Junior rider Jude Chamberlain, achieved his first victory of the season when he won the Junior Cyclo Cross race at Top Barn near Worcester.
The Junior race was run in conjunction with the senior race, making it far more difficult and Jude was only beaten by 5 seniors after the 1 hour long event, but well clear of his rivals. He could have placed higher had he not got too carried away trying to attack much more experienced and stronger senior riders – but that’s keenness for you – I like the idea of that! Well done, Jude.
This coming Sunday see’s the running of the Classic “Beacon Mt Time Trial” an event held on the English/Welsh borders. This year we have Juniors Jude Chamberlain (on road bike) and Jack Fothergill, along with Senior rider Jack O’Neill. Only Jack O’Neill has ridden the race before. It’s a really tough one – 39 miles using 2 different circuits, with H.Q. at Great Whitley.
The event holds very special memories for myself. In the 50’s and 60’s the event was over a distance of 62 1/2 miles (100km) classed as the longest and toughest Mt TT in the U.K. once again on 2 different circuits, but far more testing with some massive climbs, and tricky descents.
In 1962 I was a member of the very powerful Coventry Cycling Club (at the time) and was riding the event for the 2nd time. Off number 18, I stormed round the course finishing first, breaking course and event record in the process. We started in those days at Holt Fleet and then went up to Gt Whitley and climbed the Abberleys, turning right at the top onto the climb of Clows Top, over the cross roads and fast run down to join the Bewdley to Cleobury Mortimer Road left to Cleobury Mortimer, climbing out of the town, down the descent to Hopton Waters, and straight onto the massive climb of Clee Hill. Steep at first, leveling slightly at 1/2 distance, before climbing up over the moorland to the summit, then left down a very tricky descent to Tenbury Wells, and onto Newnham Bridge and left onto the Worcester, climbing the very steep Stockton Bank, and onto the top of the Abberleys, to complete the first circuit. Down the Abbeleys and onto the circuit that is used for the second half of the present race.
This circuit starts with yet another steep climb of Wargrove Hill and the very fast twisty descent to Stanford Bridge and the climb of Stanford Bank a very hilly section, before turning left over Bromyard Downs and onto the Worcester Rd, another descent over the river Teme, followed by a very sharp turn left onto a minor road and in 300yds right to climb the dreaded Ankerdine Climb, very steep at the bottom eases off slightly at 3/4 distance and kicks up steep for the summit, a fast descent to Martley over the cross roads, and up a 3 mile long drag, to Gt Whitley, which is where the finish is these days.
But in the 50’s and 60’s we turned right at Gt Whitly and did the 3 miles back to Holt Fleet. The record had been held by the great Ray Booty, who at the time in the Time Trial world was “God”, Ray was National 100 mile Champ and Record Holder, same for 12 hrs, British Best Alrounder, Empire Games Road Race Champion (now called Commonwealth Games) and stage winner in 2 week long Milk Race and record holder of the Isle of Man T T circuit. It didn’t end there!
The following morning whilst at work in the Drawing Office at Dunlop Rim and Wheel in Coventry, I received a phone call from the Boss of Cycle Tyre division at Fort Dunlop, congratulating me on my ride and asking what tyres I use – my choice was always Dunlop No 2’s if you could get them. He said, “No need to buy any more!” He would supply me with a quantity of No 2 tyres including a pair of silk ones plus several pairs of No 1’s that I used on the Track – Whow-!
5 minutes later another phone call, this time from Ernie Clements the Owner of Falcon Cycles, who ran the No1 Independent team in the U.K. and he offered me a complete Team Road Bike, Campag equiped – a special; built pursuit frameset, and a specially built Cyclo Cross frameset. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing! Then he dropped a bombshell, “I will have to charge you. Would 2 shillings and 6 pence be O.K. for each item as I have to make out an invoice?” You bet it was, whow! I could sit down again.
All this because of my record breaking ride. You never know whats around the corner! It could be your turn next?