Solihull Cycling Club

Solihull cycling stars encourage youngsters to take up 'stepping stone' cyclocross format

15th August 2017

A pair of Team GB road stars from Solihull Cycling Club stars are encouraging budding cyclists to get into the sport’s most unique format.

Lucy Shaw and Jake Stewart both learnt their racing craft by using cyclocross as a stepping stone to riding for Team GB at the European Road Race Championships.

Cyclocross consists of multiple laps of a short course which features wooded trails, grass, hills, and obstacles.

The format requires riders to quickly dismount and carry their bike while navigating multiple obstructions, which can vary from steps, hurdles, or logs.

Belgium, Netherlands, and France are particularly strong at cyclocross, however Team GB’s Under 18s team scooped all three podium spots at this year’s championships.

And now both Shaw and Stewart are encouraging youngsters to join the latest pedal powered trend as Solihull Cycling Club prepare for the new season.

Shaw, who has just returned from representing Team GB in the European Road Race Championships in Denmark, has raced for professional women’s team DROPS for two years.

She first started cyclocross at the age of ten and competed for several seasons.

And Shaw admits racing cyclocross helped her improve bike handling skills and taught perseverance from a young age.

“Cyclocross is a tough, technical sport which requires racing through wooded sections and slippy, muddy, technical corners,” said Shaw.

“Being exposed to this kind of racing helps you develop excellent bike handling skills.

“Since racing in the professional peloton I have found the skills I picked up at a young age have really helped my confidence in moving up to the front in 150 rider strong pelotons and tackling technical narrow finishes.

“It also gave me perseverance and made me a tougher bike rider and prepared me for the Belgian spring.”

Meanwhile 17-year-old Jake Stewart has just scooped a silver medal for Team GB at the European Championships in Team Pursuit.

Stewart raced cyclocross for six seasons, competing from the age of 11, and said his love for the format grew as he competed more.

He said: “I think the reason I enjoyed it so much is often you werent actually aware of what position you was in.

“I enjoyed this early on as it meant that I didn’t get hung up on results, all I had to do was ride my bike as hard as I could and ride everything as technically well as I could.

“It is a nice variation from road riding in the summer and training through the winter. It broke up my season and meant that I wasn’t ever bored of just riding on the road.”

The new West Midlands Cyclocross League starts on September 3 in Redditch.

900 riders have registered to take part in the league which is now one of the biggest in the country – and up to 40 Solihull riders will be taking part.

Training for the cyclocross season takes place every Tuesday and Thursday evening at Tudor Grange.

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Jameson earns podium spot at LVRC National Circuit championships

1st August 2017

Stuart Jameson was on the podium for the sixth time this season when finishing second at the LVRC National Circuit Race Championships in Milton Keynes.

Chris Burns from Buckinghamshire bagged Gold while Jarad Millar from St Albans took the bronze in a race that attracted more than 55 of the country’s best veteran circuit race riders from clubs as far north as Manchester and south as London.

The race was littered with incidents with the first crash taking place after three laps when one of the race favourites crashed heavily.

The heavy impact appeared to have a sobering effect on the race as it took multiple laps before any further sprints took place.

Jameson closed down a number of attacks and with five laps to go the leaders were tracked down, leaving the race to end in a bunched sprint finish.

With one lap remaining, Jameson looked boxed in and at the back of the peloton.

But a gap opened up on the outside as he jumped up to fifth wheel.

On the final straight, Jameson jumped on to third wheel before the front rider tired.

Hitting 65kmh,Jameson was overlapping Burns but the line came too soon and Burns took the win by a half a bike length.

After the race, Jameson said: “I will definitely be back trying to grab the champions jersey next year and hope Solihull Tudor Grange Track might host the event.

“This is my second year back racing after competing for Solihull as a school boy in the late 1980s.

“My results are a testament to how vibrant and strong Solihull Cycling Club is that I’ve been able to get to this level.”

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FURTHER NEWS STORIES FROM 2017

Reid stars to qualify for Youth National Time Trial finals

7th August 2017

Talented teenager Jacob Reid put behind a disappointing performance at the West Midlands Youth Circuit to qualify for the Youth National Time Trial Finals.

The 14-year-old finished a ten-mile circuit at Dunchurch in an outstanding time of 21mins 16secs to book his spot at the national finals in September.

The youngster averaged 28mph on the course he was not familiar with, and the end result delighted him.

Jacob, who is the current Solihull club’s schoolboy Time Trial Champion, has been competing in many of the club’s time trials in Knowle to simulate the national event as much as possible.

The Balsall Common-based racer, who has now been riding for two years, will compete in the Under 17s category.

Training in the build up to the event will take place at Solihull CC during mid-week and on various time trial circuits at weekends.

An excited Jacob said: “I knew I had to pace myself as my Dad and I drove the course a few hours before so I had to go easy on the way out as the way back was a head wind and all uphill.

“My training has been going well and I have been getting some good results in the local time trials.

“But there is still a lot of training to do for the nationals, especially getting used to the extreme, aerodynamic position compared to a regular road bike.”

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Rising star Ella Tandy takes gold at home circuit

17th July 2017

Rising star Ella Tandy took gold in the West Midlands Youth Circuit Series at the weekend after winning the final round of the competition on home territory.

Tandy, who was competing in the final round of the series at the Tudor Grange Circuit on Saturday morning, lapped all of her opponents during the 16 lap race to claim her fourth first placed finish of the season.

Racing in cold and wet conditions – which resembled an autumn day rather than a mid-summer morning – Tandy was one of 150 riders competing in the borough on Saturday morning as Solihull Cycling Club hosted the ninth and final round of the regional championship.

After watching Noah White of Mid Shropshire Wheelers take the chequered flag in the opening race, Tandy with control and speed to take the gold medal.

Speaking after the race, Ella said she was excited to compete in her home town and admitted racing on a track she knows well helped her performance.

She added: “Luckily the rain had stopped by the time I was due to race.

“It didn’t affect my race though as I avoided the spray from other riders wheels.

“Also I have raced on the circuit when it has been wet before so it didn’t worry me.

“I was a bit nervous because I wanted to win the Solihull race the most out of all the series.

“I was very pleased and happy to win our club’s race and the league.”

The youngster will now switch her attention to the cyclocross season – her favourite discipline due to the variety and mud involved.

Elsewhere there was joy for Abergavenny-based racer Emyr Truelove, who sprinted to victory in the Under 12s final.

Solihull riders Max Saunders, Ben Woodhouse, and Jack Alexander finished 10th, 11th, and 18th respectively.

Max said: “I wanted to give it a go on my home track in the final race.

“I like being at the front. One of my coaches suggested I should try doing different things during racing, that really helped me learn about pace changes.”

Five Solihull CC riders started on the grid for the U14s event with new member Jack Fothergill taking second behind Kieran Riley of Langdale in a sprint finish after 28 laps.

Conor Jones also performed well as he finished seventh, his second highest result all summer.

The last race of the day saw the Under 16s compete in the fastest – and driest – event of the day.

Jacob Reid provided the main competition for Solihull CC over the 45 lap race.

Reid attacked early on before the 15-year-old – who completed a ten-mile time trial in under 23 minutes a few days before the event – tired and eventually fell to the back of the pack.

The Tudor Grange Circuit was the brainchild of Olympic silver medallist Harry Reynolds, who presented the medals and trophies to the competitors.

Reynolds, who won a silver medal at the 1956 Olympic Games, and rode in the Tour De France, said: “I am very proud of Solihull CC and the circuit at Tudor Grange.

“It is all I had envisaged when I first had the idea of a circuit in the borough ten years ago.”

Event organiser Mick Edensor said: “There is an awful lot of time and effort that goes into organising and running this event.

“It wouldn’t be possible without the fantastic team of volunteers that give up their time to make sure the day runs like clockwork.

“The best part though is knowing that all the children who raced today gave 100 per cent and were still smiling at the end.”

Riders at Solihull CC will now switch their attention to the cyclocross season which starts in September.

Around 40 riders from the club will take part in the weekly West Midlands Cyclo League, the largest cyclocross league in the country with 900 riders taking part.

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