Avid Sport Racing – Race Reports 24/09/17

Another week, another collection of fine performances by Avid Sport’s riders. Harry Tucker and Team Crowther (Colette, Isobel, Sarah and Chris) were in action at the Sulis Scorpions Club Hill climb at Burrington Combe. Harry stormed to the win, beating Chris out into second place with the only sub 10 minute times of the day (8:37 and 9:59 respectively). Sarah was fastest senior female with a time of 14:24, setting off just behind the Sulis Scorpions girls who put on a fantastic race – Ellie Wallbaum (13:55) claiming the club honours from Josie Vallis (15:04) Isobel and Colette (15:18 and 15:56). Great racing by all and thank you to Somer Valley CC and the Sulis Scorpions for putting on such a great event!

Avid Sport also had racers in action at the cross, with Karen Spiteri back racing again in the women’s race and Jenson Harris looking to back up his win in the U14 race in Keynsham with another strong performance. Here is Martin Harris’ race report:

Weather – Warm and Sunny

Mud Rating (1 – 10) – 1

Following a recent visit to Cheltenham for the Tour of Britain support races with the Cheltenham Tewksbury and Winchcombe Wheelers (CTW), we found ourselves back at Pittville Park, for Round 4 of the Western League Winter CX.

From last year the sign on had been moved to the edge of the car park; which this year made for a smooth transition from car park to race field, via the sign on.

Within minutes the sign on process was complete. Jenson had his timing chip and race number and headed out for a recce before the under 12s started.
The course was mud free due to the recent warm, dry spells and though technical in places; would make for a fast lap.

The under 12s race was completed with some great close racing at the front with Elen Ruck from the Sulis Scorpions taking the win; with Chloe from Tri Team Glos taking a close 2nd. This was a reversal of fortunes from ShamXross the previous week, where Chloe took the win over Elen.

This looks to be a pair of riders worth keeping an eye on; as both riders appear to be very closely matched on both ability and determination.

11am was soon upon us and the u14 & u16 Youth riders were assembled for their mandatory keep it clean and no swearing brief.

A briefing that some of the adult riders should, perhaps, take note of?

Following a short countdown, the race started and with high energy; the pedals began to spin.

The Youths were off!

As per the form book, Henry Johnson from Cheltenham & County CC was out front with Josh Mitchell from the Midlands in hot pursuit. The first lap would see Henry drop quite a few places due to an uncharacteristic crash; involving a tree. This bunched the chasing group and the race was well and truly on!

Henry kept his composure and before not too long was back in contention with the lead group.

As the race unfolded, Henry and Josh were clearly on the front with Jacob Hardy (Cheltenham & County CC) on the chase.

Fourth and Fifth place was occupied by Bryn Ruck of BCDS and Jenson Harris of Avid Sport. With strength triumphing over experience, the order would remain as this until BCDS rider Bryn unfortunately threw a chain, whilst traversing the hurdles. Seeing the opportunity, Avid rider, Jenson Harris powered past in an attempt to make the most of Bryn’s misfortune. After all… this is racing!

Having quickly rectified the thrown chain, Bryn was having none of it and was soon back in the saddle to chase down the small gap to Jenson.

Before not too long Bryn and Jenson were back together, riding the same patch of grass; as were Henry and Josh further up the line, with Jacob Hardy still sitting comfortably between the two pairs, all be it by a gap.

The order would remain as this until the final lap.

The bell sounded as Henry and Josh crossed the line in tandem; with Josh taking the position of ‘stoker’. Now the time had come for riders to hatch whatever final plan they had been crafting during the race.

The lead riders disappeared into the woods and this was their last chance for glory…

Standing from the ‘pits-ville’ (do you see what I did there?) it’s never easy to see all of what goes on but; with the layout of the Pittville course I did have a good view of the riders crossing the infield as they headed to that all important final corner.

Who would be on the front as they came back into view and would it go down to a final sprint?

First back into view would be Henry Johnson; with a clear gap to Josh Mitchell in 2nd and Jacob Hardy in 3rd.

After a small gap – Bryn and Jenson were battling over 4th and 5th.

At this point, crashing aside; 1st, 2nd & 3rd was a done deal and the battle for 4th and 5th would be decided with a finish line sprint.

The end of the race for the overall podium was uninterrupted and finished without incident; with Henry taking the win by 21 seconds from Josh; and Jacob following 13 seconds behind in 3rd.

The fight for 4th was probably the closest yet of this season.

Bryn and Jenson left the final corner level and as they wound up the final sprint up on the home straight;Jenson of Avid Sport eventually pulled out by half a bike to take 4th which was finally classified equal on time to Bryn’s 5th. Wow! Top riding guys! (Ed.: Jenson again wrapping up the U14 victory)

Local rider Finn Searle of Salt & Sham, crossed the line in 8th place with the top female rider, Ella Shaftoe crossing the line line in 9th position.

A special mention mention to BCDS rider, Jakob Hudson who despite a puncture; finished in 10th place by shouldering his bike over the line.

A big thank you to Cheltenham & County CC for a fab day of racing.

Job well done!

Avid Sport Racing – Race Reports

Mayhem in Minehead and ShamXross is Boss

Here’s Paul Taylor’s take on the Avid outing to Minehead from the U12’s perspective.
“Tom took a break from CX this weekend to race at the Minehead festival of cycling on a superb 1.1km street circuit within the seaside town centre. With a forecast of rain we were expecting a sketchy race but the weather held although drama came from another direction!

“The start was superfast and Tom was caught on the back foot whilst trying to clip-in but got back on to the lead group going into the second lap. With the guys pushing a hard pace the bunch was whittled down to five riders going into the final lap where Tom positioned himself in second wheel. Unbeknown to the leading riders a barrier had fallen over behind them into the path of one of the young riders who was catapulted over the handlebars. By now the leading bunch were at full gas and Tom made an early attack giving himself a significant lead up to the finish line with certain victory in his grasp.

“Unfortunately for the Clevedon rider the commissaires stopped the race on the finish line and set about sorting out the results of the race as some kids were caught behind the crashed rider. The decision was made to take the result of the order in which the riders passed the finish line on the penultimate lap. When the dust settled Tom was awarded 2nd place. A great event and definitely one to put on the calendar for 2018!”


The following weekend, the riders were back in action, this time on the grass at ShamXross in the Western Cyclocross League. Here are the thoughts of Martin Harris as Jenson took Avid Sport’s first ever victory!

“Well what can I say? If Carlsberg did local Cyclocross… This would be it. Each time we visit Keynsham for Cyclocross, Salt & Sham (SAS) cycle club manage to raise the bar that little bit higher.
“Our 1st trip to Somerdale was approximately 18 months ago for the schools’ Cyclocross. The course had been built from scratch. Back then the long grass, though cut and raked, was challenging. I’m pretty sure that afternoon, we had children’s bikes with broken hangers and mangled derailleurs.
“Since then, the course has been used for a round each of the Western League’s Winter and Summer CX and this was the 2nd time for the Winter CX. The course goes from strength to strength and never disappoints. The effort and time put in to this venue is clear to see and is testament to how dedicated the SAS recruited volunteers are to give other riders the best racing experience they can.
“This winter round saw the addition of 2 new banked sections and the addition of a Sandpit! The Sandpit that would later prove to be the source of much entertainment for the baying crowds. It seems to be human nature that people like to celebrate other people’s miss-fortunes and the sandpit would be a regular source of ooohs and aaaaahs as the riders pitted themselves against the sand-trap.
“As per previous visits there was the spiral of doom and I’m sure this grows in size from round to round.
“The atmosphere was amazing. The music, the crowds cheering and the ringing of cowbells was constant. The air was filled with the smell of fresh Burgers and Hot dogs. The Coffee flowed, the crowds remained to support throughout the day and from the youngest of Children, to the most mature of riders; the racing was fierce. Everyone gave their all.
“The Avid Sport riders, put in some strong performances; on the bounce from the Minehead Crits. Felix: Jenson and Tom rode superbly to lock out the top two spots in the U14 race. It was great to see so many of the team racing, with Sam Butters in the U16 race, Harry Tucker in the Juniors and Molly Hodges racing her first cross race in the women’s race. Well done to all!
“This has no doubt helped cement a great foundation, on which to build their future… This is a team that’s going places!
“A massive ‘thank you’ to Salt and Sham for their tireless efforts; to provide what has to be one of thee best local races in the South.
“I hope this is a venue to be considered for the British Cycling Southern Regional Championships… It certainly has what is required and then some…
“Roll on 2018!