Weekly update 8th March

Rob Kennison and Richard Stokoe got their season off to a start on Saturday at the SFA Abellio Criteriums held at the Cyclopark.
Both riders lined up in the British Masters Cycle Racing event which had a large and quality field ready to see if their winter training had yielded the desired results.
A small breakaway formed and Rob spent a lap bridging across to it before sitting in comfortably and gaining a minute on the chasing peloton. With only three from his age category in the break – he was in with a good shout at a podium spot.
Then at around 30mins in disaster struck and his stem began to rattle and come loose forcing him to retire. Disappointed but satisfied with the performance he continued to cheer on clubmate Richard who rode strongly and finished in a chasing group.
An encouraging performance by both Velos.

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Weekly update 1st March

Jon Graciano was the first velo to race this year when he took part in the South East Road Race League 3/4 category road race in Biddenden on Sunday 1 March.
The event was over 60KMs and in a large field he was able to line up along 2nd claim club mate Nathan Delaney to take on the fast pace 25mph race.
The Velo raced well and stayed with the peloton throughout. As it came to a bunch sprint he held his nerve to finish in the top 20 (provisionally).
Thanks to SERRL for running the race.

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West Kent RC Reliability Ride

6 Velos, Rob Kennison, Rob Sapp, Rob Hatton, Lord Muir, Matt Nunn and Matt Bull faced the traditional early season challenge of the West Kent Road Club Reliability Trial. As usual all the top clubs in Kent were represented setting off in groups of 10. Strictly speaking its a non-competitive event success being by finishing within an agreed time band. The Velos merged with another group in Four Elms and on the big climb at Markbeech the pressure being applied saw two distinct groups form, Rob Kennison made the front group whilst the other lads regrouped in the chase bunch. The final major obstacle was Carter’s Hill near Sevenoaks here the front group split with Kennison distanced by the leading 4 however a quick chase on the descent saw him back at the front leaving Seal. The front group now numbering 5 pressed on to finish in 2 hours 51 with the remaining Velos not fat behind in 3 hours 1.
All in all an excellent workout to prepare for upcoming events, well organised by the West Kent Road Club

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Track League – 2nd January

Matt Nunn raced at Lee Valley Velodrome in the Full Gas track league on Thursday 2 January.

Matt rode well in all races with his best result coming from the elimination event where he finished 9th.

Though the solo velo racing he was not the only one in attendance with Keith Johnson officiating.

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Sportives 2020 update from Rob Kennison

“It’s fun to have fun, but you have to know how” – Dr Seuss

If you’re getting fed up of riding the same old roads with the same old group how about pushing out of your comfort zone for a bit? If you’re not sure where to start, there are many organised events which will help you find the best roads and give some level of support to get through to the finish.

Reliability Trials are a great place to start, these are a pretty traditional early season events similar to a sportive, but much cheaper! Originally reliability trials were route finding challenge as riders were given a route sheet start and then simply had to find their own way. Nowadays, however you can download the gpx file of the route and follow it on your Garmin or Wahoo device.

I’ll be riding;

West Kent RC 5/01/20 http://wkrc.org.uk/west-kent-rc-reliability-trial/ 

Old Portlians 2/02/20 http://www.oldportlianscc.co.uk/Main/Reliability_Trial.php

Sydenham Wheelers 9/02/20 http://www.sydenhamwheelers.co.uk/

It’d be good to have some fellow Velo’s there to enjoy the ride.

Moving on into the Spring I’ll be riding a few sportives, there’s a much wider range than Ride London! Personally I absolutely love a weekend in France or Belgium to take in one of the Classics, they all have a sportive which uses the same roads as the pros will be racing on the following day. With a bit of planning you can catch up with the pro race and spectate from the roadside as they pass, if you’re really organised you will see the pros half a dozen or more times. Being the day before the race the fans are already there with camper vans, beer and Euro pop! What’s not to like?

Belgian Semi Classics March – April https://www.etixxclassicstour.be/en/

Tour of Flanders 4/04/20 Full blown Classic, great atmosphere, some cobbles and cheeky climbs, a range of distances, really good for watching the men’s and women’s races on the Sunday https://www.werideflanders.com/en/

Paris Roubaix, 7/04/20 Really severe cobbles range of distances although nothing happens before Arenberg!  Race watching a bit more challenging as being a place to place event you have to do some good planning to get ahead of the race! https://www.parisroubaixchallenge.com/en/

Liege- Bastogne Liege 25/04/20 If you like climbing you’ll enjoy this, non-stop hills, 2 choices of route, longest one at 267km is tough! https://www.sport.be/lblcyclo/en/

Another Paris Roubaix! 10/05/20 longer and cheaper this one is organised by a club and has a fantastic ambiance. Just as tough as the first one but no race to watchhttp://www.vc-roubaix-cyclo.fr/site/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=38&Itemid=113

Fred Whitton 10/05/20  “Probably the hardest one day ride you’ll complete”  A tour of the hardest climbs in the Lake District www.fredwhitton.co.uk

Chase the Sun If you want to make the most of the longest Saturday of the year, how about a 200 mile coast to coast challenge? I did the North Route this year, absolutely blown away by it and entry is free! www.chasethesun.org

Getting there is not difficult, it’s worth getting a group together, booking ferry or tunnel and a hotel and enjoying a weekend you’ll never forget.

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Weekly round up – South East Duathlon

South East Team Duathlon Champs 

On Sunday Velo Sally Smith teamed up with friends Gemma Collins and Liz Weeks to put forward a womens team for the South East Team Duathlon Champs held at cyclopark.

The event involved a 3km run, 12.5km bike as and another 3km run.

Liz put in a strong performance giving the ladies a lead by over a minute on the first leg even though she hasn’t ridden a bike in over s year. This lead was only strengthened by Gemma who sprinted strongly from the start and pulled the gap to two and a half before handing the baton to Sally.

Despite her best efforts, a puncture on her final lap of the bike and a lack of fitness from a bad crash 8 weeks ago where she needed 28 stitches left her losing the lead to a very strong ladies team.

However the team were all delighted to hang onto 2nd place by a very narrow margin of 20 seconds and were all smiles come the podium.

The Social Secretary Matt Bull organised a club social event on Saturday at Gillingham Golf Club where a number of members reaped the benefits of a busy season. Prizes were handed out by our president Rod Kennison.

A thank you to Matt for the organisation and a fun evening which was presented by Andy Hawes who kept everyone entertained

Awards presented:

10 mile TT
1st Steve Waite 25.28
2nd Matt Nunn 25.39
3rd Sally Smith 27.15 (& women’s champ)

15 Mile time trial
1st Lee Kingston 33.26

25 Mile time trial
1st Lee Kingston 57.26
2nd Matt Nunn 1.05.55

50 Mile time trial
1st Lee Kingston 1.59.28
2nd David Mackey

100 Mile Time Trial
David Mackey 5.08.27

Hill Climb
Rod Kennison 7.42

Hilly Time trial
1st Steve Waite 1.03.53
2nd Rob Kennison 1.04.42
3rd Rob Sapp 1.07.07
Women’s champ Sally Smith 1.09.48

2 up Time trial
Alex Cook & Tom Kennison 24.37

Club Time trial series
1st Alex Cook
2nd Fraser Blandford
3rd Kieron Lawlor

Women ‘s
1st Sally Smith
2nd Karen Florey
3rd Cassie McGoldrick

Road Race
1st Nathan Delaney
2nd Jon Graciano

1st Alex Cook
2nd Kieron Lawlor
Woman’s Champ – Sally Smith

Clubman of the Year – David Mackey

Sportive – Rob Kennison

Youth Girl – Safiya Smith

Road race Veteran – Jon Graciano

Triathlon Champ- Matt Nunn
2nd Sally Smith

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Weekly round up – 27th October

Jon Graciano finished his season with a bang – earning his 3rd Category racing licence after a top ten finish at Hillingdon race track on Saturday, 26 October.
Conditions were not favourable with strong wind and rain but it didn’t deter a bunch of hard core racers lining up to do battle for the last few remaining licence points of the season.
Despite missing the break of three riders Jon sprinted in the bunch taking 5th place. Even more impressive was the velo had no time to warm up as he was stuck in traffic and only made it to the start with a few minutes to spare

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Weekly update – 20th October

On Saturday 19 October Jon Graciano rode the 4th category race at Lee Valley Velo Park.
In a strong field he took 5th place and is now only 1 point off his 3rd cat licence.
On Sunday six velos rode the KCA reliability ride.
The 100km event took in climbs of Linton Hill and Boughton Aluph and rolled round the countryside of West Kent.
Rob Kennison, Matt Nunn, Rob Sapp, Cassie McGoldrick, Lord Anthony Muir, and Sally Smith completed the course in 4 hours.

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Weekly update 13th October

Lee Kingston powered to 11th place at the VTTA 15 mile Time Trial held in Brenzett on Sunday 13 October.
The velo completed the course in 33mins 26secs.
The previous day clubmate Jon Graciano rode the Full Gas masters crit race at Lee Valley Velopark. He had a few digs off the front and after a few good efforts finished in 10th place.

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Weekly update – 29th September

With many of the Velos working or spectating at the cycling world championships it was down to 82-year-old Rod Kennison to represent the red, white and green at the Wigmore CCs Hollingbourne Hill Climb.

Despite being one of the oldest competitors in the competition the seasoned rider showed pure class attacking the climb and passing the chequered flag in 6mins 42secs. This saw him winning the vets 70+ category and claiming bragging rights as new club champion.
Rod, who is president of the Velos, continues to impress everyone proving age is but a number and achieving things that many younger people simply could not.

Rob Sapp took on a rather soggy Chilham duathlon on Sunday.
The event involved a 10km run 27km bike ride and another 5km run.
The velo took on the course well finishing in 2hr 16mins earning him 8th place overall and a trophy for first in his age group.

Jon Gracino raced in the masters event at Hillingdon on Saturday. 
He did well to get away for some of the race before getting c as ught and narrowly missing a top 10.

A big thank you to all the promoting clubs.

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