2009 – Another Success
With over 1000 riders taking to the roads on 31 May 2009, the Chiltern 100 Sportive was yet again a huge success. Thanks must go to all those from Amersham RCC, led by Brian Chapman and Andy Saunders, and all from Verulam CC, led by Eddie Spriggs, who contributed hours of their own time in the weeks and months prior to the event, as well as on the day, to create an event that is starting to be recognised among the best in the country.
Amersham RCC – Chiltern 100 Results
Cameron Jack 06:31:39 Silver
David Lowbridge 06:39:15 Silver
Paolo Coppo 06:41:54 Silver
Michael Bouchier 06:52:13 Bronze
Will Stemman 06:53:48 Bronze
Steve Sibley 07:23:01 Bronze
David Brown 07:31:12 Bronze
Keith Irlam 04:16:01 Gold
Mike Waite 04:31:09 Gold
Paul Iveson 04:41:10 Silver
Mick Goodman 05:05:59 Bronze
Simon Myers 05:17:42
Peter Barlow 06:31:47
Kieran Dineen 02:41:01
Phil Wege 03:00:21
Matt Verrinder 03:04:36
Sam Eakin 03:08:32
Lynda Kellam 03:22:45
Alan Nixon 03:29:30
Stephen Rafferty 03:32:13
Tina Whittingham 03:41:42
Neil Tingle 03:55:44
Andy Bolton 03:58:50
Andrea Parish 04:00:37
Harry Kalsi 05:25:49
Amersham RCC’s resident photographer Stuart was out taking pictures on the day of the Chiltern 100. The pictures at the side of this page are some of his and there are many more at http://www.theweddingpics.co.uk/stuartglloydphotography/Chiltern100Sportivegallery
Chiltern 100 Reports
Lynda Kellam – Corto Fondo
The ARCC ladies were well represented on the 53 mile Corto Fondo – I made my sportive debut along with Tina, Gemma and Andrea (riding under the alias of Shaun Kellam). For once we were only slightly outnumbered by the ARCC men: Sam, Alan Nixon, Stephen Rafferty, Matt, Neil (‘riding down’ to accompany his brother) and Harry (heroically riding it on his mountain bike to ride alongside his wife who he had somehow managed to persuade to ride this – twice the distance she had ever ridden before – and on her birthday – so possible divorce material here…….:))
I bravely decided to ride alone – brave because although I had cycled around the Corto area many times on club runs, taking in the details of the routes isn’t one of my better talents (yes, I know – less talking, more concentrating and I might do better). I thought there was a very good chance that I would somehow find myself on the Medio or Gran courses or even off the map entirely. However, the signs were so good that even I managed to stay on course. My other challenge would be to complete the 50+ miles without a nice 45 minute stop involving chairs and cappuccino. But at least I would get cake at the feedstation………but no……I paid the price for starting pretty much last at 10am……..only crumbs and a few raisins left to taunt me with what I could have eaten.
However, there was definitely a psychological advantage to starting last……..I got to overtake people and not vice versa. Warming up quicker than usual in the glorious weather, I got to the feedstation in 1.5 hours. Having made do with flapjack and a drink, I naively asked where the toilets were………..fortunately an elderly couple who were enjoying the spectacle of the riders arriving outside their house for feeding and watering, took pity on me and several other ladies in the same predicament and let us use their toilet. I was also given a tour of their garden – I didn’t have the heart to tell them I was quite keen to get off as the clock was ticking. Still, admiring their shrubs and flowers was a small price to pay in return for avoiding stinging nettles and only partially-obscuring bushes. Any chance of Portaloos next year?
Back on my bike again I faced the tougher half of the course – or at least it felt that way. I got lucky on a longish stretch of straight road – a big guy in front of me to shield me from the headwind. Then another guy tucked in behind me and we had a nice chat whilst riding – was quite bizarre to have a conversation with two people, one of whom I couldn’t see at all and the other I would only have a chance of recognising again if I looked at his back (or backside). I threw everything at the last climb up to Lacey Green as I could tell from my computer than I must be near the end. One lesson learned – do not attempt banter with strangers whilst overtaking them on a hill after 50 miles riding- strangely they do not seem to be in the mood for chatting……….But apart from that the atmosphere was great and everybody was very sociable.
I crossed the finish line with a time of 3 hours 22 (about 3 hours 5 mins riding time) which I was more than happy with. Next year, the Medio beckons……….. All the ARCC riders finished – most with times I am sure they are proud of – great effort by all. And yes, Harry and his wife finished the course, together, and I have it on good authority that Kay climbed the last hill at Lacey Green on her bike when several men were walking up it.
Finally – a big thank you to all the organisers for making this a great event for all of us.
Cameron Jack – Gran Fondo
You could almost taste the excitement in the Hall of the Misbourne School 7.30 am months of work all those volunteers to produce our event. It is not often Amersham riders get together for a Sportive, there were 7 of us on the 107 mile Gran Fondo, 5 on the Medio and 7 rode the 54 mile Corto. I am pleased to say that despite being a pretty relaxed club we produced a 3rd= in the team rankings and several special mentions: Kieran who having been the starter for the rides then whipped round the Corto in 2.41 (the fastest time) to return and help with the event clear up. Keith Irlam and Mike Waite rode to Gold standard on the Medio and it is safe to say most of us on the Gran route suffered be it at Bronze or Silver level.
The Gran ride is a proper challenge and brutal from 50 miles onwards. The ARCC peleton managed a team photo at the start and then broke at the end of the High Street, might have been my fault for pushing on up Frith Hill. But for those in the know not being hemmed in on the way out of Chesham is no bad thing the road is still in a diabolical condition. The first half of the Gran ride lulls a lot of the uninitiated into a false sense of well being. Packs of riders from the London and South East based clubs were hammering along Ashridge and Dunstable Downs while the locals were keeping plenty in reserve. I met one riders from Essex exclaiming about the steepness of Bison Hill just before Ivinghoe, I didn’t have the heart to tell him what was to come and just advised a bit of pacing would be a good idea.
By the time the ride was climbing up to Wigginton the temperature was also climbing. Fluid intake became more of a discipline than a pass time. I knew if I didn’t get 2 bottles down me by the time I got to the second feed the wheels might come off my ride. The cracks in the line of riders started to appear as we hit Whiteleaf several were staring upwards in disbelief as they were grinding away. The effect was even more pronounced on Wardrobes and by Kingston Blount some were walking. I had a South African alongside me who seemed to appreciate the running commentary on the gradients around the corner? For me the ride started to go wrong on the way up to Christmas Common the power meter was flagging. I lost my springbok buddy to a puncture out of Fingest and from here on in it was a slog. There were riders in pub gardens by now and on Bledlow Ridge some were lying spent in the shade by the roadside trying to recuperate. The 10 miles to go sign outside Saunderton does not offer that much encouragement as there are still 2 hills to climb. Bradenham Woods Lane had got steeper and smelt of BBQ sausages from the pub – cruel! I do remember mutterings about the lack of a sprint section to the finish from a rider struggling up to Speen, didn’t he know this is the Chilterns and you have to earn your flat sections. For the sake of club tradition I did drop the hammer on the Rignall Road but no one else was racing by now.
I am not sure I have ever been more pleased to see Rachelle, Chris and Colin. Having stopped I could now enjoy the sunshine and see the rest of our team rolling in. If I had known Paolo and David Lowbridge were chasing me down I might have pushed harder. This years Gran race was definitely made harder by the heat and many on the route were training for the Etape or Marmotte so it was a useful tester for even harder things to come. The post event stalls, massage, music and cafe were all going full tilt as we hobbled into the hall. Great atmosphere and great day out – in retrospect. The 2 Clubs efforts in organising event seemed to be appreciated by all those I spoke to. I will need to forget some of the pain to be able to look forward to next year.