Hard Riders Events – February 2017

Reporter: Nick Hickman

The Club’s Time Trial Schedule is just starting up, with the Spring Hilly on March 4th and the much anticipated 2-up Team Time Trial the following Saturday.  Some of the more eager Nomad Testers have been competing in early season “Hard Riders” events to check how their winter training has been going and to ensure their machines have woken up from the long hibernation.  First up was the Ely & District CC Hard Riders 25 miles event on 12th February.  On a bitterly cold and breezy Sunday morning Nick Hickman, Paul Riley and Ross Thomson were to be seen “warming up” in the pre-event snow showers, with the temperature climbing to a balmy 0.5°C during the ride.  The course featured pan flat, windswept fenland with some of the lanes dead straight as far as the eye could see and as rough as anything this side of Paris Roubaix (so Riley was very happy).  A recce having been carried out a couple of weeks before the event, none of the team were going to risk using their time trial bikes, opting instead for road bikes with clip-on aero bars or in Hickman’s case, his medium gear 72” fixed.  Thomson took the honours for the Club:

Felix Barker (Cambridge Uni CC) 00:56:27; Thomson 01:14:27; Hickman 01:19:59; Riley 01:20:53

Two weeks later it was the classic North Road Hard Riders event, which has been going since time immemorial and has featured such luminaries as Chris Boardman, Michael “Dr Hutch” Hutchinson and Sean Yates.  The Nomads team was boosted by the presence of Nigel Wilson on this occasion.  Conditions were mild but wet, and the course certainly not pan flat anywhere at all.  It was a ~22 miles test, the regular 25 miles course having been amended due to road works.  Riley and Wilson used road bikes with clip-ons again, while Thomson and Hickman opted for the full TT rig.  There were some battered and bloodied bodies at the HQ afterwards (very technical this course, with sharp gravelly turns on fast descents) but the Nomads all survived unscathed.  Thomson was once again fastest Nomad:

Lloyd Chapman (Banks/Catford CC Equipe) 00:51:15, Thomson 01:06:19; Hickman 01:10:04; Riley 01:11:29; Wilson 01:15:24

Good efforts by all, as seen in Davey Jones’ photos of the team gasping for oxygen on the ascent of Essendon Hill: