2015 Club Champs have come and gone, and gosh what a series of exciting events they were! We had sunshine and clear skies to kick off the Skills and TT events; and not even the insane winds, torrential downpours, mounds of mud and bitter cold deterred our Members during the Road and Mountain Bike races; nor indeed the long journey to Calshot for a bitterly cold Track Champs! But what was so fantastic to see with the 2015 Champs is the number of first timers trying new events and getting into the spirit of the Club Championships. Whilst it is a competition that results in an overall set of annual winners – to truly be a Slipstreamers champion is to embrace the spirit of the games, participate, try something new, have a good laugh, enjoy the experience! So, no matter where you came in the overall standings, you are ALL champions and the Volunteers are immensely proud of you.
Of course, it goes without say that not one of these events could happen without the passion and commitment of the Volunteers who do the planning, co-ordinating, course setup, sign-on admin, results collation, first aid, photography, marshalling, catering, bike fixing, clearing up, etc etc etc… THANK YOU to everyone who helped!
Now, do grab a cuppa and a few nibbles, sit back, and enjoy the following fantastic rider reports from a few of our Members…
First up, a few Members were “interviewed” about their Club Champs experience – click on a question to find out what they thought…
What was your favourite event? What was the best part?
- Caitlyn says: My favourite club champs this year was the road bike champs because it was my first time on a road bike. The best part was that I did 5 laps of a 1 mile track. Also I enjoyed racing against others, that was the fun bit!
- Holly says: Time Trial! Because you race against the clock and get to go as fast as you can.
- Ibrahim says: This was my second club champs and my best one since on my first club champs I was in bronze and did not have as much experience on my road bike. It was a gloomy day and it was a challenge I was facing with my friends, cycling through the winds was hard; however, we all managed it; but Slipstreamers is about embracing challenges and being determined! My favourite part surely was the final sprint. It was exhilarating!
- James says: The Track was my favourite club championship event this year. I got a good time on the flying lap, the best part of the session.
- Joseph says: Time Trial! I liked zooming around the track as fast as I could twice.
- Katie says: The road race because my new bike is really fast. My best part of the race was winning.
- Lucy says: The Time Trial. It was my favourite because it was a nice and sunny day. The best part was when I crossed the finish line and they stopped the stop watch.
- Samuel says: The event on the road bike because I rode on the track for the 1st time. The best part was I did not get lost!
- Scarlett says: The Mountain Bike race! The best was cycling round the track getting dirtier each lap. Also when my dad ran the last lap with me to keep me going, but I was determined to finish the race.
- Stanley says: The club champs was hard and quite easy. My favourite race was the road race because I am a road cyclist. On the day it was pouring with rain and I got so wet that even the inside of my body was wet! It was my favourite race because I absolutely love road racing and I want to be a pro road cyclist when I am older.
- Thomas says: Personally my favourite part of the Club Championships this year was the Time Trial. You can set your own personal target and push yourself to your limit. I loved competing in all the events
- Zayd says: I took part in my first club champs this year on my Grupetto which is my new road bike! My favourite part was the final sprint because you ride really fast and you get to go in your top gear which is challenging and fun.
What was your worst - what didn't you enjoy about it?
- Caitlyn says: Mountain bike club champs was my least favourite this year. The reason is that I kept on sliding about the place because it was so muddy. It didn’t help that my bike broke from all the sliding about. That was not good for me, but hey it’s all repaired now!
- Holly says: The mountain bike race, definitely! It was really tough getting through the mud and with four laps to do it was super tiring.
- Ibrahim says: I wouldn’t say it wasn’t my favourite but just because of my lack of experience and cycling, my first club champs was not my favourite; however, it developed my confidence and this year I gave it another shot.
- James says: Mountain biking was my least favourite as it was very muddy, cold and tiring.
- Joseph says: The skills test because I couldn’t pick up the bottle.
- Katie says: The mountain biking because it was very muddy (but I still won).
- Lucy says: The road race because it was raining and you got really cold.
- Samuel says: Worst – weather, I did not enjoy the rain on my face.
- Scarlett says: My least favourite was the time trial. Because all you do is the same lap again and again. It gets really tiring.
- Stanley says: My least favirouite race was the mountain bike race because I hate getting all muddy.
- Thomas says: There was not a single thing that I didn’t like. Every event is as exciting as the next and the atmosphere of the skills was just so much fun.
- Zayd says: The weather was terrible on the days of the champs.There was a lot of rain and wind. I was covered in rain and it was muddy and I has to use more energy and more power to go fast against the rain. Everyone cheered me on and that made me feel happy and motivated.
Would you like to do the Club Champs again next year?
- Caitlyn says: Yes I would love to do the club champs again next year. Reason is that I thoroughly enjoyed myself this year and hopefully I can complete the mountain bike course next year.
- Holly says: Yes! Because it’s fun and there’s lots of events. Next year I want to do the track event at Calshot.
- Ibrahim says: I would love to do club champs again because it builds my confidence, develops my cycling ability and provides a challenge to work towards. I have heard mountain biking club champs is quite enjoyable. I would definitely like to participate in that next year.
- James says: I will definitely do the championships next year; the more you compete, the more successful you’ll get. And I’d encourage others to take part too as some events are very exciting and exhilarating!
- Joseph says: Yes definitely
- Katie says: Yes I would like to do it again next year because I enjoy all the events and it is very good for you (sport).
- Lucy says: Yes, because all of the events were fun and I like winning prizes. I think others should try it because it is really fun.
- Samuel says: Yes!
- Scarlett says: Yes, I’d really like to go to Calshot and ride on the track. It looks fun going up on the bends. I watched the Six Cycling at the velodrome and it was amazing.
- Stanley says: I would love to do the club champs next year!!!
- Thomas says: I’m looking forward to beating my times in next year’s Championships.
- Zayd says: I would love to do club champs again next year and improve my speed and stamina. I will be 6 then so hopefully stronger and faster.
Describe your Club Champs in a few words?
- Caitlyn says: Mucky and amazing!
- Holly says: Fun and tiring.!
- Ibrahim says: An awesome experience!
- James says: Overall I would describe my championship this year as quite successful and very enjoyable.
- Joseph says: Cool and amazing!
- Katie says: Good, amazing, nervous!
- Lucy says: Lots of fun, hard, awesome!
- Samuel says: Great!
- Scarlett says: Tough but brilliant!
- Stanley says: AMAZINGLY FUN!!!! 100% out of 100% that’s how fun it was!
- Thomas says: Exhausting fun!
- Zayd says: Phenomenal and exciting!
Then, we asked a few more Members to write in about their respective Champs’ experiences. Enjoy their fantastic reports…
By Kim Bowler, U8 Slipstreamer
“I was determined. I was ready. The club championships is finally here. Every race I was focused and I put my mind to it and completed each and every one proudly and happily. Once again it was a great experience and a fantastic memory I will have. I enjoyed the mountain biking because it was muddy and it gave me a challenge but I enjoyed the road ride as well because I don’t usually do road but achieved a great result. Even though time trial and skills weren’t my favourite I still really enjoyed them. I will love to do the club champs once again even if I don’t win I will still be really proud of myself because at least I gave it a go and tried. IT WAS AMAZING!”
By Charlie Aveline, U16 Slipstreamer
“The club champs is always a point in the year which I look forwards to. It is a chance to put all of your training in to action and it is also just a really fun set of events. This year the weather was harsh which was good and bad. The road race was tough but the mountain bike race – my favourite – was super muddy (as usual) but still loads of fun. It was a challenge to stay upright but it was still a great experience. I can’t wait till next year when that time comes round again.”
By Jemma Bowler, U14 Slipstreamer
“This year the club champs has been so well organized and such fun! The first events was the skills, this is where I did very well, I had no penalties and got a very fast time. Then, it was the Time Trial, I have really improved on this one as I used to get 28-29 and now I am getting 26:30’s which I am really impressed with. Next, it was the road race which was my favorite, it was raining so much but It was great fun as I rode to the end and won. After that, it was the MTB, this was great as it was very muddy and funny. I didn’t do as well as the past years but I am still happy. Lastly, was the track. My points race was by far the best and the most fun. The other events were the sprint and flying lap which was awesome. Overall, the club champs this year has been great!! I am a first year and so have the next U14 year to get the trophy. I can’t wait till next year!!!”
By Lorna Bowler, U16 Slipstreamer
“I broke my collar bone at the end of September which sadly meant I could not compete in all the club championship events. I was really disappointed about it because it includes many events that are brilliant fun and also I wanted to keep my winning streak up for a 3rd time in a row! Although I had to miss the the TT, skills, road and mountain bike race I was mended by the time the track race came along. I went along with Jemma and it was great fun. It was the first time I had raced since the crash which meant I was even more excited because it wasn’t more turbo training! I wish I could have done all the events however I will be back next year!”
By Oliver Kent, U8 Slipstreamer
“The club champs were fun but hard at the same time. My fave race was the mountain bike race, not only I won but I had fun getting muddy too! I did’t like the track racing in Calshot! It was hard to remember what to do!”
By Zack Taylor, U16 Slipstreamer
“Although my Club Champs experience was short, it was a fun and challenging time. I had to overcome my lack of stamina and the elements in order to get to complete the road race, and although my time trial came to an unexpected end, I enjoyed every second of it.”
By Antsha Oloyede, U12 Slipstreamer
“I enjoy coming to the Slipstreamers club. I especially enjoy the club championships, one of my favorite events of the championships is the mountain biking race. This year I enjoyed taking part in the bikeability on safety week. It was an easy and fun way of learning how to be safe when riding independently on the road.”
By Imogen Ross, U10 Slipstreamer
“I took part in the Skills section of the Club Championships. I was new to Slipstreamers and felt very nervous but I had a lot of fun. My favourite part was the bottle pick-up.”
By Tonisha Oloyede, U10 Slipstreamer
“I think that Slipstreamers is an amazing club! I really enjoyed taking part in the club championship, this year my favorite event was the road biking race. There has never been a day when I haven’t had fun. No matter the weather, I will always be willing to attend Slipstreamers and I hope people enjoy it as much as I do.”
By Zoe Brookes, U14 Slipstreamer
“Club champs has been really fun this year and very competitive in the under 14 girls!!
The mountain bike race was my favourite event this year. It was quite a cold day and there was rain for a lot of the races but it had stopped by mine, leaving plenty of mud!! At the start it was a bit chaotic and Josh was trying to push me off the front row; when we started there was a lot of elbows out and pushing which I think came mainly from Niall and Josh!
The course was really fun, especially the bit through the trees in the middle, which was a bit eventful the first time through as Seth’s chain came off and we were all in a line. The first lap I was trying to stay on Jemma’s wheel and not get too much mud flicked in my face. Then at the start of the second lap I attacked going up the hill and just got past Jemma before coming back down. Then Seth came past at a million miles an hour after his mechanical, I have no idea how he goes so fast and he did really well to win the boys seeming how far back he was! The race was really fun and I was really happy to keep away and win the girls. I finished covered in mud and drew a smiley face on my cheek in it! Next year I would like to do some XC racing.
I also was really happy with the time trial; they are painful whilst you are doing them but really satisfying afterwards if you have got a good time. I was pleased to set a new PB after a good week in training. At Calshot I nearly didn’t make it in as I nearly had my bike blown away by the wind!!! It was really windy outside and freezing inside and we all spent the whole day trying to keep warm. I had a great day and enjoyed the racing; 2 of the events were sprint disciplines so it suited me. I also got to see my friend Emily which was a nice surprise and unexpected as she lives in Jersey.
The events have all been really good and a massive thank you to all the volunteers who have made it happen. Well done to Jemma, Elizabeth, Jess, Anastasia, Orla, Hope and everyone else who competed.”
By James Brown, U10 Member
“I have ridden with Hillingdon for 1 and a half years and this was my first full club champs. I knew that the U10’s was a tough field this year and it wasn’t going to be easy…
For the first race (the TT) I chose to go for the earlier time so it was a busy morning and an early wake up, I normally do 10 laps in TT practices but that day I had to shorten my effort and do five instead. As I finished all my friends had just arrived and it seemed a bit wierd. The timings were all a bit confusing so maybe it would have been better if there was only one time when you could ride, as the group warm up was after my TT.
Later that day were the skills champs, we were tight on time so there weren’t any practice runs which was a bit annoying. I messed up my turn at the end as I was a bit confused due to lack of practice. I think the smell of amazing hot dogs and burgers were causing my concentration to lapse. This was my worst event this year.
A few weeks later was circuit racing and the weather was horrible for what seemed like carnage even before the racing had begun. As the U10 race started the hailing got worse. I got a really bad start as this is something I need to work on but thanks to the help of Millie and William our small group of three caught Pascal. Soon four became three as William dropped off in the ferocious wind, rain and hail. There were several attacks – some of which were very nearly successful but as we hit the last lap things got faster again. Some attacks got off for about 10 seconds but they were all caught as soon as they got about 5m away. Turning the corner into the home straight was quite scary. I stayed back on the left hand side then went to the right of a lapped rider and overtook Millie, now I was in 5th overall as I sprinted as hard as I could and just overtook Pascal 40m before the finish and got 4th. This was my best race.
Next up was the treacherous mountain bike race, as bad as the road race, just a lot muddier! I started in 4th but after a quarter of a lap I was overtaken by Joe. Ben and Joe were about 30m up the course and I was clear of anyone else, the horrific conditions and a difficult, muddy course didn’t help. After 2 laps of toughness I finished in a promising 5th not too far off 4th or 3rd either. One of the highlights of the club champs was the toastie and hot chocolate with Ben and Jed afterwards at Costa.
Finally the Track came and it was tough. I hadn’t been on my best form since the road and got 3 5th places. I did get a PB on my TT though with 12.10, in the sprint it would have been nice to have got a better start as if I had tried a bit harder in the first lap then I might have improved my position. For the scratch I got 5th again beating William in a sprint after a 15 lap race.
I would like to say thank you to all the Volunteers and Organisers who have given up their time to organise these events.”
By Lia Leonard, U12
“I have been a member at Slipstreamers for about two years and had never really given Club Championships a proper go before, but this year I decided to give it a try. There are five events: a skills test, a time trial, a road race, a mountain biking race and a track race at Calshot.
The first two events – the skills test and the time trial – were on family fun day. I personally find skills difficult as I haven’t really practised skills since I was in bronze. As an U12, I had to do a track stand as part of my skills which I find very difficult. I had to hold the track stand for five seconds, but I could only manage about one and a half seconds. The second event that day was the time trial. I had to do ten laps of the track which comes to about 9.5 miles. The difficult thing about time trials is that you have no one near you to gauge how well you are doing so you just have to go as fast as you can. Time trials are also about having the mental strength to keep going and to not let yourself slow down. I often over-think what I am doing in a time trial because I don’t have anyone to push me, and I wonder how I am doing against my competitors. The trick to time trials is not to think about how everyone else is doing, just to focus on how you are doing and to push yourself to your limit.
The third event is the road race. I’ve recently started competing in British Cycling races, so this race was important for me to do well in. The conditions for the race were absolutely horrible as it was rainy and windy and the wind was pushing you so it was hard to keep your bike straight. I was quite disappointed with my performance but it wasn’t going to make me quit the club champs. I just knew that I had to do better in the other two events.
The third race was mountain biking and it was so muddy and definitely not ideal weather for mountain biking. Unfortunately, I missed the first reconnaissance lap which meant I didn’t know the course very well. I also fell on the first lap so I didn’t do very well. I don’t usually do very much mountain biking so next time I will definitely practise more in the lead up to club champs.
The final, and optional, event is the track race at Calshot. I was quite worried about this race because I have only ridden at Calshot once before. There were three races: a flying lap; a sprint race; and a scratch race. Your time in the flying lap determined who you would race in the sprint, although there were only two U12 girls. My flying lap didn’t go as well as I wanted it to so I was quite disappointed with myself. The sprint race didn’t go very well either. I had only ridden about 50 metres when my right foot came out of the pedal. On a track bike you have to keep pedalling otherwise you will go over the handlebars, so I had to cycle one-footed for a couple of laps. Obviously I lost that race. I was really annoyed that the day wasn’t going well for me at all and I only had one race left to redeem myself. The last race was a 15 lap scratch race. Thankfully, this race didn’t go too badly. I didn’t get lapped and came second.
Although a few of my races didn’t go to plan, I am going to use those experiences to make me a better cyclist. I would highly recommend doing the Slipstreamers Club Championships, especially if you want to get into racing.It is a really enjoyable set of races (even if some of them don’t go to plan!) and I would definitely do it again. Thank you so much to all of the organisers and volunteers for arranging and organising Club Championships, it is definitely worth all your hard work!!”
By Altay Shaw, U16 Slipstreamer
“I think I will start at the beginning of it all, with the Time Trial. At that time, I had just been starting a recovery phase after an operation so I was nowhere in terms of fitness. I had been slower than usual, and kept on moaning about a drop in pace. I remember waiting on the line and was ready to have a go at setting as fast a time as was possible. Although, my lack of fitness let me down on that and cramp too, let me do a 10m TT now an I would have better chance, but, I guess it is the way the cookie crumbled. Josh blitzed it, and it was clear that I was not going to be able to compete against him for the Club Championship; my target from there, was 4th or higher.
Then came the skills; I felt this was a lot more up my street. I did what I could and posted a respectable time. I was proud of myself with that. Hopefully, in my mind I thought that I had climbed a few positions. Then came the marathon of events. The Road Race, followed by the Mountain Bikes and for some of my friends the Track. I knew I still wasn’t going to be able to compete at a high enough level, so was prepared for a good enough result.
The Road Race went by, Josh lapped me – twice!, after I had been dropped by a Niall Dakins who was certain not to lose as much as he could. I came ahead of Charlie and Toby, and with news that Ciaran was not doing the Track and the Mountain bike, my 4th place looked like a good target, hoping that the best of 4 rule applied. The Mountain Bike champs went by, my sturdy Trek 4500 which was a good dependable bike, though older than some of the riders at the club, supported me well. A puncture and a slipping seatpost meant I dropped from challenging for 2nd to coming in 4th, hoping I had done enough to set a respectable result. When I crossed the line I knew that I was happy with my overall perfromance and vowed to do better in sessions onwards.
Whilst on the subject of doing better, I would like to thank all the coaches that have helped me from my start back in April. I was told by some people at the club that I was going to be a long way off from getting to Gold, 7 weeks later and a theory test, I got there and was able to shows my strengths. I would also like to say a huge thanks to everyone who supported me in this year. A big mention goes to Josh for mentoring me through my first few weeks and for Niall who gave me tips on how to keep going when it gets tough riding. Huge thanks to everyone who get evrything organised for the Club Champs and for evey Saturday session this year. I hope that next year I can do Hillingdon Slipstreamers proud and most of all, make an impact with all the riders. Thank you for this year, my best in terms of sport.”
And finally, without further ado, we give you the 2015 Club Champs events results:
- Skills Challenge: 26 September 2015
- Time Trials: 26 September/ 10 October 2015
- Road Races: 07 November 2015
- Mountain Bike Races: 14 November 2015
- Track Races: 21 November 2015
Well done to all of you who took part, shared your experiences, and volunteered your time to help make the 2015 Club Champs a success! Overall Club Champs winners will be posted in a separate blog, along with hundreds of photos to the Gallery, so do keep an eye out for these.