Bryan reports on his recent ride in Varese and forthcoming plans for 2019.
2018 has been a big year for us with the start of Bryan Steel Racing and the group has been focussed on getting riders ready to compete at the Grand Fondo World Championships in Varese, Italy.
Through qualifying at the Tour of Cambridgeshire, myself and 4 other riders took the trip to Italy to ride with some of the best cyclists in the world.
I was there for 5 days working on the Godfrey Bikewear stand who I am ambassador for and Sportive Breaks where I was the lead rider for their training rides, helping their 100 riders to be ready for the big day.
I travelled out to Italy on the Wednesday and spent the Thursday looking over the 130km route. I rode over the first 40km and then the last 50km to see where any potential problems were.
In the afternoon was the Time Trial where I had Jack riding and even though he was in the youngest age group he did a brilliant ride, finishing just out of the top 20.
On the Thursday we had amazing weather but overnight everything changed with thunder storms which lasted until Saturday afternoon, which meant the planned lead ride on the Friday had to be cancelled and the Saturday morning ride had to be moved to the afternoon.
We managed to get to ride the first 30km of the route on the Saturday afternoon but the main thing I wanted the group to ride was the first hill, which was only after 20km and was the biggest climb on the route. For me this would be the first and most important selection of the event, coming from a wide road down to narrow road where a car would have just been able to pass.
So, the big day came and with a 7.50am start everyone was down early for an early breakfast before heading up to the start area with plenty of time. To see the whole 5,000 riders in their age pens was an amazing sight and as the start time approached everyone was starting to get serious.
In my age pen was Simon who I coach and was good to get some good pictures together with all the other nationals riding.
The start time came and we were away on time, heading out of town in a group of around 400 riders – I was trying to make my way to the front but there were two short tunnels to go through before we hit the first hill. I was in a good place but in the second tunnel which wasn’t lit someone near the front came together and stopped the whole group, and it was only when I tried to start off again that I noticed that my rear brake had been moved and I had to stop again to stop it rubbing on my wheel.
It was only a few kilometres to the first hill now and even though I got back onto the first group I was at the back so I spent the hill and then most of the ride moving through the groups. I finally ran out of steam after 100km, having to sit up with cramp before having to try to push on again, but with the last 3km uphill, once I hit that the cramp came back.
I crossed the line doing the ride in 3.49.50 which I was pleased with but I would have liked to get below 3.45.
On the whole was pleased with my ride and Simon did an amazing ride despite his front mech stopping working and did the whole ride on the big ring (not sure how he managed this!).
With the success of the event and working with Sportive Break over the next few weeks we will announcing the British Grand Fondo Racing Club where we would like to get people read to do their very best at 10 selected events in 2019.
We will be send you some information over the coming weeks and if you would like to find out more then please send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the last weekend of June, the four riders who are part of the Bryan Steel track program travelled down to Newport in Wales to compete in the Masters track championships. Bryan reports on the successful event for his riders.
The Masters events runs in the same format as the open national championships but in age groups starting at 35 and in groups of 5 years after. Within the track group we have Lindsay Clarke 55 to 59, Steve Clarke 55 to 59, Bob Barber 65 to 69 and Wayne Smith 50 to 54.
With the main events ran over the weekend, the championship started on the Thursday afternoon with the 500m time trial. Bob and Wayne decided to ride this event but as their focus was on the more endurance event later in the weekend they wanted to have an effort and clear some nerves before their main focus. Both riders did personal bests finishing 5th in their age groups.
Lindsay start her account for the weekend with a win in the pursuit with a personal best time of 2.40.316 which is only 1.2 seconds off the world record for her age group. On the Saturday afternoon Lindsay also won the scratch race which was hard as she was mixed with other age groups but managed to finish strong with younger riders. Sunday afternoon was the points race and as of the scratch the race was mixed with younger riders and with our season goal of winning the masters world and a current world silver medallist we decided to ride for a result in the whole race. Lindsay started well just missing the points by one place in the first 2 sprints but in the third sprint Lindsay manage to get a 3rd place and going into the fourth and final sprint Lindsay went for it and got fourth in the last sprint. This gave Lindsay the win for her age group and 5th place in the race overall.
Lindsay’s husband Steve’s nationals started on the Saturday with the pursuit, just missing his personal best doing a 2.42.421. Steve just missed his timing at the start which made a slower than usual first lap but after that he was running faster than his PB, trying to make up for this slight mistake but with the pursuit only being 2km Steve didn’t have the time to make up the loss of the first lap. On the Saturday Steve also had a scratch race where Steve rode very well finishing 13th in the finish sprint. Sunday’s point race was one of the fastest races I have seen right form the first lap with Steve getting involved in the first sprint but he paid for this in the next few laps, struggling in the hot pace of the race. Steve finished in 12th place but rode very well against some very good riders.
Bob is the oldest rider I work with and has focused on the sprint events in the past, but we started to work together when his goal was the more endurance events. In the pursuit he did a very good personal best finishing in 4th place in a time of 2.46.060. In the scratch Bob rode very well following all the moves and going into the last lap he was sitting 3rd place but with half a lap to go his legs started to go, finishing in a very close 6th place. For the points race and with his new focus we decided for Bob to look to be in the break instead of waiting for the sprint and going on the attack twice and in the first of these getting half a lap lead before being brought back just before the second sprint. He finished in 8th place which didn’t reflect his ride at all.
Last we had Wayne riding the 50 to 54 age group where he did a flying ride in the pursuit recording a nearly 5 second personal best of 2.24.455 and only missing out of a medal by 0.250 of a second. In the scratch Wayne finished in 9th place being very active throughout the race but I think doing such a hard ride in the morning affected this result. Like the other points races Wayne’s was the same with being very fast with him winning the first sprint but others went straight on the attack after this sprint not giving him any time to recover and affected him for the rest of the race getting 6th by the end.
Overall is was a very good weekend for the Bryan Steel Track group with every rider apart from Wayne going to the World Championships in September and this weekend was more a run out with their main goal being the worlds. Everything is looking good for September and hopefully a good haul of medals.
If you are interested to hear about the Bryan Steel Track group programme or another of the programmes we run at Bryan Steel Cycling, please visit www.bryansteel.co.uk or contact me at email@example.com to find out more.
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Bryan Steel Racing went on mass to the Tour of Cambridge to see how many riders we could qualify for the Amateur Road Racing Worlds Championships, aka Grand Fondo World finals in Italy later this year. All the riders doing this event are members of the Bryan Steel Racing team https://bryansteel.co.uk/advance/#raceteam and team manager Bryan Steel reports on the eventful weekend.
The Chrono on the Saturday started well with 3 of the team riding in their age groups. In the youngest age group, we had Jack who went to France last year, and with a stinking cold he still manged to get qualification – seeing him at the end I would still wanted to have been following him. Ian was in the 60-65 category and managed to finish in the worst position of 4th in his age group. He is already planning where we can make up 10 second for 2019. Simon Inman was our third rider, who didn’t have the best ride with his mind being focused on Sundays Grand Fondo and his first time doing this event but gained some valuable experience for next year.
The main focus was Sunday’s 78 miles across the Fenland in the Grand Fondo and in the morning we were very happy to see that there was no wind unlike last year. With most Sportives staring very early in the morning it felt very strange to be starting at mid-day, but as the package with Bryan Steel Racing included access to the Club Kermesse VIP facilities we were able to take full advantage of the hospitality on offer.
For this year all the Bryan Steel Racing riders was in the race pens, albeit split into our respective age groups.
Brook Pitchford was the first to go in 35-40 group but as soon as he went myself, Simon, Lee and Martin were taken to the start line with the other 196 riders. For me the was like old times when I used to race in big races but for the other riders it can be a daunting experience with so many other competitors, and as we started the goal was for me to keep them out of trouble. This was OK for the first 10km but then once we moved onto narrow lanes and even with the roads closed to other motorists was hard to keep in the right place all the time.
The riders were going very well but after an hour we hit the rough roads of the Fens. Along with the twisting and turning nature of the route the riders were starting to find it hard to be in the right place in the group and the race started to break up with the pressure of the riders on the front.
I was in my element like old times and even had the chance to catch up with some old racing mates before we hit the last 20km where things got serious. My first priority was to qualify for the World Championships and stay safe but as we got near to the finish I was finding I was able to hold the right line, going into the last corner in around 10th place… until an untimely crash caused me to swerve off my line and kill my speed. I ended the race in 27th place.
Once through the finish I found Brook who had done a brilliant ride, finishing in the front of his group. Simon was the next through, also finishing within the time limit. Martin Pearcy was the next of our team to finish, just outside the qualification time due to a puncture out on the route. He lost 6 minutes changing his inner tube (amazing time) and missed the limit by 4 minutes. Next in was Lee who had struggled after getting caught up behind several crashes but I also think the hot weather had got to him which didn’t help.
Of the older riders, Paul Newson achieved a massive personal best, but just missed the qualification time in his 50-55 age group. Last but not least was Steve Wright, who was in the 60-65 age group, however he was somewhat at a disadvantage as his group had to wait until all the sportive riders had left before his group started. Steve hasn’t done anything like this before but did a great job finishing just outside his time limit.
All in all, we had a good weekend with 5 riders able to book their place in Italy in September.
If you are interested to hear about the Bryan Steel racing team programme or another of the programmes we run at Bryan Steel Cycling, please visit www.bryansteel.co.uk or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
If you would like to subscribe to our monthly newsletter, please contact me.
After a difficult year in 2017 with a broken collar bone Sam has approached 2018 with a measured approach building steadily to his main goals of hitting top form when arriving in Belgium in July.
The Giro del Mon consisted of a TTT and a road race on day one, a ITT and a Kermesse on day two followed by the Queen’s stage on Monday with 4 laps of a 20 mile course taking in the dreaded Stiperstones with gradients of 20%.
Day one didn’t produce any results but it put Sam in a good position to move forward on day 2 with George Sewell committed to helping him out.
The ITT over a flat 7km course allowed Sam to use his time trialling skills putting in a good ride taking 7th overall in the stage and 3rd U23 rider.
Moving into the afternoon Sam encouraged by his mornings performance started the Kermesse in a positive mood. On lap two a break went with most teams being represented and Sam was in it. The break stayed away all race putting 45 secs into the main bunch. Two of the teams had more than one rider in the break and so was able to play the team game giving it the old one two and attacking strongly. Sam came in with the main gallop securing himself 11th place.
The final day was always going to be a war of attrition especially with the National Hill Climb Champion in the field, and so it proved to be on lap one with attacks going in on the 20% grade. On lap two Sam, after being supported by George, was still in the bunch as it went over the top. George his job done called it a day.
As the race proceeded the rate of attrition was high, but Sam with his eye on doing well in his category pushed on and came in just behind the main bunch. Such was the difficulty of the stage only 50% of the field finished, but by pushing on Sam finished the third 3rd Cat in the event.
A tough event and the first time the lads have competed in a 3 day event so good experience for the future.
Next week the team are competing in the Nick Clark E123 race at Leighton Buzzard.