town, the most famous of which is ‘The Tumble’. This climb has been used on many major events over the years; I can remember watching the Milk Race going up there many years ago and more recently, watching at the toughest part of the climb the last time the National Road Championships were held in the town in 2009.

‘Marking Up the Road’ my son Gareth on the right and my daughter Rachel’s boyfriend Luke on his hands and knees – ©Image David James

The club’s hill-climb used to start just as the road up The Tumble comes out of the trees about half way up the climb and was about one mile in length. In those early years I can recall about twenty riders taking part. I remember the winner the first time I watched, Nick Kenwright, someone who I believe had represented GB. Last year only two riders took part! Whether this drop in competitor numbers is because of the toughness of the climb, because there has been an increase in traffic, or for some other reason, the club’s committee decided we had to do something to rejuvenate the competition.

As we are good friends with Wiggle rider Ben Simmons who has been winning a few Red Bull Hill-Climbs around the country I thought it would be good to try something similar. I suggested to the club committee “Why not use the hill up to our house? We can get a road closure and all the kids can take part as well.” And so the inaugural ‘Cwmheulog Hill-Climb’ was born.

As we live up a dead-end lane, first thing was to get all the neighbours on board: job done! Next up was to speak to Monmouthshire County Council about the road closure. As a local authority Monmouthshire are a pleasure to work with and do everything they can to help with cycling in the county: job done!

Now the question was should I widely advertise the event or just keep it local and see how it goes? Keep it small scale was the consensus of opinion, so I sent out a leaflet with all the details and asked people to email or ring me to let me know if they were coming in order that we could provide free food for all competitors and spectators. With one day to go only one email had been received and I was starting to think it was going to be a big flop. That was until the night before the event when I was made aware that the email address I had put on the leaflet had been misspelt! How could I be so stupid?

A disturbed night’s sleep deliberating what to do, so first thing Saturday morning I’m in Tesco Abergavenny with my youngest Megan buying 120 sausages (half fat!), 120 fingers rolls and 25 garlic baguettes thinking I can always put the surplus in the freezer.

‘Hoping For A Top Quality Competition’ – Image ©David James

5.00pm comes around and the barriers and road closure signs are in place and there’s already a steady stream of cyclists and spectators making their way up the hill to signing on at our house.

51 competitors, 39 youth riders and 12 adults signed on to compete and there was a great deal more than that ready to provide vocal support. It wasn’t a case of putting surplus in the freezer, but raiding it for more supplies!

What can I say about the racing other than I know all too well what it’s like to ride up our hill, so every single person who gave it a go deserves a shout out. The spectators made for a brilliant atmosphere, ringing cowbells, cheering and shouting encouragement to every single rider.

It would be amiss of me not to mention that a youth rider, Evan Davies from Maindy Flyers who completed the climb in 1min 10secs, set the fastest time. Fastest adult was Abergavenny Road Club member James Woodier with a 1min 14secs ride and is the 2012 Abergavenny Road Club Hill-Climb Champion

Other notable facts from the night – all the food went! My wife Christine and Stephanie Best, one of the club coaches and a great volunteer, didn’t leave the kitchen as they slaved over the cooker!

It seems pretty certain with all the feedback I’ve received the hill-climb will become an annual event. Even Ben Simmons and Amy Roberts who were both there as spectators seem eager to get their best wheels out next year! I’ve also tapped up Magnus Backstedt to compete and he said he might as long as it is no more than a minute long!

So watch this space for an event next year that should be a lot bigger and even better. Before I get the go ahead though, Christine said she wants guarantees we are getting caterers in as she is not going to be missing out on all the fun.

Thanks again for reading, now back to Rough Ride.

David James