Great events and trips for Clarion last few weekends! Isle of Man weekender went down well and a good number turned out in the wet and cold for the Manchester 100…not all made the photo call though!
John Stirzaker was at Poznan , Poland on 1st Spetember at The UCI Gran Fondo World Championships are part of the World Series, there are qualifiers all over the world including Australia, US and Japan.
The UK qualifier is the Tour of Cambridgeshire that takes place in early June and is split into a race and Gran Fondo with top 25% qualifying for the finals. There is also a Time Trial event the day before.
Heres what happened…
So having qualified, narrowly, I decided it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to represent my country in the sport that I love.
So after a slight hiccup where I hadn’t actually registered I lined up on the day in the pen for 50-54 race which had 249 riders from all over the world. The winners of the qualifiers lined up at the front and we had a roll out to the start line which heralded of course some rushing to the front. I had no illusions about competing with experienced racers and set my stall out to let the pack go up the road and pace myself hoping to pick up places over the 150km.
The pace at the start was frightening and I managed to form a group of around 5 riders which felt comfortable and we were rotating well. Luckily we then picked up Dean from the US a young lad lad who had punctured and he was pulling well. Unfortunately some of the group when on the front didn’t pull as well and a we ended up being on our own after a segment of road that was like a dirt track!
When the 55-59 leaders swamped us I lost Dean’s wheel and got spat out the back after a traffic island caused one rider to crash and I missed it by inches. I then spent the next hour or so surfing groups including a nice little group including a nice Irish guy. Managed to stay rubber side down when I hit something in the middle of the road that caused my back wheel to literally pop up off the road and a subsequent wobble which I managed to control. He then came alongside and thanked me for saving a crash as it would have brought him down too!
The last 50km or so became a real fight to the finish due to headwinds in 30 degrees heat on a really really flat course with literally no hills to speak of, made harder by losing a bottle as I approached a sleeping policeman.
The race itself was full of accidents and mechanicals including many punctures due to some truly awful road surface in places. Apparently the city don’t own all the roads and some had not been resurfaced due to ownership issues.
Looking at the start of the race I pushed too hard to stay on the wheel occasionally and as a result struggled to keep going at the end, plenty of learns and plus points to take from the experience and I was really pleased to finish in one piece.
Finished 209th out of 220 finishers which makes me of course the 209th fastest 50-54 year in the world ?
You may think I am crazy to put myself through it all again but in 2023 the finals will be in Glasgow at the same time as all the other World Championships! There will be a 10 mile time trial as well as a more hilly road race, anyone else up for it? Wouldn’t it be great to take a strong Bury Clarion team?
As always a massive thank you to Alex and her support and understanding every time I put a number on my back ?
Joseph Cadwallader is very proud. This time last year Bury Clarion had 0 riders taking part in the first cyclocross round. On Sunday 1st September we had 6!
Outstanding result from Toby Diggins, who seems to of found, what may turn out to be his favourite type of cycling, as a 1st year under 10 rider he bagged 8th place, starting a little slow and then consistently moving up through the race.
In the same race Daniel Swithenbank showed real heart to get round in 19th, Dan failed to get lapped just before the line and had to do a full lap on his own, having done the same in the past I know it takes a big heart to get round especially in your first race, once Dad sorts his bike, he will move up the list pretty fast.
Worth stating that the level at under 10 is really very high with big fields full of very good young riders from all over the northwest.
In the under 8s Harry Patterson just missed out on a top ten in his first race coming 11th, he was strong from the start till the end. Dylan Cadwallader had by far, his best result so far at 17th, starting slow but moving through the field throughout the race (32 started the under 10s). Noah Hollworth also joined them, he did not finish but did offer great support to the others, this was a big step for Noah so a massive well done.
Having worked a little with these kids over the summer it was a joy to see them start today and do really well.
I can now say we have a kids race team and they really do support each other well, I expect them all to progress as they understand it’s fun first.
Also great to see Carl Norman and others coming down to support. The kids even stuck around to watch the big child Joe Cadwallader race, even just to put pressure on him to ride the harder section each time he passed them ?
Well Done everyone !