January Racing and Time Trial Update

Saturday 25th February - ELV Winter Series, Hog Hill
Chris Smith III makes his debut in the race for 2nd, 3rd and 4th categories after gaining promotion to 3rd Cat while Jamie Maidment just missed out on his first points of the year. Race Report

Saturday 25th February - The Blue Egg Training Ride
7 non-racing Wheelers braved the winds-left-over-from-Storm-Doris and non-arctic-winter-temperatures-close-to-double-figures for the 80 mile round trip to the Blue Egg (it becomes 80 miles when your chosen road is closed!). The return journey featured the relentless climb of the Alpe d'Essex - North Hill.

Sunday 19th February - ELV Winter Series, Hog Hill
Chris Smith III reaches 3rd Category status at the latest round of the Winter Series at Hog Hill. Race Report

Sunday 12th February - Maldon CC Cyclocross
The 6th and final round of the Maldon Winter Cyclocross Series was today; our sole representative was Hannah Kane taking 39th place. Press Release

Sunday 12th February - Ely & District 25 Mile Time Trial
Jamie Maidment wins the prize for first time trial of 2017, recording a time of 1:08:44, good enough for 21st place. Press Release

Saturday 11th February - ELV Winter Series, Hog Hill
Chris Smith III is now just 2 points way from 3rd Category status after picking up another top ten finish in the snow at Hog Hill. In his own words:

Yesterday Jamie and I were both at Hogg Hill again for the 6th Race of the Winter Series. With the snowing settling on cars the night before, today was all but ideal conditions. Knowing that the course was unlikely to be icy but just miserably cold and snowing with nothing to lose (except maybe some limbs from frost bite). Despite there being some 30 odd pre entering it looked like it was going to be a small field. With only 30 mins till the start there was only 8 riders! At this point we were both thinking are we mad to be here!? It seemed most people wanted to stay in their lovely warm beds instead, have to admit this crossed my mind all the way till the start and most of the race itself. On the start there was 20 of us.

The race itself didn't start off as fast as it has in previous weeks. One brave bloke thought he would be able to break off from the front for the whole race..... he didn't and was left to hang for a few laps (I think he got dropped later on) Most people were probably finding their legs instead, I was battling to try and find my fingers and wondered if I would finish and keep all of them in tact. Or which ones would need amputating first.
Unfortunately, 15/20 mins in I turned round to see that Jamie wasn't around and he later mentioned that he wasn't able to find a rhythm :(. Just after this the pace changed, one bloke went off the front at the top of the hill. I fancied my changes as he seemed strong throughout and joined up to him. He was game for a 2 up. After a lap of us being off together we could see behind that the chasing group had all strung out and pretty keen to chase us down. That ended that run (annoyingly). Coming up to the last few laps, I felt good, kept a decent enough position, not doing long stints on the front. In the final lap I toyed with the idea of making a break but thought best to just sit in and wait for the bunch sprint. At the bottom of the hill and feeling fresh I launched an attack, annoyingly I hadn't dropped anyone but managed to get people suck my wheel and go around me. As this happened I got boxed in and had to go around someone and I believe pipped someone on the line to 7th? Afterwards, I now know why everyone has horror stories of finishing and getting cold with the baco foil coming out. It took me a good 20 mins to stop shaking despite being changed and in warm clothes. Grim....

Still another few points to take away which now brings me within touching distance of 3rd Cat, only 2 points now needed, having now accumulated 10 points. Here's hoping the next couple of races bring better weather.....I'm not holding my breath. Full report

Sunday 5th February - Burnham & Baddow Cycle Challenge
Almost 200 riders braved the cold and the fog for the annual Burnham & Baddow Cycle Challenge - a choice of two routes starting and finishing at East Hanningfield Village Hall with the longer 100km route featuring the Alpe d'Essex North Hill. With only a slight Easterly wind, the mist did not lift until late morning but with a  temperature that was high enough to remove any threat of ice, the road conditions made this a very enjoyable winter's ride. Thanks to Mike O'Kill and his army of helpers who organised the parking, set off the groups of riders and ensured a constant supply of tea, coffee and cake,

Sunday 29th January - Maldon CC Cyclocross
Peter Stiff was 6th and Hannah Kane 50th in the latest round of the Winter Series - then we expect our club champions to continue to represent us...

Sunday 22nd January - Sunday ride with a difference
Due to the freezing weather conditions the usual 9am group ride was cancelled but John Gretton devised a cunning plan that was far more fun that the combined rollers and turbo sessions enjoyed (?) by a few members at Canewdon (we all enjoyed the two incidents - falling off rollers is understandable but falling off a turbo trainer....). He planned an off-road route suitable for gravel, cyclocross or hybrids rather than full-on mountain bikes starting at Garons Park and taking in paths, bridle-ways, quiet roads and sections of single track as we made our away to Canewdon via Mucking Hall Barling, Rochford, Stroud Green, Cherry Orchard Jubilee Country Park, The Scrubs, Clements Hall, Rochford Rugby Club and Magnolia Nature Reserve. An excellent route

Sunday 15th January - Maldon CC Cyclocross
Hannah Kane (49th), Lesley Pearce (51st), Chris Smith (55th) and Arthur Knowler (56th) were our representatives this week.

Saturday 14th January - 2016 Awards Dinner
James Jenkins, Katie-Ann Elliston, Peter Stiff and Jamie Maidment were among the winners at the 2016 award dinner. Full story.

Saturday 14th January - ELV Winter Series, Hog Hil
Chris Smith III and Jamie Maidment braved the weather for the latest round of the winter series. In Chris's words:
For the not so fun events that took place at Hog Hill yesterday. It looked like a day with very good conditions (for winter that is), despite being very cold. Unfortunately, Dan Pugh was not in attendance, only myself and Jamie Maidment. I believe there was near 40 on the start. From the gun it was a fast pace, I kept with the front group (7/8 strong riders) and Jamie just behind. I tried getting the leading group motivated and that we could all make an early break and keep away. I took some big pulls on the front but within a couple of laps it was as though they had almost given up and the chasing group had closed us down. 15/20mins in again I tried getting a few lads together to make another break. Jamie set me up for a perfect break with a big effort. Once again no one wanted to join and as it regrouped I found myself on the back foot with the guys I wanted to break with countering me.
A gap had then formed which I had to close down, carrying some 20 or so riders to regroup with Jamie in the main pack. After that it was almost as though they were out for a group ride. Shortly from the end, the commissaires decided they were going to pull Jamie out despite him having the main pack in sight!!!!
Coming into the final few laps I kept myself near the front to avoid any sharp breaks. At the final lap I was in a good position but as the hill approached and pace quickened I found myself in a relatively bad position being jumped and probably putting in the sprint too early to finish outside the top 10.
Life lessons learned the hard way, sometimes it pays off to sit in and do nothing and get a result.....  Full Report and Photos

Sunday 15th January - Maldon Cyclocross
A cold wet day for today's event, but hey it is a winter sport. Arthur Knowler, Chris Smith (snr), Lesley Pearce and Hannah Kane were our representatives today. Chris had a slight incident in the first twenty metres but he recovered to finish the race. Well done all for making the effort. Full report

Saturday 14th January - ELV Winter Series, Hog Hill
Jamie Maidment, Chris Smith III and Dan Pugh (making his race debut) were the Wheelers' representatives today.

Sunday 8th January - Maldon Cyclocross
Today was the 3rd event in the Maldon Cyclocross series. Four members of the club took part, Peter Stiff, Lesley Pearce, Arthur Knowler and Hannah Kane. The large field of over sixty riders experience mild conditions and firm ground underneath their wheels, which resulted in a very fast race from the outset. Positioning himself near the front of the field at the start Peter broke away with the leaders, a position which he held until the finish and becoming the first Southend Wheelers rider across the line.
Both Hannah and Lesley had their own private race in the event with Hannah finishing some distance in front of Lesley. Whilst Arthur Knowler, lacking winter fitness, finished forth in the club and off the back of the bunch in the event.
Photo Gallery

Saturday 7th January - ELV Winter Series, Hog Hil
Jamie Maidment and Peter Stiif both suffered punctures that ended their race as laps out are no longer allowed. Chris Smith III was our sole representative at the business end of the race. He was detached from the group that fought for the win but attacked on the last lap and took 10th place for his first point. Counting down the days until he gets his 3rd Cat!

Sunday 1st January - New Year's Day Ride
2017 started with a Sunday ride with a difference - barbeque on the beach courtesy of Mike O'Kill and his beach hut. Full report

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