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VC Venta Summer Criterium at Winchester Park


The event was staged just south of Winchester and adjacent to the M3, and was promoted by the local VC Venta club. The course is about 700 metres long with two long straights and some fast left turns at each end. It did rain towards the end of the main race but it soon dried out.

After 20 minutes of racing a small group of six got a gap and they soon extended it. As the pace increased two riders slipped back into the bunch leaving the four to work together and as they did their lead increased to nearly a minute and they could soon see the back of the bunch.

Once they made the junction they rode through but they collected a ‘tail’ which they could shake off until they decided to sit up and allow the passengers to break clear along the leaders to race their own race.

The four leaders, a lap up and heading towards the bell, were caught by back markers and spent a couple of laps trying to shake them off which they did with five laps to go.

They remained together until the final corner and the race all came down to a sprint which was between Ben and James. Stuart Williams (Beeline Cycles) was the winner of the sprint for fifth although he was nearly a lap down.

The third cat race was 40mins and 5laps in distance but the race all came down the final corner sprint.

The pace was high throughout the race and there were soon gaps appearing but the bulk of the bunch stayed together. The major issue in the race was when Matt Woods (Hargroves Cycles) made a big attack but he was shipped by his bike and spent a couple of laps getting back to the leaders which he managed. But the effort he made to get back across along with his injuries forced him to retire.

The result saw Clive Nicholls (Zappi’s) was a clear winner by a few seconds over Kieran Ali (VC Meudon) and James Champken (VC Venta).

The women’s race was won in a sprint by Adel Tyson-Bloor (VC St Raphael) after the local rider had tried to win the race from the front after a couple of laps.

Adel set off at a fast pace and soon had a good lead but she was eventually caught by three others and the four split the race in half. These four women caught the other four and although the race looked like they were all together they were actually a lap up.

The leaders were Adel, Lili McLean (Andover Wheelers) Lydia Brookes (GS Henley) and Ashia Fenwick (Poole Wheelers) and these four along with Adama Newlove took the top five places.

The earlier fourth cat race was all over as far as the result was concerned as Andrew Vain (Private Member) and Will Fleming (VC Venta) split off the front leaving the rest to fight for lower places.

The chasing group of two riders were clear of fifth place rider Jack Elton-Walters and this is how the race stayed until the sprint at the front as Andrew had just enough to beat Will on the line by a bike length.

Provisional Results:

E/1/2 Race 60mins+5laps
1st Ben Sumner Beeline Cycles
2nd James Wilson Supernova Cycles
3rd Tim Elverson Pedal Heaven
4th Mitchell Webber
5th Stuart Williams Beeline Cycles 


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2013 Megavalanche report
And so, the Alpe d'Huez adventure was on the cards once more, for myself, & my traveling buddy, Cousin Sam. Previous attempts had been a mix of fortunes for the both of us, 2007 was a first day write-off for me, strapped to a spine board after an hour or so of riding, 2008 was a washout, and continual bike-parts failure for Sam, 2009 went better, but ended with a massive engine blow-out halfway through France homeward bound.. This time round, we were doing the 14-hour drive, on the Monday, to meet Supernova Team rider Joe Winston, and some old mates, with whom we were sharing a chalet with. The week leading upto leaving was hard as hell work, getting tons of bike repairs done before I left, leaving Supernova sales boss Nathan to run the show alone for the week. 
 1. Sam & Joe @DMC lift
Sams trusty Vito, with a new lick of Madmax matt black, was PACKED to hilt with bikes and kit. With Sams bike wreaking track record, we were leaving no chances. I had a new Saracen Ariel to test/thrash, and Sam was on a Nukeproof Mega. So off we were, left the Wife with a kiss & cuddle, as She uttered those familiar words "be careful" hhmm, heard that before (from my Mum etc) later that night, we made it to Oz en Osians, a small resort just below Alpe d'Heuz itself. We met all the guys, unloaded the bikes and kit, and headed for bed ! Sam was nakered after driving the whole way there, with just two short breaks! 700 odd miles..
 2. 5mins later, riding back with a dislocated wrist.  
With a chalet full of blokes all getting suited up for the days riding, myself, Sam, Joe & Ross headed out to get the lifts for parts of the qualifying track. We rode two sections just above & below Alpe d'Huez, which was a shot in the arm for the  hot dust, braking bumps, and flat-out speed, that you only get from Alps Mountainbiking - awesome ! I was feeling pretty dam confident on the Saracen Ariel, and fit too ! :) Afterwards, we were straight back down the main Alps DMC lift, to get the next ride up to almost the top of the qualifier, with the cable car going directly above one well known part of the track, a rocky section that about halfway down had 3parts of wooded boardwalk/northshore, with the last part leaving a big-ish drop-off, onto, well, erm, rocks if you were unlucky, if not, you stayed of the brakes, and got sent straight out, at speed onto the next bit. 
    3 . Ouch !!
What made things tricky here though, was that the whole section of track was wet, from the previous days rain, and the wooden sections had water running down them, and without chicken wire for extra grip.. well, as Axel Rose sang, slippery when wet.. ! yikes. getting off at the top, with my trusty Oneal AT1 helmet on, we bumped into a Northern fella, whom recalled the previous night, and that his head was not so good after drinking so much ! you need your wits out here mate, I said.. strapped up, Joe took the lead, followed by Ross, and Sam, I headed out chasing them down - fun ! however, coming upto the steep rocky section, and we were at the wooded bits, and sure as hell, it was wet. Although we had ridden this all before in years previous, my attitude was, we were out there to do it all, the moment you start thinking about it, well, that don't help progress, you just gota go for it. 
 4. D-Day
Sam hit the wooded section first, landed cleanly onto the last bit, and bounced straight off onto the trail below like a pro.. I did the same, but a massive gust of wind, blown in my direction by a huge creature, waving its giant limbs in the air, which was about 50-60 feet away causing total havoc, and mayhem!! it was (I heard later) simply out on a hike, but the previous night had been to a friends Bar-Mitzvah party, and ate two tables full of food, which was causing the poor ungainly beast hideous bottom-gas.. just my luck, he farted in my general direction, just as I was about to send it off that drop..
  5. that slope..
Which I didn't (send-it, cool word for "going big") I bloody didn't. I lost my front wheel on the wet wood. I hit the rocks with massive violence, first to my head (thanks Oneal) then to my right wrist, suffering (Doctors words I promise) a retro-lunar-Dislocation, and broke scaphoid. The shock of the impact sent me straight back on my arse after I first tried to sit up, and then again when I tried next. Crap. once the adrenalin wore off, I thought I had either sprained or broke it.. the lump poking out the side didn't give the dislocation clue.. after an awkward walk down, we made it to a fire road, and I had to get up, to stop myself from passing out, although Joe headed off to get a raa-raa, I coaxed all of Sams sweets out of him, when the sugar rush came, arm-in-sling-in-snow, I got back on the bike, and rode the steep fire-roads down towards  Alpe, dragging a hot back brake !! 
 6. Ski-biking
I'll keep the following as brief as I can, the next three days were not what I had in mind, so here's highlights ; 
1. Alpe d'Huez medical main man is a bit grumpy. Probably seen it all before. Agrees with me entirely upon my reaction to the X-ray result. f***! s***!.. all in his thick French accent. He repeated my every word. Would have preferred a nice, clean break than a Retro Lunar.  
2. Raa Raa ride to Grenoble Hospital no1. Followed by inspection by Doctor, followed by MASSIVE bad reaction to Dr Grumps drugs, I was given a bucket, and some peeps in white cloaks backed off.. 
3. Raa Raa ride no.2, for the next hospital (Have no idea where it was, & still don't) for a wrist/hand specialist Doctor, this is where it gets a bit wishy-washy, I was given another wheelie-bed (although I could walk!) and taken into an assessment room, I think.. well, there was a chap rushed in, who was gargling for breath, he wasn't kept around for long, there was a lady, who was breathing through a tube in her neck, I was in what seemed to be a pretty serious place for poorly people .. I kinda just wanted fixed up & out ! .. 
4. A room ! I was given a room ! annnnnnd a Morphine drip, this was good :)  bed time it was, poor cousin Sam finally turned up, which was nice to talk to someone, he hung around till 11pm-ish, when we were told that my operation would be "tonight" .. at this point, we had no idea how long I'd be in for .. the not knowing, not being told sucked a bit. (but they were looking after me) Poor Sam headed back to Chalet. 
5. King Kong .. I was dreaming about the big fella, something about carpentry, he was having problems helping make me a wooden door frame, but couldn't get the frame to fit the gap. Honest. 
6. "Missur Tomlinson, time for your operation" .. it was 3:00am, I was alone, naked (under very thin sheets), & off my tits on drugs .. now I was being wheeled at warp speed through more doorways & corridors than Grange Hill, & even a few lifts. I was, to be honest, crapping myself. Were they going to put me under ?  or really stick a needle in my armpit, and keep me awake .. 
7. After meeting the lovely Surgeon, we kinda had a chat, I wanted a wee, he gave me a tube, I said Ill wait .. seconds later, slightly sweaty (I cant really talk French - it was a bit like being abducted by aliens) I was on the table.. they strapped my good arm down, popped an extra needle in, strapped my legs (not like!) and my bad arm/wrist, was laid out on a Surgeons table, next to the bed ..(I was thinking at this point, OK, so I only really need to go through once in my life, now's the time..) the fact that I couldn't really understand exactly what they were going to do to my wrist, didn't help, I like to know these things! they pulled down a big blue curtain, between me & my arm, and a Nurse, on my left started talking to me.. I felt my left hand vein fill with fluid, I felt my head go back, my eyes got heavy .. but the sudden sound of an electric saw ruined the moment!! thank ************ I couldn't feel anything. It went on for about an hour & half, I did sleep for a bit, but the sound & vibration kept me awake. Yikes !
8. Last bit ; I woke, they pulled the curtain up, and there it was, a giant bloody plastercast. Crap! I spent the next 3 nights in Hospital, I shared a room with a lovely French chap, whom had his finger ripped off his hand somehow, poor chap sobbed his heart out regularly. French Hospital food is not so bad, they did look after me. Getting up for the toilet and going for a shower was fun, dangling a bottle of my leaking blood on my thumb, however the "highlight" was one afternoon, I was in a deeeeep morphine sleep, flat out on my back I was .. I woke to the sound of a lot of French voices.. turning my head to one side, I saw that the room was full of white-clocked doctors & nurses talking to the guy next to me.. fine I thought, nought to do with me .. intill I reached down and quickly realized the "man" was full-flag. Ready to go.. I rolled over pretty quick ! Deirdre barlow, margret thatcher, dot cotton in a bikini .. please please no more king kong dreams !!
Phew. That's it. I was out on the third day, back to the Chalet.. The guys had all been riding well, and today (Friday) was for the Qualifying races. 15 in total, each with 110 riders. Top 23 in each got into the main event, the Mega, the next 30-odd got into the Challenger race, then after that it was a race for the Mega amateur, and the timed races.  Joe bagged 7th in his, a great run, Sam got in at 23rd, so just made it in. I soaked up the atmosphere up best as I could as a spectator. Come Sunday, I was up in the woods above Oz, which was about 3/4s of the way down, was great seeing tons of riders coming through flat-out, looking totally ruined and all ! Joe was running well in the top 50, but got a flat about 10 minutes before the end ! Sam, from the back of the grid, made it to 154th, didn't quite beat his 2009 placing of 63rd, but he was pretty dam happy, and relived, on the 4th attempt, his bike survived the whole week. 
The loooooooooooong sweaty drive home was rubbish, & I now work with a marigold taped to my cast so I can still do bike repairs. My fourth major injury, and the second time out in Alpe that my riding/racing has been totaled within the first days riding. That Mountain owes me.. 
Thanks to ; 
My Darling Wife Donna for being happy for me to go but most of all, for helping me with the urgent need for insurance info, whilst being whizzed about at speed in an ambulance, and for fully understanding my plight. She rocks, not only for being cool with my constant bike riding, but everything else in my life. (cooking, cleaning, running our business, being pregnant, holding down a full-time, full-on job) Also, to my trusty Cousin Sam, we've been through it all before, always at my side. Anyway, he owes me, I got him into the sport when he was 7 years old ! (1989) Along with, without a doubt, my right-hand man Nathan, (& his Dad Keith) for running the shop for the week, and uumm,, being my right hand man, as my good old Dad (Bob, to our regulars), always at my side at work, and a great help getting his hands dirty as well ! And lastly the guys in the Chalet, Joe, John, Ross & crew. Your all lucky I didn't fart much, but I'm glad we all had a laugh. It helped my not riding ! next time will be different..













A few Bikes we have sold lately...





















Custom builds ! there is nothing better than having a bike, tailored, and fully 100% custom built & spec'd to your ideal, perfect-world requirements. ! 

So, as a fine example, I thought I'd start with something for myself, and hopefully inspire others in the process. What I basically needed was a new road bike, that was light, simple, hot-to-look-at, easy to maintain, and something a little different (who wouldn't want that in this day & age!) the riding I mostly do is all fairly local based stuff, & does involve a few killer lumps (hills), based on anything from short 5mile blasts to work, to 20mile evening thrashes, and the odd Sunday 50miler, along with the holding onto the fantasy of going back to Southern France for a few days (more on last years trip later) 
As an example, (& something we'd do for anybody else) I looked very hard at my riding styles, my build, my strengths, my weaknesses & my postural health. (for our customers, this involves a fit & interview session). From my Downhill & general Mountain bike experience I have learnt there is a lot to be said for running a bike with a single front chainring. More & more MTBr's are doing it these days, as such a setup not only saves weight, but makes the bike far more simple (no front mech, left shifter ect). And because you are using only your right hand to change gear, you are not using part of your brain thinking about what ring you are in when you approach climbs, corners, lights, bends, & so on. 
With a single upfront, this makes the bike so much easier to operate, your right hand becomes your 'throttle hand as such, and you are able to focus more on your upcoming terrain, your breathing, and having fun. Similar in a way to why single-speeds & fixies are so popular. Hopefully this will bridge the gap ! A modern 10-speed road bike ! 
I got the calculator out, and worked out the best compromise for a Shimano 10speed cassette setup, and based on a standard 39/52 roadbike chainset (what I have ridden mostly beforehand) and a 11-26 cassette, the lowest gear being 42" (39 / 26) and the highest gear (52 / 11) giving 132". I wanted a setup that would push me on the hills, and I didn't mind having to up my cadence on the downs, as this would help with my flexibility (tight hamstrings!) and help improve suppleness. So the best compromise was a 42tooth front ring, with a 10spd 11-28 cassette. This would give me a lowest gear of 42" & a highest gear of 106". Pretty happy with that, there was one more thing I wanted in this bike .. value for money ! (and simplicity) ; 
With the gear ratios sorted, it was now time for the best bit, the parts ! (I already had my heart set on a Cinelli Experience frame, always wanted one). So, to keep the costs down, and to play a large part in the uniqueness of the bike, instead of running dual control levers (in which case, if I were running only a right hand gear, would leave the left side redundant & add to the cost) I went for a Shimano Dura Ace bar-end shifter. These were used (back in the day) right up to when STI was first invented, & they were very popular with touring & cyclocross bikes. So the bike has a simple, little lever poking out of the end of the right-side drop, with the cable very neat taped & wired into the frame. Nice ! Add to that some very classy Ritchey classic finishing kit, with the widest bar they do, a 46cm, which will help with the tough climbs, for added leverage out of the saddle. Along with a Shimano Tiagra groupset, calipers & Shimano wheels, (which I have very slightly loosened off the bearings, which is then re-taken up with the QR preload, making the wheels roll smoother, & to add that a Ceramic Hope bottom bracket, this machine GLIDES.. :)  




Check the spec & photos below. Call us & see what we can do for you ! if you are interested in pretty much what I have created here, let us know, & we will send over some pricing info. We do offer great value on our build-ups, and EVERY bike is setup, from scratch by Cristian (me!) 
FRAME  - Cinelli Experiance 
FORK      - Cinelli Columbus Carbon
HEADSET  - Cinelli
BB               - Hope Ceramic 
CRANK      - Shimano Tiagra 172.5
CHAINRING  - TA Specilaites Alize 42t
CASSETTE     -Shimano Uletgra 10spd 11-28
CHAIN           - Shimano 105
REAR MECH  - Shimano Tiagra gs 
SHIFTER         - Shimano Dura Ave bar-end
CALIPERS      - Shimano Tiagra
BRAKE LEVERS   - Shimano BL400
BARS                   - Ritchey Classic 46cm
STEM                   - Ritchey Classic 100mm
POST                    - Ritchey Classic
SADDLE              - San Marco Aspide ltd edtion (got this from the factory!) 
WHEELS               - Shimano WH R500
TYRES                  - Schwalbe Durano S 23c
TAPE                     - Madison Pro white 
Ride report to come !