Local cyclists secure second place in 24-hour marathon event

STEVE Chmiewliski was the only Weston Wheeler to compete in the Ilton Circuit race hosted by Team Tor.

STEVE Chmiewliski was the only Weston Wheeler to compete in the Ilton Circuit race hosted by Team Tor.

Conditions were fair and mostly dry before the start. Around 40 riders took part in the race and as usual Steve stayed near the front of the group throughout while other riders tried to breakaway from the main bunch.

Again all riders were brought back into the fold and the inevitable happened, a bunch sprint for the finish line. Steve was tucked in behind a fast rider from the GB Fire Services team and with the finish line approaching, Steve pulled out all the stops and sprinted across the finish line to claim first place and a first win. Thanks to everyone at Team Tor for hosting the event.

Weston Wheelers and Cheddar Cycle Store joined forces again to compete in the CLIC 24 MTB Charity event which was held at Charterhouse.

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The team raced under the Cheddar Cycle Store name and consisted of Paul Baker, Tom Hann, Dave Drake-Brockman and Steve Chmiewliski. The event ran from noon on Saturday and finished at noon the following day.

The course was approximately 10 miles long, with a good mixture of open moorland, bridleway and single-track, woodland fire track and some short tarmac sections, there was enough variety to please everyone.

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The only downside was the weather, nothing like last year. Strong blustery wind and a mix of sun and showers would test everyone throughout the event.

First man off was Steve, starting in number order and would have a few riders to get past before getting anywhere near the front.

This lap was to be a memorial lap for all riders who wanted to ride in memory of those who had suffered with cancer. Steve fought his way though some of the slower riders to get closer to the front and by the time he reached the start finish arena we were in third place.

Next up was Tom who set a blistering pace and we were holding our position, then Dave who is a seasoned solo rider but had been talked into joining us for this year and had a good lap with no issues, followed by Paul who again was riding well and keeping our position.

With the weather changing, the team did well and stayed in contact with the leading group of the Bike City Boys. The only mechanical issue we experienced was with Tom's rear wheel bearings locking up. The team battled on through the night but lost ground to the much stronger Bike City team who were in front by two laps.

We were in joint second place with three other teams at this point. By the early hours the team were starting to get tired but were still putting in sub 55 minute times even in the dark and difficult conditions.

By the time dawn had arrived we were still in joint second place but with only three teams now. With refreshments arriving in the form of bowls of porridge and bacon and egg sandwiches these where greatly received and devoured within minutes.

With the riders now re-fuelled and the darkness gone, the riders got their second wind. Six hours left, the team tried their best to get to the 30-lap total. The weather was going to make this difficult as it had started to rain and in places the conditions were difficult.

All riders had to cross the finish line before the noon cut-off time. With everyone trying to get that little extra time, Steve left for what was the team's second from last lap and would be our 29th. Steve had to try and do a quick time to give Tom at least 50 minutes to complete the last one, it was going to be touch and go.

By the time Steve arrived back, he had managed a lap time of just over 46 minutes which left Tom 49 minutes to compete the last lap. Tom dug in and pulled out another 46 minute lap with only three minutes to spare.

This gave the Cheddar Cycle Store squad a total of 30 laps (300 miles) and an outright second place, and only one lap behind the leaders. Well done to all who competed over the weekend, and to the organisers of the CLIC 24

For the Taunton Deane Triathlon, it was the sixth year that Geraldine and Mike Broadley had taken part and it was the worst weather conditions they had experienced.

Out of the nice warm pool and out on to the bike leg. The wind and rain did not make this a pleasant experience, particularly in tri suits, and the cold was causing gear changing problems for them both at the end of the bike leg. Geraldine's hands were so cold that she even had problems getting her helmet off, before the run.

They both got around but, in Mike's case, in a time he would rather not talk about. Geraldine took first Female Vintage Vet.

However there were some good performances from competitors who use our Wednesday TTs for training.

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