Thursday, July 03, 2014

Le Grande Departe

Just a reminder, if you're still not sure what to do for Saturday's Grande Departe, several Condors and friends are meeting at Shelf roundabout at 8.30am to ride out to Leeds for the start festivities. Then its a 14 mile or so ride to Harrogate for the finish.

Mike Beecham reports from yesterdays ride -
Approx 18 riders showed up for the start, although some hadn't read the blog so had a surprise as to the hilly route that was to come. Those who had known in advance were quite happy to support Martin on his efforts to raise some dosh for the Teenage Cancer Charity.

The usual start direction took us up towards Denholme and left to the Long Causeway. Daly and Peeps on the front wasn't thought to be a good starting combination! However the ride took a right over Black Moor road and then on to the junction with the Oakworth road, where the tough guys went across and down to Haworth, heading for Penistone Hill and the 'I'd prefer to go at Paul Gowers pace' took the easy left option and headed straight for Cockhill Moor!

This proved to be my option and well worth it, as Bob Stanger told me later, as he missed the split by being early over the junction. `The surprise of the day was Orica Greenedge boys firing past our steady ride towards the top of the Cragvale climb. JK and Everard chasing to get on the back of these boys doing a leisurely 20mph.

We re-grouped at the top of Ripponden Bank where there was a steady climb up to Blackley followed by a decision to try a cafe stop in Greenhead Park at Huddersfield as time was moving on.

The cafe was packed, with a 20 min wait for the obligatory beans on toast. It was decided by most to try another cafe towards the top of the park and eight riders (including myself) went on to Holmfirth for a better and quicker offering of food. We got there at about 2pm. This proved to be the only group willing to complete the ride to the top of Holme Moss. Paul D, Martin, Peeps,JK, myself and two riders I didn't know. Hoppy elected to go to Route 66 instead and head home.

Even though I was last up the final climb it was a good day out with 7307 feet of climbing and 75 miles on the clock on completion.

An appreciation;  a guest rider from Scotland -
Wanted to say thankyou to you and the members of your cycle club for an excellent days cycling yesterday. It was a tough but fantastic route that we cycled and Yorkshire is such a beautiful place to cycle.
Could you do me a favour and say thanks to Rob Stanger for sticking with me on the hills and Pete Gravener for making sure I found my way back to Brighouse I would have been lost (literally) without them and I really appreciated their help as I did with all of the guys who were on the run they made me feel very welcome.
Once again many thanks and I don't think I have ever seen so many hills. The pro's are in for a treat on sunday
Michael Trolland

Race updates -
Congratulations to Paul Daly who retained his Firefighters Mountain Bikers World Champs rainbow jersey in Switzerland last Saturday.

Also well done to Chris Smith who rode to a 17min 26sec ascent of Cragg Vale in the YCF event last Tuesday evening.

Unfortunately, although I've interrogated the www I can't find any results for last weekends Vets National 25 mile Championships so we'll have to wait to see how Brian fared.

As far as I can make out from the Ilkley CC web site Melvin showed that he is maintaining his fitness well by finishing 6th fastest out of 287 finishers of the 114 challenging milesof the long route at the White Rose Sportive last Sunday with a time of 6hr 40min.

If you want to read an excellent interview with Bradford's own Tour of Britain winner Ken Russell, click on this link from the Daily Telegraph

Finally, if you're planning to watch the Tour at Cragg Vale on Sunday don't forget the Little Valley Brewery's Turkey Lodge Tour Fest its on from 7.30am to 7pm, go to for further info (thanks to Derek Browne for letting me know about this).