Lulu Chic, Bernard Brown, and Suzannah Minns tackled the intimidating ACME Grand 1000km, a 3-day event. Here is their report, in the words of Lulu:
A bit too hot for a long ride but we made our way to Essex on Wednesday evening to ride the Acme 1000km. Disappointingly, out of 100 entries, only 40 started, and only 19 finished,
The combination of the heat and the Welsh hills took their toll and made for some tough riding,
It was a lovely scenic route down from Essex to Barry (apart from Ponty Hill – no fun on the tandem in the midday heat). After arriving in Barry, the route then did a loop out towards the valleys and over a few lumps (Rhigos, Penderyn, Devils Elbow) on to Neath and then back to Barry, before heading back to Essex for a well deserved beer.
Photo credit: Phil Whitehust
A very welcome sunny day in Somerset was the setting for this Category 3/4 road race, which featured 3.5 laps of an undulating circuit with a 1km drag to finish.
There were a few early attempts to form breakaways, but the strong headwind blowing down one side of this course made it very difficult to get anything to stick, and the 1km climb of Kingsdon Hill brought most attackers back into the bunch. Rob Sanderson and James Dyke lined up for Ajax, but unfortunately James suffered a mechanical on Lap 1 and was forced to retire. Rob hung on grimly up the last climb and managed to fight into a position to contest the sprint finish, managing 10th.
Three Ajax riders lined up for this race, Rob Jones, Matt Williams and Rob Sanderson. The pace was fast and frenetic from the start, and a large breakaway group of around 15 riders escaped early and quickly opened up an unassailable gap. Rob S made it into the breakaway and contributed turns before trying to break off the front with a smaller group of about four other riders. This was sadly doomed to failure and the 2 leading groups came back together for the finish, with Matt Rowe leading out the sprint but Hefin Evans (Bynea) Josh Burns (Jif), coming past to take 3rd and 2nd respectively, and Kinsey McIlquham surging through to take the win.
After unfortunately having to make the call to cancel Sunday’s races it was a minor relief to wake on Sunday to find the forecast was correct and my decision was justified. As things panned out, even if Cowbridge and the Vale hadn’t been hit by snow, we’d have been without ME, two chief commissaires and most of the NEG motorbike marshals as we were all snowed in.
Thank you to those who sent messages of support for the difficult decision. They were very much appreciated.
Regrettably, having spent time trawling the calendar, with assistance from Welsh Cycling, we’ve been unable to find a suitable date to reschedule the race. Every date we looked at either clashed with other events, I was unavailable or other facilities/services required for the race were not available.
I will therefore be processing refunds of entry fees for all riders.
I hope to receive an entry from you again next year and the weather is kinder to us.
Cardiff Ajax CC