Club Thangs, July 20140

I sit here writing this as the wind howls round the house and the rain hammers on the window panes, surely Summer isn’t over for another year, its only July!!!

The Giro has been and gone, and Le Tour is about to begin in Yorkshire. The elite riders of the professional peloton will start off from Harrogate on what for some will be three weeks of hell, whilst for others there will be ecstasy. Some will be stage victors on the flat lands, some will win in the Alps or the Pyrenees, some will be victorious against the clock in the individual time trials, and the special ones will take home one of the prestigious jersey’s. But all of those who finish the grand tour will be victors in their own right. The same can be said of all those who rode in the Etape Eryri. Some folks came to take on the challenge of the climbs and descents of the national park. Some came to the start line with the intention of beating the time they had set when they rode previously. Some just fancied “touring” on roads they’d never ridden on before, taking in the fabulous scenery that we “locals” perhaps take for granted. And the rest of us, well we turned the day into a full on race in true sportive style.

Some forty one members of Energy Cycles Club took part in one or other of the three routes, and none of them easy. To most of us, these roads were familiar, however in race mode, experience, cunning and a superb level of fitness proved invaluable over the distances involved.

Gareth McGuinness once again proved his class in winning the Etape Mawr, and in the process slicing nearly six minutes off his own course record to set a new best time of 4 hrs, 53 mins, 53 secs for the 103 miles and winning the KOM title for the fastest ascent of The Drws Y Coed. His fellow club mates, Garry Ellis (4th), Mathew Nottingham (6th), Wayne Owen (11th), James Franks (17th), Darren Bohana (19th) and  Geraint E Jones (20th) all finishing in the top twenty. New member, Steph Duits stormed home in the Women’s Catorgory, taking a fine 4th place for her efforts.

In the  Etape Canol, it was the youth members of the Club who shone brightly. Huw Owen narrowly taking top honors from Jack Williams in a terrific sprint for the line on Y Maes, along with Alun Williams (3rd) and Club chairman Meirion Davies (4th). Huw’s time of 3 hrs, 53 mins, 49 secs bettered the previous best for the 76 mile route by 15 minutes. This incredible effort by the group gave them an average moving speed of 20 mph, over what can only be described as a “mountainous” route. Other youth riders from the Club who’s efforts shouldn’t be forgotten: Owain Williams in 8th and Carwyn Morris in 9th. Also a mention about Osian Craig’s ride. Osian rolled home in 37th place, not bad for someone who only started cycling three months ago, but more impressive was Osian rode the majority of the Canol one legged after he broke one of his “cleats” on “Dwrs Y Coed”. Many riders would have turned and headed back to Caernarfon if this had happened to them. Not Osian, he carried on with determination and finished!! The question should be “What would he achieved if he’d rode using both legs?”

In the Bach,  The James Brothers, Owain  and Rhys produced super rides to finish 2nd and 3rd behind the climbing sensation Dave Roberts of Clwb Beicio Menai.

Well done to all Energy Cycles Club riders who took part, some of whom went thro’ hell to achieve their results, whilst the ecstasy will remain for a long time for those who were victorious on that sunny Sunday in June.

In other news, Energy Cycles riders continue to dominate the local time trial leagues with Gareth McGuinness maintaining his overall lead in both the MAL and GCA competitions. Top Vet in both competitions is Alun Williams, whilst youth rider Huw Owen is now leading junior table with two rounds to go in each competition. The Club is also the overall leader in both inter club competitions.

The Club’s hill climb event that was part of the Summer Hill Climb Week proved to be a success. The 1.6 mile climb out of Prenteg towards Cwm Ystradllyn, with its sections of 28% proved difficult for the 30 riders who took up the challenge. Former club member Ben Butler of Bangor University CC proved the best rider on the night, and produced the only sub 10 minute ride. Gareth McGuinness was Best Vet, Huw Owen was Best Youth and Ann Williams of Clwb Beicio Dwyfor, the Best Lady. For the full report and results please go the  race results page of our website.

The club still has some items of clothing available. If you are interested in any of the following please contact me.

Club socks  – many, many, pairs!!!!

Bib Shorts (L) 1, (XL) 1, (XXL) 2 off.

Long Sleeve Winter Jersey (S) 1, (XL) 1 off.

Long Sleeve Summer Jersey (XL) 1 off.

Yellow Winter Jacket (L) 1 off.

Thermal Gillet (L) 1 off.

Short Sleeve Jerseys (XXS) 1 off. This is a top that was used once. Washed and un-marked. Reduced!!

Time Trial Shoe Covers (M) 2, (L) 2 off.

Track Mitts/Finger-Less Gloves. (XL) 2, (XXL) 2 off.

For those who have requested short sleeve jerseys or bib shorts, the suppliers assure me that the kit will be here by 16th July 2014. I will let everyone know as soon as they arrive.

The Wednesday evening rides have now been split into two different groups, one a more social/ recovery style ride . The other, a longer spirited outing for those with the legs for a blast. Departure time is 6:00pm from Plas Silyn Leisure Centre in Penygroes. Subject to weather conditions and who turns up, the route will be decided on the night.

Almost there now. As of the 1st July 2014, the Club membership reached 81 members including six ladies and 15 juniors. By the number of riders I regularly see out on their bikes in our distinctive blue strip, we must have an almost 100% active cycling membership. The  latest of which I would like to welcome aboard are Anni Williams, Aled Edwards, Mathew Butler, Sion Wyn Ellis, and Steven Roberts.

Some of these folks you will already know from meeting them on the Club rides or at the local time trials, however please make them all feel welcome and a part of our fantastic club.

And finally. If you have any news that you would like to be included in the monthly post, just send them in and I’ll do my best to include it.

Till next time……

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