Archives 1999

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These cuttings are from 1999 , where there is a date for the clipping it is stated.

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Abosolom holds own against British best

YEOVIL Cycling Club’s Chris Absolom had good reason to be pleased with his performance in Sundays Fred Cowley Memorial Road Race at Logwood, Surreycompeting against some of the finest cyclists in the country he managed a tenth-place finish in the 160km event.
In a 40-mile handicap road race at Thruxton, Hampshire, at the weekend, Yeovil veteran Nick Armstrong managed a creditable sixth-place finish.
The Yeovil club held their first open time trial of the season on Sunday. Bath University’s Richard Hobson, a well-known triathlete, won with a time of 21 minutes 28 seconds. Global Racings Gerry Bowditch was second on 22 minutes.

29th April 1999


Full fields for road racing events

YEOVIL Cycling Clubs Pittard’s Trophy & Ham Hill Trophy road races attracted full fields of 60 riders.
Yeovil’s sole rider in the 43-mile Pittard’s event, for juniors and third and fourth-category seniors, was Mike Loader - he finished in the main bunch in the top 20. VC Camelot’s Steve Ashford and Matt Law also finished in the main groups.
The 58-mile Ham Hill event, open to top class elite, first, second and third-category riders, saw Yeovil’s Chris Absolom and Somerton’s Peter Kench (Liphook CRT) finish 14th and 15th respectively, while VC Camelot’s Graeme Lackford was the only local to make the top ten.

22nd April 1999


Time trial success

THERE was success for local cyclists in the time trials on the Podimore to Ash Flyover course for the Vegetarian C & AC.
Somerton’s Douglas Northcott, who rides for the MCS Racing Team finished second in a time of 22.55, with Somerset Road Clubs Dave Bentley in third on 22.57.
Yeovil Club’s David Notley clocked in at 25.36, and VC Camelot junior Matthew Law was best in his class at 25.44, which included ten-second late-start penalty.

1st April 1999


Oldies’ event a great success

Good weather, smooth organisation and some spirited racing from the veteran road and then made the oldsters road race a great success
The event was promoted by the Yeovil cycling club under the rules of the league of veteran racing cyclists. Riders ages range from 46 to 66. Competitors were split into six categories of five year groups. An entry of 39 made it practical to start all groups together with prices in each class.
The 47 mile event was ridden at over 24 mph, with the pace really high on the three climbs of Coppits hill which split the race into two bunches on the second time up.
Predictably the sprint finish out side RNAS Yeovilton was won by 41 year old Adam Simmons from CC Weymouth. He got the verdict from Exeter Wheeler Didier Labatteux, 43. They took the prizes in category a 40 to 45.
Category D prices went to Peter Wilson(Bournemouth arrow) and Ralph Wilson(Bristol RC), both 46. Category C was won by Barry Packman (VC Meudon), 53, with Lew Gardiner (Hardly Athletic CC), 52, second. Event organiser Nick Armstrong(Yeovil), 53, was in third place.
Category D winner Phil hemming (Bournemouth arrow), 57, touched a wheel and crashed just as he crossed the line, suffering some nasty grazing.
David Radford (Bournemouth Arrow), 60, was the Category E winner and Cyril Lewis (High Wycombe CC), 66, took the category F prize.

6th May 1999


Illingworth sets a course record

THE Men’s National Championship Time Trial, promoted by Wessex Road Club at Owermoigne on Sunday, was Won by Matt Illingworth, of the Linda McCartney Racing Team. He completed the course in 20 mins 17 secs - a course record.
Illingworth beat Michael Hutchinson, of Cambridge University CC, by 15 seconds and Richard Hobson, of Bath University CC, by 24 seconds
The three members of Team Clean-Fresh Start, Richard Prebble, Geoff Platts and Dave Redding, won the team awards in an aggregate of 1 hr 4 mins 20 secs.
The weather conditions were fine, except for a blustery southerly wind.
Of the local riders, Paul Stockley, of Casterbridge Hardy RT, proved the fastest on the day, taking 45th place out of 97 starters in 23:02. He encountered near disaster a few minutes before his start time when his back
tyre punctured and he rushed off to replace it.
Gary Fodden, of CC Weymouth, recovering from illness, produced an unexpected but deserved 23:27. This was more than half a minute faster than the others of the Casterbridge Hardy team - John Chapman, Matthew Doe and Baby Clewett. They all finished within two seconds of each other, but Clewett picked up a slow puncture which retarded his progress towards the finish.
GRAEME Lackford, of VC Camelot, is Yeovil’s in-form cyclist. Last weekend he rode the Totnes-Vire Twinning Stage Race in South Devon. Racing started on Saturday with a 10k time trial, followed by a 100k road race.
Lackford laid the foundations of a good placing in the overall classification by getting in the winning breakaway on the first road stage and taking sixth place.
Ninth place on Sundays stage, another 100k but on a hilly circuit, was enough to place him seventh overall. He collected 18 ranking points over the two days. He had warmed up for this event in Yeovil’s ten-mile time trial. He recorded 22 mins 29 secs to Win comfortably from Yeovil’s Chris Absolom, who clocked 23:54. Most notable ride on the difficult Mapperton-Sparkford course was junior Chard wheeler John Wenglorz, who recorded a
24:11 personal best in third place.
Yeovil CC road team rode at the Thruxton motor circuit on Sunday but were all just outside the points in the 56k races.

20th May 1999

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Law sprints clear

SIXTEEN-year-old Matt Law won the Wellington Wheelers Merryfield Circuit Race with a personal-best performance.
Law, of Yeovil’s VC Camelot cycling club, surprised the leading pack, sprinting away in the last 500 metres to clinch victory.
In the Elite, lst, 2nd and 3rd category race Yeovil’s Chris Absolom was in the breakaway group, finishing in seventh with Camelot’s Graeme Lackford in ninth.
In the Yeovil CC organised 88-mile John Andrews Memorial race the clubs sole competitor, Mike Loader, managed a creditable seventh place.

17th June 1999



Veterans show way

YEOVIL Cycling Clubs veteran roadmen showed the younger riders how to contest circuit races at Merryfield Airfield near Ilton.
The main event featured Chris Absolom, Taunton Elite rider Greg Sandy and Gerry Bowditch. The trio worked well and held off a five-man chasing group, including VC Camelot’s Graeme Lackford. Sandy was
first, Absolom finished third and Lackford seventh.
Nick Armstrong also figured in the breakaway in the second event as six men moved into the lead and pulled steadily away from the main field.
Armstrong usually rides Veteran League races and this was his first British Cycling Federation event of the season, so the six points he gained for taking fifth place were enough to push him to third category in one race.
Yeovil’s Mike Loader and Camelot Junior’s Matt Law were both back in the main bunch Loader had better luck on Monday at Barnsfield Heath near Ringwood in a 58 kilo race where he took 6th place and also
moved up to third category. Darren Edmunds was placed 11th and just out of the points in the 70 kilo, first and second category event.
Olive Tabor from Sparkford, Yeovil Club’s junior woman time trialist, improved nearly two minutes on this seasons best time in the Poole Wheelers ten- mile race, recording 26.59.

17th June 1999


Deadly duo

YEOVIL Cycling Club's Richard Scott and Nigel Winter clocked a time of 22 mins 54 secs on their all-terrain tandem at the clubs ten-mile time trial last Thursday.
The event was won by club member Chris Absolom (22 mins 45 secs), with the Mendip Club’s Gary Fouracre and Chard Wheelers Stuart Woodsell tying for second place five seconds behind. Absolom also recorded his
best performance as he took fourth place in the National Veterans Road Race Series at Milton Keynes on Sunday.
Yeovil veteran Nick Armstrong finished in the runner-up position in the 36-mile Veterans League event at Caerwent, South Wales.
Picture by Nigel Andrews.

24th June 1999

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Coates Conquers Number 4: Cycling

Western Gazette action men David Coates is trying his hand at a variety of sports this summer - and in this
special series of articles he tells you how he gets on. This week Coates turns his attention to cycling . . .

Pushing Pedal Power

WHEN I agreed to take on various sports from around the area as part of this column I expected walks along golfing greens or days by fishing lakes - more fool me.
When I joined Yeovil Cycling Club for their ten-mile time trial, in the rain at Compton Dundon, I expected nothing more than at least an hour shedding blood, sweat and tears - I could not have been more right.
Despite being informed by my colleagues at the Gazette that ten miles was nothing, I still managed to take nearly three quarters of an hour to complete the circuit. I arrived at the starting point decked out in a pair of joggers and a sweatshirt, plus a heavy coat to keep off the rain - feeling distinctly out of place, being the only one not wearing Lycra, and having a bike that weighed more like a car rather than a matchstick.
Having taken my position on the starting grid, sporting the number four shirt I set off, praying for more downhill descent than uphill struggle. I was given a sign of things to come when the racer starting a minute behind me shot past, after what seemed like fewer than 30 seconds.
The opening leg was not too bad, a few ups and downs but nothing too gruelling, however there was a point when I thought I had missed a turning, and was set to go back - the sign of a self-confessed slob - therefore I delighted to see course clerk Chris Absolom waiting at the first turn to wave me in the right direction.
The second stage started very well - downhill. It gradually flattened out as time bore on, however on the other side of Compton Dundon I discovered what goes down must go up as I was greeted by an uphill climb, nothing to your average cyclist, but to me it looked more like Mount Everest. Having struggled to the top, I was met by the smiling face of Absolom, who I thought
might have given up all hope of my return. He waved me onto the third leg of my ordeal - another hill.
Having conquered that, I saw Absolom jumping up and down, waving his arms around at the final turn - thinking something was wrong I almost stopped until I realised he was celebrating my arrival, as I passed him he shouted only 100 yards to go - those words have never sounded better.
I eventually finished with a time of 41 minutes 40 seconds, not had for someone with a heavy bike and a Happy coat exclaimed Absolom, but still a good ten minutes behind my nearest rival.
However, do not be put off by my moans and groans, for the average, half-fit person cycling can be a lot of fun, as well as a great way of keeping fit. As seen by the huge television audiences attracted by events like the Tour de France, cycling is a major sport these days and with the right equipment can be a highly competitive and enjoyable activity.
My only advice to anyone thinking of taking up the sport from scratch would be, cycle light - do not wear unnecessary clothing, and, to avoid an embarrassing finish, get some practice in before you enter the fray. Maybe I should take my own advice from now on.
The Yeovil club is open to anyone over the age of 12 - under 16s require parental consent to join - and has sections for juniors, seniors and veterans.
The club has been running for more than 70 years and has a good record of producing some of the county’s finest cyclists. The clubs time trials take place on Thursday, but the club meet three times a week at one of the many courses it has around the county.
Do not be put off by the expensive bikes that people claim you need to compete in these events, anyone with an average mountain bike can take part in the Yeovil Clubs time trials, and if l can do it - anyone can.
Anyone interested in joining Yeovil Cycling Club should contact Gary Mitchener on 01935 428258.

FINISHING touches: Western Gazette action man David Coates makes the final touches to his machine, before he sets off
Inset, right, Coates sets off on Yeovil Cycling Clubs ten- mile time trial.
Pictures by Len Copland.


Superb form fails to last

LOCAL riders Mike Loader and Chris Absolom put in superb displays in Yeovil Cycling Clubs time- trial last Thursday - but they could not exploit that form in the weekends road races.
Loader came out on top with a time of 56 mins 37 secs in the clubs 25-mile time-trial, beating Absolom by 11 secs.
On Sunday Absolom rode in the gruelling 90-mile Tour of Cranborne Chase where, despite a good start which put him among the front-runners, he could only finish in 24th, with VC Camelot rider Graeme Lackford ending up 11th.
In the Independance Day Road Race at Staunton near Gloucester, Loader finished 11th.

8th July 1999


Experience proves better than youth

YEOVlL veteran cyclist Nick Armstrong overcame a younger field of competitors at the Merryfield airfield circuit near Ilton.
Having taken fifth and seventh place in the previous two rounds of the three race event, Armstrong finished in second spot.
Another Yeovil veteran, Chris Alosolom, managed a fifth-place finish in the Tour of Strathearn in Scotland - the latest round of the National Veterans Championship Series. .
Absolom won the Yeovil clulb’s 25-mile time-trial event with a time of 56 mins 22 secs, ahead of Mike Loader (56 28) in second.

29th July 1999

Surprise win by Yeovil B

THE Yeovil B team of Mike Loader, John Fazakerley, David Notley and David Walters were surprise winners of the annual Taunton Vale Cycle Racing Association Four-up Team Trial competition, with a time of 43 mins eight secs.
They outgunned the much-fancied Yeovil E side of Chris Absolom, Nick Armstrong, Darren Edmonds and Sean Childs, who came equal third with 41 mins eight secs.

12th August 1999


Personal best hands Absolom victory

YEOVIL Cycling Clubs time-trial last Thursday evening produced some good performances across the board from first-year juniors to experienced veterans.
Chris Absolom put in a personal-best ride to win the ten-mile test, recording 21 mins 49 secs.
Somerton’s Douglas Northcott, who rides for the MCS Wight Race Team was second, clocking 22:17, and CC Weymouth’s Paul Crudge finished third in 22:40. .
Most notable performance came from young Chard Wheeler John Wenglorz, who recorded 23:09 - a personal best by nearly a minute.
Time-trial enthusiasts will have a chance to see some of the regions best riders in action in Yeovil’s open 25-mile event this Sunday. Riders start at Podimore and go via Cartgate roundabout to the airfield roundabout, retrace to Cartgate, go left on the A303 to South Petherton, circle the roundabout and return to Podimore. First of the 41 riders starts at 8.01am and the scratchman is Wellington Wheelers Andy Winterbottom (number
40), who goes at 8.40am.

1st July 1999



Source of delight

Yeovil cycling clubs nick Armstrong came fourth in the over 50s section of the Bredon Hill race, Worcestershire.
Mike Loader won Yeovil's 10 mile time trial with a personal best time of 21 minutes 52 seconds. Chris Absolom was runner up - one second behind.

19th August 1999

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Hosts bag second in four-up trial

YEOVIL D finished second in the annual Taunton Vale Cycle Racing Associations Four-Up Team Time Trial Championship last Thursday. The event was staged by Yeovil Cycling Club - 14 teams battled it out over 20 miles of the A303-based course.
VC Camelot came out on top, averaging nearly 28mph and recording 43 mins 2 secs. They were led by in-form roadmap Graeme Lackford - other team-members were
Andy Millward, Dave Pitman and Matthew Law.
Yeovil D - Mike Loader, John Fazakerly, Dave Walters and David Notley - were runners- up with 43 mins 50 secs. Paul Haggerty, Chris Absolom, Toby Creighton and Nick
Armstrong, riding as Yeovil E, were third in 43 mins 58 secs.
Chard Wheelers B - Stuart Woodsell, Tim Reeves, Colin Maddock and Mark Chubb - clocked 44 mins 44 secs for fourth place while Yeovil C, comprising Jon Sharp, John Clemit, Chris Fendt and David Notley, were fifth in 46 mins 2 secs.
Yeovil’s Toni Bond was in a three-man team who finished sixth with 46 mins 45 secs. His team-mates were Steve Crossland (Team Zoyland) and Mike Kiss (Taunton).
Absolom competed in the National Veterans Series event at Astwood, Buckinghamshire, on Sunday. He was in fourth place overall in the series before the race - but a puncture in the closing stages of the 120km ride robbed him of the chance of any points.
Armstrong and Yeovil colleague Steve Pym rode in a Veterans League event near Winchester, Hampshire. Pym, in the under-50s section, was unplaced in the bunch sprinting for fourth place. Armstrong did better in the over-50s category, crossing the line in sixth place overall - and he took second spot in the 55-59 class.

EIGHTEEN riders took part in Gillingham & District Wheelers second 25-mile time-trial of the season.
RESULTS - Mens 25-mile time-trial: Gary Meredew (58 mins 58 secs), Paul Hopkins (59 mins 54 secs), Duncan Marsh (1 hr 1 min 22 secs), Andy Howell (1 hr 2 mins 24
Women’s 25-mile time-trial: Sarah Roberts (1 hr 15 mins 54 secs).
Veterans 25-mile time-trial: Peter Court (1 hr 5 mins 36 secs).
Juniors 25-mile time-trial: Tom Adams (1 hr 7 mins 52 secs).
The Wheelers organise a variety of rides, including on and off-road, mountain bike and cyclo-cross events. For more details, telephone Brian Miller or Carole Miller on
0747 824943

22nd June 1999



TYRE BLOW: Yeovil’s top road racer Chris Absolom was left cursing a puncture in the National Veterans Road Race Championship. Riders from across Britain converged on Stevenage, Hertfordshire, for the 75-mile event. Absolom was going well until he punctured with two laps to go - he had to settle for 12th place. Hampshires lan Hallam, a former professional, won. Picture by Gary Mitchener

19th August 1999


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Loader finds top form

Yeovil cycling clubs Mike loader has recorded to personal-best times in the last week.
He clocked 54 minutes 32 seconds in the Cleveden at 25 at Thornbury near Bristol. Then he recorded a best in the Yeovil club’s 10 mile time trial.
At Thruxton circuit, Hampshire, he finished fifth in the 50km race and collected the five ranking points needed to move up to second category.
During the same meeting, Somerton’s Douglas Northcott was second in the section for fourth category riders and moved up to third category.
Somerton’s Peter Kench (Liphook cycles) came second in the Yeovil time trial with 21 minutes 51 seconds. Kench has just passed the 200 points mark as a first category rider and has been promoted to elite class.
In third place was Graham Lackford (VC Camelot) with 22 minutes 4 seconds. He also moved up the rankings to first category, having gained 100 points as a second category rider.

9 September 1999


Eighty-eight entries for final open

YEOVIL Cycling Club stage their final open event of the season on Saturday.
The ten-mile time trial on the Podimore-Ash Flyover-Podimore course has attracted an entry of 88. The first rider gets away at 2.33pm and scratchman Eamonn Deane (Bournemouth Jubilee Wheelers) starts at 4pm.
The promoting club field eight riders, Chard Wheelers four and VC Camelot three.
Local time trialists have done well over the last week. At the Weyhill Weekend near Andover, VC Camelot veteran John Saunders clocked a seasons-best ten time of 23 mins 10 secs and followed it next day with a six-year best of 59 mins 39 secs in the 25. Yeovil’s David Notley recorded 23 mins 41 secs in the ten and a personal best time of 1 hour 2 mins 1 sec for the 25.
Two Yeovil members recorded personal bests in the Poole Wheelers 25 on the A35 course. John Clemit clocked 1 hr 1 min 56 secs and Mark Askill 1 hr 3 mins 58 secs. Deane won with 53 mins 35 secs.

23rd September 1999


Loader sets a club record

Yeovil cycling clubs Mike Loader finished his season with a bang-by setting a club record and a personal best time to finish third in their 10 mile time trial. Loader finished 11 seconds behind the winner Taunton’s Greg Sandy with a time of 20 minutes 55 seconds.
Yeovil’s Olive Tabor was also second in both the ladies and junior sections 26 minutes 39 seconds.
The CC Weymouth team of Kevin Frost (21 minutes 46 seconds), Gary Fodden (21 minutes 51 seconds) and Paul Crudge (20 minutes 33 seconds) scooped the team award.
Weymouth’s Lindsey Beale (24 minutes 48 seconds) won the ladies prize and team mate Patrick Hogben (25 minutes 4 seconds) was top Junior.
Other riders to set personal bests included in Yeovil’s John Clemitt (22 minutes 56 seconds) and John Fazakerley (23 minutes 1 second) and Chard Wheelers Doug Ward (27 minutes 11 seconds) and his son Dean Ward(27 minutes 50 seconds). VC Camelot's best rider was Andy Millward (22 minutes 59 seconds).

7th October 1999


Hill climb attracts more riders than spectators

Riders outnumbered spectators for Yeovil and Chard cycling club’s hill climb championship.
Yeovil’s Chris Absolom recorded the fastest time of 3 minutes 8 seconds for the 1,250 yard climb of High Ham, taking the title for the fifth time in a row. He was 14 seconds ahead of Toby Creighton, who was in his first hill climb.
Stuart Woodsell took the Chard title in third place overall with 3 minutes 23 seconds. Mike Loader was fourth in 3 minutes 33 seconds, with the next four places going to debutant climbers - Mark Askill, John Clemit, Steve Pym and John Sharp.
Mike German was the second placed Chard rider (3 minutes 49 seconds). Best Junior was Simon Notley, aged 15 – he was 11th.

4 November 1999

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PEDAL STARS: Vice-president and life member IW Walker presented the awards to Yeovil Cycling Clubs top performers of 1999. The prizes were handed over at the clubs buffet lunch at their Johnson Park headquarters. Winners: Chris Absolom (Best Performance in a National Championship, Senior Road Race Champion, Evening Time Trial Points Cup, Hill Climb Cup and Webb Shield for Service), Dave Walters (Time Trial Champion, Best 50 Cup and Short Distance BAR), Mike Loader (Best 25 and Best Result in Yeovil Road Race), Nick Armstrong (Veteran Road Race and Veteran BAR), Barry Whitehead (Ten Mile Handicap Shield), Olive Tabor (Junior Best All Rounder). From left, Armstrong, Absolom, Walters, Loader, Whitehead, Tabor.
Picture by Garry Mitchener

23rd December 1999

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On to 2000