V.C.Bradford member Steve Ayres shares his experience at the Macclesfield Wheelers 25 Time Trial in this instalment of our ongoing series sharing the ups, downs and satnav issues of a racing cyclist!

Macclesfield Wheelers 25

I recently succumb to the modern era and bought a car! As much as didn’t really want to buy one the regular hiring through the Summer last year was becoming awkward, so I took the plunge into a World that I know nothing about and pretty much picked one at random.  The link to the Macclesfield Wheelers 25 is that my girlfriend kindly bought me a Sat Nav (a 7 year old ex-display model you realise, I’ve not scored that many Brownie points recently!), without which I would never have found the race HQ at Cranage Village Hall, not far from Knustford.  After leaving the motorway a mindboggling array of instructions seemed to flow from the device, but it got me there and for that I was very grateful!

The forecast all week looked great, but as the w/e approached it was clear that if nothing else it was going to be extremely windy (again!).  That said it wasn’t a particularly cold day and I’m getting used to racing in the wind now anyway!.  The course is a slightly unusual 25km (ish) loop of which you do one full loop and then a little over another half to complete the full 40km, which would be my first exact distance 25m event.  Someone had told me that it probably wasn’t the fastest course, due to a fair few junctions, but was interesting and I’d definitely agree with that.

Macclesfield 25

Despite my great Sat Nav I was a little late arriving and pretty much had to make the 15-20 minute ride out to the start my warm-up. Unfortunately my ‘minute man’ didn’t show, so there was no immediate chance of having someone in my sights to chase.  The first part of the course was fast with a generous tailwind, but it was obvious that wasn’t going to last.  After a quick start I tried hard a hold myself back a little for later in the race.  I was soon on the hardest section of the course down the A50 towards Allostock, which had a pretty brutal headwind, such was the nature of the course that this part would have to be tackled twice.  For a first timer it wasn’t that easy to gain your bearings and I have to admit that although interesting riding it was difficult to get much of a rhythm going without knowing which junctions were coming and when.  For that reason I can’t really recall many specific sections of the course, just the headwind v tailwind battle!  After about 25-30km I started to catch the odd person. I recall one pair of riders that were riding at a fairly similar pace, so on overtaking I immediately started to think one or other of them would be back past me if I didn’t keep rolling well. After a while I stole a look back and when neither were there I immediacy started worrying that I must have taken a wrong turn somehow; it’s funny what tricks your mind plays on you!

Towards the end of my run the clouds massed and I was sure I was in for a full on drowning, but fortunately it remained a light drizzle until I was en route home in the car.  My early attempts a pacing a little worked better than in previous races as I was able to push on fairly well for the last 5km.  I finished with a time of 58:57, which given it was my first 25 was also my first 25 under the hour, which is a good milestone.  I would definitely head back to the same course again on a hopefully less windy day.  Jack Green (VC ST Raphael) was quickest in a time of 55:36 a full minute ahead of Robert Heyes (Manchester Wheelers) in second with 56:38. Simon Morton (Manchester Wheelers) rounded off the podium with 57:00.

Many thanks to Macclesfield Wheelers and all associated helpers and marshals, it wasn’t the greatest day to be standing around with the strong wind and thread of rain towards the end.

Like to Strava here

[table width=”80%” align=”center”]Pos,Rider,Club,Time
1,Jack Green,VC ST Raphael,00:55:36
2,Robert Heyes,Manchester Wheelers Club,00:56:38
3,Simon Morton,Manchester Wheelers Club,00:57:00
4,Patrick Gould,Matlock CC,00:57:18
5,Richard Cordin,Matlock CC,00:57:26
6,Paul Shallicker,Coveryourcar.co.uk RT,00:57:39
7,Lee Brotzman,Wills Wheels CC,00:57:51
8,michael stretch,Macclesfield Wheelers,00:58:02
9,Neil Skellern,Team Swift,00:58:10
10,Andy Jones,Vision Racing,00:58:42
11,Nige Wood,Wills Wheels CC,00:58:47
12,Stephen Ayres,VC Bradford,00:58:57
13,Phil Robinson,Janus RC,00:59:29
14,Dominic Crisp,Vision Racing,00:59:31
15,Craig Nicholson,Manchester Wheelers Club,00:59:34
16,Adrian Hughes,North Cheshire Clarion,00:59:35
17,martyn bowers,Stone Wheelers CC,00:59:41
18,Simon Phillips,Pendle Forest CC,00:59:51
19,Mike Cotgreave,Westmead Team 88,01:00:04
20,Thomas Thornley,Stone Wheelers CC,01:00:24
21,Paul McAllister,Seamons CC,01:00:25
22,John Williamson,Crew Clarion,01:00:40
23,Austin Foy,North Lancs RC,01:01:13
24,Rowan Elliott,VC ST Raphael,01:01:21
25,Chris Gilbertson,Weaver Valley CC,01:01:59
26,Phil Rowsell,North Cheshire Clarion,01:02:09
27,Neil Wood,Lancashire RC,01:02:09
28,Mike Knudson,Macclesfield Wheelers,01:02:10
29,Neil Oliver,Lyme RC,01:02:17
30,oliver johnstone,Macclesfield Wheelers,01:02:18
31,Roger Wren,Macclesfield Wheelers,01:02:26
32,Rod Brooks,Warrington Road Club,01:03:03
33,Chris Senior,North Cheshire Clarion,01:03:15
34,andy Gray,Wills Wheels CC,01:03:15
35,kevin Corden,Stone Wheelers CC,01:03:42
36,Rhiannon Henry,Para T Cycling team,01:03:56
37,ian wilcock,Nelson Whs CC,01:04:11
38,David Gregson,Glossop Kinder Velo,01:04:29
39,David Ian Jones,Graham Weigh Racing – Deeside Olympic RRC,01:04:42
40,Stewart Marsh,Matlock CC,01:04:43
41,Steve Thomas,Weaver Valley CC,01:04:45
42,Paul Davies,High Peak Cycles RT,01:04:47
43,ben fretwell,Paramount CRT,01:04:51
44,Tony Perrin,Stone Wheelers CC,01:05:00
45,Vanessa Whitfield,Velo Club St Raphael,01:05:08
46,David Fox,Warrington Road Club,01:05:14
47,Bruce Johnson,Kidsgrove Wheelers,01:05:16
48,Greg Rycroft,Southport CC,01:05:30
49,Andy Wood,Weaver Valley CC,01:05:33
50,Damian Bennett,Knutsford Triclub,01:05:34
51,Llyr Hughes,Manchester Tri Club,01:06:18
52,Steve Wilkinson,Nelson Whs CC,01:06:34
53,Ben Trotter,Macclesfield Wheelers,01:06:36
54,Simon Shaw,Team Trisports,01:06:40
55,Roy Myers,Manchester Wheelers Club,01:07:06
56,Malcolm Fowler,Macclesfield Wheelers,01:07:30
57,John Keegan,Knutsford Triclub,01:07:38
58,Christopher Thomas,Rossendale RC,01:08:02
59,Fred Wardle,Macclesfield Wheelers,01:08:06
60,Matt Burt,Macclesfield Wheelers,01:08:54
61,simon abraham,East Lancashire RC,01:09:28
62,PHILIP KNUPFER,Manchester Wheelers Club,01:09:39
63,Richard Meadows,Seamons CC,01:10:09
64,Ruth Gamwell,Macclesfield Wheelers,01:12:41
65,Philip Ball,Bury Clarion CC,01:12:46
66,David Hughes,Macclesfield Wheelers,01:12:58
67,Mick Ward,Mid Shropshire Wheelers,01:13:33
68,Richard Goddard,Newport (Shropshire) CC,01:15:10
69,Neil Williamson,Macclesfield Wheelers,01:15:21
70,Jill Wesley,Macclesfield Wheelers,01:20:10
71,Annick Cottam,Macclesfield Wheelers,01:20:34
72,Victor Trigger,Crew Clarion,01:21:43