Steve P has entered an IronMan triathlon and we have been following his training.  Read how he recently scouted the course:

On Friday evening 14th June, Steve and his IronMan team mates Simon and Mike drove the 4 hours to Bolton, home of Peter Kay, in order to get a feel for the UK IronMan course.  Spending the night in the De Vere Whites hotel at the Reebok stadium which is the base for the IronMan event in August, we were up at the crack of dawn to get to the Pennington Flash country park where the IronMan starts with the 3.8km swim in the lake.  Donning the wetsuits, we joined a school of other IronMan tadpoles for a 2km training swim around the buoys in the lake at Pennington Country Park.

Tim Pennell, Wayne Tunnah, Dave Lindsay, Steve Muchmore and Richard Ostler represented the club 5th race of the Rockingham series. Richard and Wayne were in the middle 3rd cat group with seven 2nds starting 1.30 minutes behind. The 4th cat group, containing the other St Neots riders was 1.30 minutes ahead.

The 3rd cat group didn't organise especially well, but still flowed better than the ragged 4th cats and the catch was made twenty minutes in to the race.

Steve P takes it easy

A couple of days after the triathlon in St Neots (see “Success for SNCC at St Neots NiceTri Sprint Triathlon”), Sarah, Billy and I boarded the Euro Tunnel for France at the start of a 400 mile journey South.  The occasion was the 25th wedding anniversary of friends who had rented the absolutely fantastic Chateau du Chiron, a renovated former hunting lodge, just North of Le Dorat in the Haut Limousin between Poitiers and Limoges (http://www.lechiron.com/).  Not wanting to miss too many days out of the IronMan training program, I put the cycle carrier on the car and took the bike.

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Sarah and Billy in Montmorillion                   Showing the SNCC colours in France

Since the early part of the year I had been discussing the possibility of doing the New Forest Spring Sportive with Ed Cosbie and Yvonne Evens. In typical style I tried to sign up the day after they sold out for both days! Email into UK Cycling Events to see if they would be doing extra places closer to the day (i.e. in a similar fashion to the No Excuses) but they weren't, however if I wanted to volunteer then I could get on the entry list.

Now yes, I'm sure there will be the age old discussions of public roads and the like, but given the organisation that is usually laid on I felt it would be worthwhile helping out (just a shame I didn't have an SNCC jersey to wear).

30th May 2013

Five St Neots riders entered the fourth Rockingham Race. Richard, Tim, Steve Muchmoore and Wayne from last week were joined by David 'Di2' Lindsay, entering his first race. There was a strong northerly wind and conditions were humid, although the ever present threat of rain never materialised.

With only three 2nd cats the organisers decided to mix things up a little. The 3rd cats who so far hadn't got a top 10 placing were demoted to the 4th cat group - that included an unhappy Richard. However, it turned out Wayne's first set of points did count, so he was now racing on a 3rd Cat licence!

23rd May 2013

Four of us again raced the Rockingham Circuit this week but with Steve Muchmore replacing Adrian. There were respectable numbers of 3rds and 4ths but only three 2nds, not that the race would be any easier; the winter temperatures and strong winds made up for the shortfall in 2nd Cats.

The catch was made much earlier this week. Richard rode strongly at the front of the 3rds and it looked like the other St Neots lads were holding good positions in the 4ths group. After the catch, several riders attacked and small breakaways tried to establish but none succeeded, defeated more often than not by the headwinds. A coordinated group probably could have escaped and stayed away, but it never happened. In the end the best effort was from a solo Peterborough rider who had a few lonely laps before being caught.

Sunday 19th May 2013

Competing in their local event, St Neots Cycling Club members had a fantastic set of results including second overall and three age category wins.

Rather than the Sunday morning club run on 19th May, several SNCC members, including Tom Stead, Richard Hancock, Mick Lawrence, Steve Pleasance and Lee Radley, took part in the first of the local NiceTri Sprint series. Despite a lovely sunny morning the temperature of the Great River Ouse was just 12°C so wet suits were compulsory. Tom and Richard are in training for the European Sprint championship in Turkey next month where they will represent GBR in their age category, while Steve is training for his first IronMan in Bolton in August.

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Tom, Richard and his wife, and Steve and friend

The Dasset Dawdle

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end”

It all started a few weeks ago.  For reasons unknown to me, Chris decided he fancied riding an Audax and for reasons equally unknown to me, I found myself asking him if he wanted some company on the road.  So, we found ourselves signing up for a new event, the Dassett Dawdle, a 213km event starting in Bedford on Sunday 5 May.  I didn't really know what to expect from an Audax, but had the vague idea that it was a sportive for people with beards who cycled while wearing tweed.

Four of us headed up for the 2nd race in the Rockingham handicap series. For Tim it was his first race of the season, while for Wayne and Adrian (the bomber one), it was their first race, ever.

The handicap race format means the weaker riders get a head start over the stronger riders. In theory the stronger groups should catch the slower ones for a bunch sprint at the end.

While those members brave enough to take on the 100 mile club run would have been getting limbered up and loading up on carbs for the long day in the saddle ahead I was loading up the bike and setting off for the Evans cycles Hatfield sportive.  Of course had I known the club would be doing its 100 miler on this day my club loyalty would have taken precedence and I would have been driving down to the Market Square instead but while trawling the net for possible local sportives I could do later in the year and dreaming of the balmy weather that would surely be here come mid-May, this one caught my eye and was subsequently booked back in early January.

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