In a new series of cycling blogs our V.C.Bradford member Steve Ayres is going to share his racing experiences of the 2014 cycling season. Here is his first race report of the year.


‘Circuit of Ingleborough’

So looking though the CTT handbook a few weeks back I somewhat madly identified this event as my first for the year.  Also known as the ‘Circuit of Ingelborough’, it’s hilly, it’s exposed and it’s a fairly technical course, sounds perfect for a ‘first’ right? It was actually my first ‘open’ time-trial as well, which made the decision even madder to be honest.

My feeling of slight uncertainty wasn’t really eased when I got the start list through, which contained plenty of well-respected local riders and a good smattering of pros for good measure.  Rapha Condor JLT duo Hugh Carthy and Richard Handley, Ian Bibby and Dominic Jelfs of Madison Genesis, Alastair Wareham (Team Swift) and Tejvan Pettinger (Sri Chinmoy RT) were all there.

The circuit itself is essentially a triangle around Ingleborough hill. Starting at Ingleton and heading down south-east through Clapham to Settle and turning up the valley through Horton-In-Ribblesdale to Ribblehead viaduct, before completing the triangle back to Ingleton to complete the (just under) 27 mile circuit.  I’d read somewhere that the total ascent was about 250m, but that was obviously plain wrong!

Circuit of Ingleborough

Circuit of Ingleborough

My start time of 11:29 was the third last of over 90 listed, so it was a little strange driving over to see some of the first starters coming down the road at me. The weather the week before had undoubtedly been the best week of the year so far; warm, still and with plenty of sunshine around.  Given that it was a little disappointing to see the Friday/Saturday forecast suggesting a very stiff westerly wind of 18-20mph and even the chance of a light shower for the later starters.  As it turned out the rain held off, unfortunately the wind didn’t!

Post the usual pre-race rituals and warm-up I headed down to the start from the car park, which was only a few hundred yards, as I did I saw Hugh Carthy returning and calculated he couldn’t have taken that much more than an hour!  I kept telling myself that I needed to hold back a little for the first half of the race.  Naturally as soon as I started I forgot that completely and started hammering up the first hill (that was straight from the start) as hard as I could. I was Richard Handley’s minute man and I was quite happy to get to the top of said hill without him passing me.  In fact I soon passed my minute man and after skirting around a couple of horses (with riders) things settled down a bit.

Although I knew I was going a bit too hard the first third of the race had a generous tailwind and I felt like I was making good progress.  The descents from the first two hills were a little sketchy with muck from local farm activity, but on the second I hit my top speed of around 45mph, which is where Richard Handley passed me so fast that I had to look down to check that my wheels were going around!  As I approached Clapham I was glad of the marshal telling me pretty bluntly that I needed to slow down for the sharp right/left turn! After Clapham the route moved onto the main A65 and back onto a back road over Buck Haw Brow to Settle.  At Settle the course heads almost directly north and starts the long drag along the valley through Horton-In-Ribblesdale with Ingleborough on the left and up towards Ribblehead viaduct.  The road is heavy and rolling and the cross/head wind was very strong. I was passing the odd rider here and there, which gave a little encouragement, but after the good start my average speed was only going in one direction and I began to feel like I was wading through sludge.  My concentration was wavering a bit and a couple of times I found myself grinding out a gear toward the top of a rise bemoaning not having a lower gear, only to find I’d not changed to the little ring from the previous mini descent.

On reaching the viaduct at Ribblehead the turn south-west back toward home hit the full force of the headwind.  This section (the last 9km or so) is actually downhill mainly, but it felt like I was trying to climb a ladder with my bike on my back! I was struggling to get anywhere near 20mph in places and I was sure I was doing badly, in fact I didn’t really put a full effort in over this section and regret that now, but it did enable me to finish with a flourish and sprint the last couple of hundred yards.

My time was 1:13:30, which I was sure was terrible, but I was surprised when looking at the times on the board to see that there weren’t so many faster times from the 76 starters. In fact I initially thought I may have made the top 10, which given the field would have been pretty good, but the final results saw me 14th.  I’d set myself a goal prior to the race of 1:10 as a reasonable time, but the wind clearly put pay to that.  Given the strength for the field and my relative inexperience I’d have taken the finishing position without hesitation.

Hugh Carthy and Richard Handley (Rapha Condor JLT) produced truly astonishing times given the conditions of 01:03:24 and 01:03:44 respectively and Ian Bibby (Madison Genesis) made 3rd with 01:07:07.  Tejvan Pettinger (Sri Chinmoy Cycling Team), the national hill climb champion was 4th with 01:07:21 and local rider Ewan Farrow (Ilkley CC) produced a fine ride for 5th with 01:07:51.

It was a great event and fantastically hosted by Pendle Forest CC; many thanks to all the organisers and marshals who’s encouragement and direction was greatly appreciated.  The gathering at HQ afterwards was a very friendly affair with the only disappointment being that as I was one of the latter starters the cake had all gone! I was very glad of a warm tea, some encouraging post-race chat and some good advice from more experienced riders.

The race was also the first competitive outing for my new TT bike built by Paul at Pennine Cycles, which performed faultlessly. The hilly nature of the course meant an unusually large number of gear changes for a time trial and I was glad not to have suffered any of the technical challenges that I know some riders did (see Tejvan’s report here), although I’m sure my time will come!

I’ve managed to resist using Strava for much of the winter, but I’ve succumb already come race season. See here.

Roll-one next Saturday, which sees a very different challenge at the Harrogate Nova 26m Spoco, which by the looks of it is essentially flat.

Full results:

[table width=”80%” align=”center”]Position,Start Number,Rider,Team,Category,Time
1,10,Hugh Carthy,Rapha Condor JLT,S,01:03:24
2,90,Richard Handley,Rapha Condor JLT,S,01:03:44
3,80,Ian Bibby,Madison Genesis,S,01:07:07
4,70,Tejvan Pettinger,Sri Chinmoy Cycling Team,S,01:07:21
5,60,Ewan Farrow,Ilkley CC,S,01:07:51
6,55,Matthew Pilkington,Cleveleys RC,S,01:08:52
7,91,Dominic Jelfs,Madison Genesis,S,01:09:08
8,85,David Kinloch,Ilkley CC,V40,01:09:37
9,81,Paul Roby, RT,V40,01:10:29
10,72,Mark Haydock,North Lancs RC,S,01:12:23
11,14,Andy Peace,Jedicycle Sport,V40,01:12:46
12,75,Thomas Canaway,Settle World Wide Wheelers,S,01:12:53
13,56,Jack Waller,Spirit Bikes ? SCU,S,01:13:28
14,89,Stephen Ayres,VC Bradford,S,01:13:30
15,20,Karl Juan Denton,Ouseburn Coffee Co./Legend,V40,01:13:47
16,12,Geoff Ayers,Velo Club Cumbria,V50,01:15:05
17,35,Rob Dickinson,Clitheroe Bike Club,V40,01:15:36
18,76,Chris Anderson,Lakes Road Club,V50,01:15:44
19,65,Duncan Orme,Kent Valley RC,V40,01:15:58
20,15,Richmond Denton,Ilkley CC,V40,01:16:16
21,78,Ian Cliffe,Ilkley CC,V40,01:17:28
22,25,Rebecca Rimmington,Trainsharp,W,01:17:40
23,31,Austin Foy,North Lancs RC,S,01:18:28
24,61,David Hargreaves,North Lancs RC,V60,01:18:33
25,62,Chris Smedley,Nelson Wheelers CC,V40,01:18:38
26,69,Tony Pilkington,Cleveleys RC,V50,01:18:57
27,52,Chris Smith,Condor RC (Calderdale),S,01:19:12
28,66,Derek Schofield,Rossendale RC,V60,01:19:14
29,13,John Murfin,Settle World Wide Wheelers,V40,01:19:47
30,39,Joe Le Sage,Rutland CC,V40,01:20:02
31,36,Calum Campbell,VTTA,V40,01:20:07
32,77,Adam Holmes,Skipton CC,S,01:20:15
33,87,William Belcher,Clayton Velo,V50,01:20:54
34,67,Ian Wilcock,Nelson Wheelers CC,V40,01:21:13
35,86,Duncan Park,North Lancs RC,V40,01:21:20
36,2,Stephen Gardner,Lancaster CC,V40,01:21:21
37,51,Paul Warrener,Rossendale RC,V40,01:21:33
38,53,Paul Braithwaite,Pendle Forest CC,S,01:21:44
39,19,Tom Cullen,Otley CC,Y,01:21:55
40,84,Alex Forbes,Border City Wheelers Club,V50,01:21:59
41,16,Martin Ralph,Pendle Forest CC,S,01:22:52
42,47,Robert Barnard,Team CF,V40,01:23:37
43,32,Ian Cullen,Otley CC,V40,01:23:53
44,71,Eamonn Quinn,Lakes Road Club,V50,01:24:12
45,46,Ron Valovin,North Lancs RC,V60,01:24:20
46,26,James Cullen,Otley CC,V50,01:24:37
47,21,Martin Welsh,Pendle Forest CC,V50,01:24:38
48,88,Simon Lester,VTTA North Lancs and Lakes,V60,01:24:50
49,6,Mark Stickland,Settle World Wide Wheelers,V40,01:24:51
50,17,Jed Harris,Velo Club Cumbria,V50,01:25:08
51,37,Gary Murfin,Settle World Wide Wheelers,V40,01:25:35
52,22,Richard Durham,Team Swift,V50,01:25:47
53,83,Dave Horton,Lancaster CC,V40,01:26:17
54,11,Mike O’Shea,Rossendale RC,V50,01:26:20
55,82,Kev Shand,West Pennine,V60,01:26:55
56,58,Judith Irving,Kent Valley RC,WV40,01:27:31
57,64,David Ferguson,Skipton CC,V50,01:27:47
58,57,Graham Pitcher,Barrow Central Wheelers,V50,01:28:02
59,68,Leanne Farrow,Ilkley CC,W,01:28:14
60,24,Nina Benson,Ilkley CC,WV40,01:28:59
61,28,Neil Hughes-Hutchings,Morden CRC,S,01:29:26
62,48,Paul Lawson,Weaver Valley CC,V40,01:29:32
63,79,Russell Marsden,Pendle Forest CC,V40,01:29:42
64,34,Michael Ellis,Pendle Forest CC,V40,01:29:57
65,38,Ben Johnson,North Lancs RC,S,01:31:04
66,27,Earle Logan,Lune RCC,V40,01:31:42
67,43,Dean Marshall,Settle World Wide Wheelers,V40,01:32:28
68,73,Andrew Hodgson,Clitheroe Bike Club,V40,01:34:16
69,63,Tony Johnston,Barrow Central Wheelers,V50,01:36:11
70,59,Paul Stupples,Ashurst Bike Club,V40,01:37:00
71,44,Christine Preston,Skipton CC,WV50,01:38:04
72,3,David Hilditch,Ribble Valley CRC,V60,01:40:48
73,1,Danny Davies,Pendle Forest CC,V60,01:42:44
74,9,Derek Graham,Pendle Forest CC,V50,01:42:57
75,49,David Tinker,Clayton Velo,V50,01:51:25
76,29,Fred Abbatt,Pendle Forest CC,V70,01:56:01[/table]


By Steve Ayres, V.C.Bradford member.