The New Forest Cycling Club

NFCC at The Worlds

New Forest CC was well represented at the UCI Amateur World Championships in Albi, France last week. NFCC had three competitors in the Individual Time Trial: Paul Lockyer, Stewart Ward and Andrew Hanley and two competitors in the Road Race: Duncan Jones and Stewart Ward. It had been blisteringly hot in Albi all week and temperatures rose even further during the afternoon of the Individual Time Trial and nudged above 100°F as the NFCC riders took to the start ramp. A misjudgement by Andrew Hanley regarding the measurements of a TT bike to meet the UCI regulations meant that the previous evening was spent shortening the stem and bars by 45mm. The bikes are checked by the UCI commissaires just before the start line, as well as being vetted for motors, which based on the times produced indicated that none were present. Paul Lockyer as expected was the fastest of the NFCC participants, scorching round the 15 mile sporting course in 33.50 in 37th position. The course consists of a hill not dissimilar to the climb out of Beaulieu in the New Forest, all NFCC riders haemorrhaged time up the climb as the heat took its toll 5 miles in. “ I got half way up the climb, and didn’t think I would be able to get to the top, let alone finish the course” Stew commented after the event. Stewart came home in 35:48 and in 46th place. “Wow, that was the hardest thing, I’ve ever done….I can’t believe it” Paul said later, “I’m going to have to look for a different sport to do that doesn’t hurt as much!” Andrew Hanley struggled badly in the heat, as everyone did, “I got to the climb and a gasket blew!, I lost all power and couldn’t hold my revised TT position….I had to keep coming up off the bars”. Andrew was never the less satisfied with his time of 38:13 and 72nd place.

Stewart Ward and Duncan Jones were the NFCC representatives in the road race which was 155kms long and covered over 2,000m ascent. Both riders were worried about the effects the heat would play during the event. The course started near the Tarn river in Albi, but soon rose out of the valley where the first selections would be made on the road. The pace was fearsome as they rose up out of the valley at 25mph, Stewart managed to hold on as many were shelled out of the back of the lead group, but eventually the pace was too hot to handle and after 60kms Stewart formed allies with small groups to share the work load and ensure that they reduced the time deficits to the lead group. Duncan was not able to maintain the efforts required over the hills in the early part of the race and like Stewart worked well in small groups trying to minimise time losses. Stewart came home in 4:24 and in 114th place, Duncan recorded 5:13 and finished in 186th place, but was frazzled at the end. “It was like an inferno out there today…I’m done! But what a fantastic experience it was to represent your country, I’ll never forget it”.

Well done to all the participants who represented NFCC at The Worlds in Albi this year.

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