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WMPCC, Cat 3, Flanders and 300 miles!!


The West Midlands Police Cycling Club has continued to grow and maintain a strong core of members this year, and has represented the force both home and abroad. The club is constantly looking to welcome new members who have an interest in all types of cycling. We cater for all abilities from beginner to experienced racers and we are no longer the racing club of old. Whilst we do have members who race in all disciplines; (road, mtb, track, cyclo cross) we also enter a number of sportives and organised charity rides throughout the year. So here’s a quick run down of what we’ve been up to this year: Beacon Cycling Club Audax The Sunrise Express is an audax ride hosted by the Beacon Cycling Club and see’s riders heading out towards the Cotswolds via Evesham. Held in February the cold conditions were made bearable by the food on offer at the first stop in Evesham. This was to prove invaluable towards the end of the ride when Eddie’s Garmin navigation led us to Worcester City Centre on a busy Saturday afternoon, miles off route, which predictably led to much chuntering from members of the group resulting in Toby’s usual strop off the front!! Beacon also host The Sunrise Express in June and it is a very popular audax selling out early. Another hilly route was enjoyed by riders taking in South Warwickshire and Cotswold villages. Both these rides are relatively cheap to enter and I can highly recommend the events to all members. Tour of Flanders For the last two years the club has organised a trip to Ghent in Flanders for a weekend of pure cycling heaven! This year was no exception; 10 members of the club entered the sportive on the Saturday and followed the same route that the professionals would use in the Classic race the following day. It has to be said that there is nothing like riding over the cobbles, particularly up the climbs of the Koppenburg and the Patterburg, with 15,000 other enthusiasts from all over the world. After 60 miles you certainly feel it, but the well-stocked feed stations along the way more than help. A glass of some Flanders ale at the end (Kwaremont) dulled the pain, and aided the recovery for the next day. An early start on the Sunday saw us head to Oudenaarde for the race proper. A day in the sun, at the side of the Kwaremont with thousands of Flandrian cycling fans is certainly something to be experienced. It is like no other sporting event I have ever been to, like the cup final only 1000 times better!(Which isn’t hard being a Villa fan!) Needless to say there were a few sore heads as we headed back to England on the Monday. This is a trip highly recommended! Tour of the Black Country Another ride highly recommended, and this year saw a number of club riders head out of Aldersley Stadium in Wolverhampton for a gruelling ride through South Staffordshire taking in farm tracks and gravel paths before returning for a lap of the Aldersley velodrome. This ride is a tribute to the one day classic race “Paris-Roubaix” and certainly tests riders abilities, especially when it comes to changing punctures!! Along the route riders take in the “Waltonberg Climb” which is a cobbled climb up Walton Hill in the Clent Hills………the challenge is to get up without falling off before a sharp descent and the road home via the feed stop at the French Hen, once over the line riders are provided with a glass of champagne to re-charge the batteries!! Victoria Cyclo Cross The club was represented at this unusual event by Toby Davis and Julian Holt. This is a cyclo cross race with a course covering the Blist Hill Victorian Museum in Ironbridge. Riders had to battle through the Victorian village, up steep railway sidings and along canal towpaths, all this was later shown on the Bike Channel and I think this is the only time club colours have been broadcast to the masses. Julian Holt completing another lap of Blists Hill Autumn Epic A great ride through the Elan Valley. This event had a profile that resembled shark teeth over a 90 mile route. Derek Packham and Simon Rainbow enjoyed the first hill so much that they decided to ignore all the direction signs; rather than stick to the course they decided to keep right, descend before realising they had took the wrong turn and turn round 4 miles later. We all eventually met up at the last feed stop for the ride back taking in the climb through Glascwm which justified the couple of pints in Knighton at the end. West Mids Cyclo Cross League At the time of writing the WMCCL has been up and running for over a month now with the club well represented. I have done this league for the past couple of years now and can highly recommend it. Racing round a circuit no one knows whether your first or last and you don’t have the loneliness of being spat out the back of the bunch as in road races. It’s a good work out over an hour and its good fun! Have a look at www.wmccl.co.uk for further info. Overall the club has had another good season. John Lucock has returned to road racing, winning an event in the South Staffs and Shrops Road Race League and has finished high up the placing in the Emergency Services Time Trial Champs. Steve Lynn has also gone well finishing in the top 30 of the West Mids Regional Champs as well. Lets see what 2017 brings.

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West Midlands Police Sport & Wellbeing Association
Tally Ho
Pershore Road
B5 7RN
Tel: 0121 626 8337
E-Mail: admin@westmidspoliceclub.com
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