Report: ‘Circuit of Longstone Edge TT


Andy Nichols wins the 4th edition of the Peak Road Club’s ‘Circuit of Longstone Edge’ time trial on 19th June

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Race report

With neither of the previous winners riding, the 4th edition of Peak Road Clubs ‘Circuit of Longstone Edge’ was guaranteed a new champion. Essex native, and Sheffield student, Andy Nichols grabbed the opportunity to add his name to the list of winners, and to win a prized Peak RC mug, with a fine time of 45.02 on an evening blessed with warm June sunshine.

Nichols’ time was 11 seconds too good for Longstone Edge regular Danny Lowthorpe; however Lowthorpe did have the satisfaction of achieving his best finish having been third and fourth in previous years. The hot favourite this year was last man off Charlie Taylor.

Taylor has two 2nd places and a 3rd to his name, and the question was whether he could convert this remarkable consistency into a place on the top of the podium. Taylor’s problems, however, began in the car park where a skinsuit ‘malfunction’ necessitated the liberal use of safety pins to enable him to ride.

This incident turned out to me a mere foretaste of what was to come as, no sooner had Taylor arrived at the base of the main climb, when a usually harmless gear change resulted in his rear mechanism breaking cleanly away and depositing itself into his back wheel. All in all it was an expensive evening for the South Pennine fast man, but surely it is only a matter of time before he finally wins the event – as long as this years’ experience doesn’t put him off entering again.

Completing the top 3 was Nicholas Latimer who recorded a personal best for the course with 46.24. This time just beat Alan Cooke’s 46.40 –which was just shy of the veterans record he set in 2011. Completing the top 5, and winning the ‘Athletes Award’ for riding a road bike, was Jimmy Froggatt. Once again Jimmy incorporated the race into a long evening of cycling as, just like last year, he rode to the event from his home in Stockport – and even included a stretch of the Monsal trail to add some variety. Jimmy is clearly someone who likes to have a long warm up and cool down.

Setting off just a minute behind the race winner Nichols was the peerless Alex Deck. For the fourth time Deck won the ladies prize, and therefore remains the only winner of this category. Deck stamped her authority on the other female entrants with an astonishing winning margin of 15 minutes, and to set the seal on what was the ride of the evening, Deck lowered her own record to 51.47 to achieve a top 20 position overall. Despite her domination Deck remains modest and does not expect the win to be handed to her. A reconnaissance of the course, and the purchasing of a new cassette for the event, formed just a part of her usual meticulous preparation; preparation which continues to pay her high dividends.

Although there were no Sheffrec riders featuring in the top five, the tight packing of their fastest 3 riders in 9th, 11th and 13th places ensured that Kevin Ainsworth, Jon Cooper and Paul Armstrong walked away with the team prize, a minute clear of Sheffield rivals Rutland CC. After three years of the team prize being awarded to a different club this was the first time that a team has won the award for a second time.

After all of the main awards had been presented the prize giving continued with the much anticipated, and keenly contested, ‘novelty’ prizes. Hilarity ensued with the awarding of prizes such as the ‘dirtiest chain award’ – named in honour of the promoting club’s club captain Steve Gibson – along with other prizes for ‘the most distressed finisher’ and the most ‘coordinated bike and kit’.

These, and other awards, add an element of fun to a promotion which all riders profess to enjoy, but the prize list is only possible due to the continued generous support of La Bicicletta of Sheffield for which Peak RC are extremely grateful. Further thanks also need to be extended to Duncan, the owner of Hassop Station Café and Book Store, who once again supported the event by opening his premises for the race.

Due to his support the competitors have access to a large car park, toilet facilities and much needed refreshments. There is also a large covered area to provide shelter from inclement weather – a feature which, thankfully, hasn’t been needed for the last couple of years but surely its day will come.

Finally such a successful, and enjoyable, event would not be possible without help from club members, friends and family; to whom I give considerable thanks, along with thanks to the timekeepers John Clarke and Phil Williams.

Chris Myhill. Event secretary.

Course Records – O17C Circuit of Longstone Edge.

Course Record: 40.33 Gunnar Gronlund 2012
Vets Record: 46.26 Alan Cooke 2011
Ladies Record: 51.47 Alex Deck 2013
Ladies Vet record: 51.47 Alex Deck 2013
Junior record: 49.15 Ashley Proctor 2011
Juvenile Record: To be established.
Athletes Record: 46.14 Marc Mallender 2010
Team Record: 2 16.03 South Pennine CC (James Tucker, Charles Taylor, Chris Storer) 2012
Previous winners and record holders
2010 Dan Craven 43.50
2011 Gunnar Gronlund 42.28
2012 Gunnar Gronlund 40.33
2013 Andy Nichols

Course Record history:
2010 Dan Craven 43.50
2011 Gunnar Gronlund 42.28 Section of course from the top of Millers Dale to the A6 had been freshly gravelled.
2012 James Tucker 41.39 James was 5 minutes in front of Gunnar in the start order.
2012 Gunnar Gronlund 40.33 First 25mph+ ride.

Official Result
1 Andy Nichols University of Sheffield CC 45:02:00 1st
2 Danny Lowthorpe Langsett Cycles RT 45:13:00 2nd
3 Nicholas Latimer Rutland CC 46:24:00 3rd
4 Alan Cooke Matlock CC 46:40:00 4th
5 Jimmy Froggatt Wills Wheels CC 47:10:00 5th and first athlete
6 Stewart Gregory Nottingham Clarion CC 47:25:00 1st Vet*
7 James Thompson Langsett Cycles RT 47:59:00
8 Sam Clark Buxton CC/Sett Valley Cycles 47:59:00
9 Keith Ainsworth Sheffrec CC 48:18:00 2nd Vet* + Team
10 Thomas Thornley Buxton CC/Sett Valley Cycles 48:52:00
11 Jon Cooper Sheffrec CC 49:10:00 Team
12 Michael Birkby Rutland CC 49:14:00
13 Paul Armstrong Sheffrec CC 49:20:00 Team
14 Matthew Williams Fusion CC Dronfield 49:34:00
15 David Warriner Birdwell Wheelers 50:44:00
16 Andrew Hicklin Fusion CC Dronfield 51:03:00
17 Neil Bentley Sheffrec CC 51:18:00
18 Adam Machan Sheffrec CC 51:23:00
19 Alex Deck RST Racing Team 51:47:00 1st Lady and ladies record
20 Micheal Lamb Kiveton Park CC 51:51:00
21 Robert Fowler Rutland CC 52:21:00
22 Richard Bramhall Fusion CC Dronfield 52:33:00
23 Philip Morgan Kiveton Park CC 52:35:00
24 Leon Lewis Sheffrec CC 53:51:00
25 Martin Oliver Kiveton Park CC 54:09:00
26 Lee Gordon Fusion CC Dronfield 54:22:00
27 Daniel Gee Ashfield RC 56:06:00 Raffle
28 Robert Lankester Sheffrec CC 56:08:00
29 Stephen Martin Norton Whs 57:18:00
30 Les Morton Fusion CC Dronfield 01:01:12
31 Jane Shields Fusion CC Dronfield 01:06:09
32 Fee Womersley Rutland CC 01:08:33
33 David Britton 4Life Tri Club 01:16:13 Lantern Rouge

Team result:

Jon Cooper Sheffrec CC S 31 49:10
Keith Ainsworth Sheffrec CC V 54 48:18
Paul Armstrong Sheffrec CC S 28 49:20

Michael Birkby Rutland CC S 37 49:14
Nicholas Latimer Rutland CC S 31 46:24
Robert Fowler Rutland CC V 42 52:21

Richard Bramhall Fusion CC Dronfield S 36 52:33
Matthew Williams Fusion CC Dronfield V 43 49:34
Andrew Hicklin Fusion CC Dronfield V 47 51:03

Micheal Lamb Kiveton Park CC V 44 51:51
Martin Oliver Kiveton Park CC V 56 54:09
Philip Morgan Kiveton Park CC V 41 52:35

List of VERY important prizes

MANY thanks to La Bicicleta and for enabling as to offer a generous prize list.

The ‘Steve Gibson’ Dirty Chain Award.
There were a couple of close contenders for this prestigious award, but I genuinely hesitated as I looked for somewhere to place my hands on Andy Nichols’s bike. Now, I’ve retrieved dead bodies, been vomited and bled on and touched things at work that would make you shudder but this was beyond the call. Just to seal the prize, the bike could be heard creaking all the way up the road! A tin of de-greaser is his prize.

The Perfectly Coordinated Bike and Kit Award.
A couple of people here who spend too long thinking about their accessories, but the award this year goes to Stewart Gregory for ensuring that even the decals on his wheels were colour matched to the skinsuit. I expect to see the prize of bright yellow bar tape on the machine next year to break it up.

The “Well done, that wasn’t bad” award.
A “Chapeau” branded mug goes to Leon Lewis. For his first ever road race he chose our 2012 promotion on a course that took in 5 ascents of a 17% climb. For his first ever time trial he chose another of our promotions…this one. For supporting us, for not having the sense to start with something flat and despite having a beard; Chapeau Leon Lewis.

Best Improvement
An SIS starter pack and bottle as a little reward to Dave Britton for returning to our event and shaving a whopping 13 minutes off his previous performance. See, Fausto Coppi was right. Ride your bike.

Most Impressive Start award.
There’s always one, every event. Poor old Stephen Martin, gets the breathing started, clipped in, the gear is selected, get comfortable on the bike. Steady the nerves as the time keeper counts down…then pull your foot out of the pedal. Don’t worry Stephen, you’re in good company. Graham O’Bree did the same at the worlds once. Enjoy your “Chapeau” warm up balm. Don’t have more than a small glass at once though.

Most Distressed finisher.
This course encourages, nay demands a special kind of effort on the climb to the finish. Alex Deck was a close contender, she could be heard letting out shrieks of distress from 200 metres out, but the award tonight goes to Keith Ainsworth, spotted dry retching gasping for air simultaneously 20 metres after the finish. My son said it was the funniest thing he’d seen this year and he wished he’d had his phone with him to capture the moment. Some “Chapeau” dry shower gel to get yourself back together for you!

We hope that you all had a marvellous time (we did!) and that we’ll see you all – with a friend(!) – next year.


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