Archives 2002

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MEDAL WINNERS: Chris Absolom was the biggest winner at Yeovil Cycling Club's annual lunch at their Johnson Park, Yeovil,
headquarters. He scooped the awards for time-trial champion, short distance BAR, best 50-mile time-trial, best 25-mile time-trial, veteran BAR and Palmer Shield for 12-hour time-trial.
Back row, from left, Adam Pearse (juvenile BAR), Mark Askill (ten-mile handicap), Mike Loader (Points Cup and best performance in a Yeovil road race), Derek Todd (Webb Shield for service).
Front, John Clemit (senior road race champion and hill climb champion) and Absolom. Picture by Garry Mitchener

10th January 2002


Cyclists enjoy country ‘run’

Pulmans Weekly News. 13 June 1893

THE Yeovil Cycling Club, under the leadership of Mr Winsor, ran to Milborne Port, via Sherborne, on Thursday evening. A halt was made at the latter place, both on the outward and homeward journey.
On the same day the Wheelers Club went to Sutton Bingham. They left headquarters, the Mermaid Hotel, at half past six o’clock, under the captaincy of Mr Stirling. Sutton Bingham was reached at seven o’clock, and here the Coker contingent joined.
The roll was called by the Secretary, Mr Higdon, and about forty answered to their names. The members were entertained to light refreshments on the rectory lawns by the Rev. Mr and Mrs Helyar, and afterwards the pretty little church was visited, where a voluntary was played on the organ by Master Everard Hann.
The rectory grounds were then viewed, a prickly cactus being especially noticed for its fine branches and its height, which was between thirty and forty feet. Sports were engaged in by the members until nine o’clock, when the bugle sounded the fall in. Lamps were lit and a parade of the grounds was made.
The Captain and Secretary then thanked the Rev. Mr Helyar and Mrs Helyar for their hospitality, and in responding Mr Helyar remarked that when he Went to Oxford University he had to travel from Yeovil to Salisbury by coach and said that he wished cycling had been better known then, so that he could've been a cyclist.
He extended an invitation to the members whenever they chose to come. Sutton Bingham was left at half past nine o’clock, and Yeovil was reached just after ten o’clock. The roads were in fine condition, and a very enjoyable evening was spent.



Local club to host regions top riders

YEOVIL Cycling Club play host to some of the regions top riders on Sunday - for the Pittard and Ham Hill Trophy road races.
The Ham Hill will be contested over 73 miles - five laps of the Ilchester-Coppitts Hill- Mudford-Marston Magna-Queen Camel- Yeovilton-llchester circuit - starting at 10am from Ilchester Primary School and finishing outside RNAS Yeovilton at around 1.15pm.
This is open to riders of elite, first, second and third categories. There are six from the top rank including Peter Kench of Somerton riding with a strong Liphook Cycles team. Bristols James Taylor, an international track star with City of Edinburgh RC, is a fast finisher as is Taunton’s Greg Sandy, who is now partnered by Yeovil’s Graeme Lackford in the Bath-based team.
The Pittard Trophy is a 43-mile, three-lap race for juniors and third and fourth-category seniors. The event starts at 10.45am and will finish at about 12.30pm. A potential winner is Bristols Ben Luckwell, an ex-professional on the comeback trail, who will ride in
the fuchsia and blue of FS Maestro.
Yeovil CC field a five-man team led by Mike Loader. He started his first season as a veteran with a second place in a time trial and followed up by winning the Bournemouth Arrow Ten at Poole on Friday with a personal best and club record of 20 mins 23 secs.

4th April 2002


Luckwell streaks to trophy

BEN Luckwell of FS Maestro was runaway winner of the Pittard Trophy in south Somerset on Sunday - nearly two decades after he first won the race as a junior in 1983.
Pulling away from the main Held with John Wynn (Somerset RC) on the third and final lap, Luckwell finished the 43-miler ten seconds clear - and two minutes ahead of the bunch.
Yeovil Cycling Club riders Mike Loader and Chris Fendt were 12th and 15th respectively.
Sundays 73-mile Ham Hill Trophy was a hard fought race with a 12-man group pulling clear on the first of the five laps. Some of the fancied riders missed the break and spent the rest of the race trying to recover.
As the pace - over 40mph on the wind-assisted Queen Camel to Yeovilton road - and distance took their toll, the lead group was reduced to four. James Taylor (City of Edinburgh) came in two lengths clear of N. Brown (Deeside Thistle CC), Tim Costello (Southdown Velo) and Mike Kiss (Somer Valley).
Somerton's Peter Kench was eighth, helping Liphook Cycles win the team award, while Yeovil’s Chris Absolom lost contact with the main bunch after the last climb of Coppitts Hill to finish outside the top 20.
Yeovil Cycling Club stage a ten-mile time-trial on Saturday (2.30pm) on the A303-based Podimore-Ash Flyover-Podimore course.

11th April 2002


Sandy justifies his scratchman seeding

GREG Sandy justified his scratchman seeding as he clocked 20 minutes 34 seconds to win Yeovil Cycling Clubs ten-mile time-trial on the A303-based Podimore-Ash-Podimore course on Saturday.
The team rider beat his nearest rival, Somerton’s Peter Kench (Liphook Cycles), by 45 seconds - and the promoting clubs Mike Loader was a further three seconds behind in third place.
Yeovil’s Chris Absolom was the next best local rider - in eighth place, recording 22:04. Tim Reeves was First Chard Wheelers leading cyclist in 13th spot with 22:25. Yeovil’s James Hector was equal 19th (23:12) - and was the third man in the home team who beat www.bikeshop by 22 seconds to take the team award.
OTHER local times - Yeovil: John Clemit 23:13, Nick Evans 23:25, Adam Pearse (junior) 25:53, Gary Swain (junior) 26:57. Chard: Mark German 24:17, Dean Ward (fastest junior prize) 25:35, Dave Smith 25:40, Doug Ward 26:58. Mike Lawrence (Clevedon & District Wheelers) was best veteran on age standard. His 23:32 for a 65-year-old beat his standard time by 7:28. Ann Wooldridge (Gloucester City CC) was the fastest woman, recording 24:47.
Yeovil’s Thursday Evening Time Trial Series got under way last week. Because of roadworks, the action was on the Blackford course, five miles east of the Sparkford roundabout.
Absolom was the winner with 22:59 from Army rider Paul Haggarty (23:00).

18th July 2002

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Local riders on Velodrome podium

TWO local cyclists were on the podium at the British Universities Sports Association Track Championships at the Manchester Velodrome.
Somerton’s Douglas Northcott (Manchester Met) collected two medals, winning the individual sprint event and taking second place in the kilometre time trial. Matthew Law of Stoke-sub-Hamdon near Yeovil was a winner with Loughborough in the four-man 4,000m team pursuit.
Yeovil’s Mike Loader recorded 54 mins 15 secs in the Oxonian CC 25 at Botley near Oxford for 13th place in a field of top time-trialists. Winner was Andrew Peach (Dulwich Paragon) with 51:36.
VC Camelot’s Andy Millward and Matt Law were easy winners of Yeovil’s two-up team-race time-trial, recording 21:40. Home pair John Clemit and James Hector were second in 23:08 while Chris Fendt and Steve Pym were third (23:47). Dave Walters and Gary Swain were fourth, clocking 25:07, while David Notley was partnered by elite mountain biker Caroline Coward in her first team time-trial - and they were fifth in 26:04.
There were two solo rides, Helen Wainwright managing 26:49 and Paul Sparks being just over the 30-minute mark.

16th May 2002


Loader leads the way again

MIKE Loader was again Yeovil Cycling Clubs top performer - this time in the Sotonia CC 25-mile time-trial.
The event was originally scheduled for a Bournemouth- Ringwood course but when race headquarters became unavailable it was moved west to Poole-Upton Bypass.
Unfortunately, road works sprang up at Upton so the event was staged on a course based on the Bere Regis- Sturminster Marshall road.
A strong south-westerly wind coupled with the climb out of Bere Regis ruled out super-fast times but Channel Islander Terry Wright (Guernsey VC) won by recording 56 mins 37 secs. Loader clocked 57:15 for fourth place and VC Camelot’s Andy Millward was 11th with 1:01:05.
Yeovil’s evening ten last Thursday was won by Camelot’s Dave Pitman who seems to have recovered from his knee injury. He recorded 23:02 on a day when a south-easterly wind was against riders as they climbed back to Mapperton from the Sparkford roundabout turn. Somerset Road Club filled the next three places - John Williams in 23:26, Tom Cox in 24:44 and Mark Krupyta in 24:57. Chris Fendt was Yeovil’s best, fifth in 25:10, and Chard’s Mark German was sixth in 25:22.
Fendt was in action again on Sunday in the 42-mile Tedburn Road Race near Exeter. After working hard on the third and fourth times up the main climb to stir the bunch into chasing a breakaway group, he ran out of steam on the fifth and final climb and finished three minutes down, 42nd out of 65 starters. Team-mate Dave Walters failed to complete the event.

23rd May 2002


New veteran Facey scores super win

REX Faced scored a magnificent victory in Yeovil Cycling Clubs John Andrews Memorial Road Race. The event included six climbs of Coppitts Hill on the Ilchester-Yeovil-Mudford- Marston Magna-Queen Camel-Bridgehampton-Yeovil course, a total of 88 miles.
Chard Wheeler Facey, who became a veteran last month when reaching his 40th birthday, dominated the race from a five-man breakaway which went clear on the first of the six laps. They stayed together, increasing their lead to two minutes at 50 miles. But with 60 miles covered Facey and Exeter Wheeler Luke Humphreys had pulled away by a minute from the other three, and the main field by two minutes.
At 75 miles, and the start of the final lap, the duo - with Faced doing a lions share of the pace-setting were more than a minute up on two chasers. And the bunch were a further two minutes back.
When they approached the finish outside RNAS Yeovilton, Facey sprinted away from Humphreys to coast over the line with both arms raised in salute.
Simon Wedge, another Exeter Wheeler, won the sprint for third from John Mackenzie (CS Dynamo), Glen Longland (Antelope RT) and Mike Cook (RAF). The bunch, at nearly two minutes adrift, still had plenty of ranking points to sprint for.
Yeovil’s Dave Walters took 14th place and seven points while club-mate and veteran Steve Pym was 20th to claim the last point on offer. VC Camelot veteran Dave Pitman was also in the bunch, just out of the top 20. Exeter Wheelers took the team award. Just over half of the 60 starters completed the full distance.
Yeovil hosted the annual Taunton Vale Cycle Racing Association team time trial. The 20- mile event for teams of four riders attracted an entry of 27 teams.
The Bath-based team of Greg Sandy, Gerry Bowditch, Matt Watch and Graeme Lackford - all first-category roadmen - were fastest, recording a rapid 42 mins 29 secs. Yeovil’s first string of Chris Absolom, John Clemit, Paul Haggarty and Mike Loader were second, clocking 43:57. Somerset RC were third in 45:20 and Gillingham Wheelers took seventh place with 47:37. Yeovil teams were eighth and tenth with Chard 15th.

4th July 2002

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Loader sets up a home victory

by Garry Mitchener

MIKE Loader led Yeovil to victory in their open 25-mile promotion on Sunday Loader recorded 56 mins 55 secs for fourth place, a stop with mechanical trouble probably costing him third.
Chris Absolom was fifth (57:15) and James Hector was the third counting rider with 1:1:38. The strong breeze meant most riders, the Yeovil trio included, were up to three minutes slower than their best. But winner Mark Wareham (Chippenham & District Wheelers) overcame the conditions to record 53:31, a personal best. Andy Winterbottom (Wellington Wheelers), winner in 2000, was second with 54:56 and David Kiddie (Cavalier CC) took third spot (56:49).
Mike Lawrence (Clevedon & District) clocked a creditable 59:43 to beat the standard time for a 65-year-old by 19:47 and take the veterans award. Chard Wheeler Dean Ward claimed the junior prize with 1:6:45.
OTHER LOCAL TIMES Yeovil CC: Chris Fendt 1:2:58, David Notley 1:8:14, Gary Swain 1:9:38 (personal best), Chard Wheelers: Mark German 1:5:19, Doug Ward 1:10:09, Gillingham & District Wheelers: Richard Hansford 1:2:12, Alan Smith 1:2:54, Shaun Walsh 1:3:16, Bryan Perry 1:5:O7, Vincent Hounsome 1:5:49, VC Camelot: Andy Millward 57:53, John Saunders 1:5:09.
Graeme Lackford ( won Yeovil’s ten-mile event last Thursday, recording 22:27 to beat Absolom by four seconds. Yeovil’s John Clemit was third with 23:32 and Walsh took fourth place (25:10).
Yeovil fielded a team in the 50-mile Westbury Wheeler Road Race at Chitterne on Salisbury Plain. Top local rider was VC Camelot’s Dave Pitman (ninth) while Clemit was Yeovil’s best (11th).

11th July 2002


Loader lowers top time

MIKE Loader has improved Yeovil Cycling Clubs 50-mile time-trial record by 1 min 9 secs. Riding the West London CA event at Didcot, Oxfordshire, he finished in 1:50:39 to take 15th place. Winner Barry
Charlton (Stone Wheelers) clocked 1:44:49.
With the remedial work on the A303 bridges nearing completion, Yeovil’s Thursday time- trial series has returned to the popular Podimore-based courses. However, last weeks event, a 25, attracted only 14 riders. Yeovil’s Chris Absolom came out on top with 56:18 - nearly a minute better than his time in the previous Sundays open event.
Andy Millward (VC Camelot) recorded 57:46, James Hector (Yeovil CC) and visitor R Gould tied with 1:1:27, Steve Pym (Yeovil CC) had 1:2:12 and Bridgwater’s Mark Kurpyta (Somerset RC) was sixth with 1:2:34. Crewkerne’s Gary Swain (Yeovil CC) recorded a personal- best time of 1:9:16.

18th July 2002


Absolom close to club record

YEOVIL’S Chris Absolom took second place in the Port Talbot Wheelers Veteran 25 at Glynneath, South Wales. Absolom recorded 53 mins 2 secs - 18 seconds outside the club record he set last year on the same course and 24 seconds behind the home clubs John Pritchard.
Absoloms club-mate Mike Loader continued his quest for a time below 1 hr 50 mins in a 50-mile time-trial when he took part in the Belle Vue cc event at Didcot, Oxfordshire.
Although the courses in the Oxford area are fast, the local rules regarding heavy traffic require races to be off the roads by 9am - and this means early starts. Loader was unlucky to be drawn number one in the start order, beginning at 5.31am and meaning he had to leave Yeovil at 2am. He clocked 1:50:53 behind winner and former national record holder Ian Cammish (1:44:01).
Absolom was fastest in Yeovils best supported ten-miler of the year - 32 riders entered. His 21:32 was five seconds better than the time of Graeme Lackford ( VC Camelot veteran Dave Pitman was third in 21:56. Dave Barnes (Team Zoyland) clocked 22:11, Andy Mlllward (VC Camelot) had 22:20 and Tim Reeves (Chard Wheelers) was sixth in 22:38. Yeovil junior Adam Pearse recorded a personal-best time of 25:19.

15th August 2002

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Veteran improves by 15 seconds

YEOVlL veteran Chris Absolom recorded a personal-best 20 mins 52 secs in the Antelope Race Team ten-mile event on the fast Upton Bypass course near Poole, improving by 15 seconds, he was placed equal fifth with Poole veteran Terry Icke.
VC Camelot's Andy Millward clocked 21:26, eight seconds outside his best. The winner was also a veteran - Ray Hughes (Clarence Wheelers) recorded an impressive 19:38.
Dave Walters of Stoke sub-Hamdon was the Yeovil club's only representative in the Zipvit UK Challenge Cup national final at Clitheroe, Lancashire, having qualified from the area heat. This competition is for third and fourth category riders, 80 per cent of British Cycling licence holders.
The 58-mile event in the Ribble Valley was very hard with steep climbs - and the temperature was 31 degrees. Walters has lost some of the form he had earlier in the season but was in contention for 40 miles. Then he succumbed to the hills and fast pace set by the North East and Scottish riders in particular.
Another Yeovil roadman, John Clemit, was placed 12th in the 45 mile Gloucester City Summer Road Race on the same day.
Mike Loader and Millward tied for first place with 22:04 in a Yeovil ten mile time- trial on 15 August. Absolom was four seconds behind. Somerset Road Club's Rick Johnson was fourth in 22:37, Chard's Tim Reeves came fifth with 22:53 and Tom Cox (Somerset RC) took sixth with 23:07.

29th August 2002


Loader laps up plaudits

MIKE Loader starred for Yeovil Cycling Club with rapid times in 25-mile time-triais in Wales and Oxfordshire.
At the south Wales Police CC event in Gwent, Loader recorded 53 mins 5 secs and club-mate Chris Absolom was close behind 53:18. VC Camelot’s Millward was pleased with his ride he clocked 54:35.
The Yeovil pair followed up by competing in the West London CA event in Oxfordshire. The event attracted a class field with Michael Hutchinson (Team MDT-Giant) looking to break Chris Boardman’s 46:57 competition record – but conditions were not very good, with a cold north-easterly wind.
Loader recorded 53:39 and Absolom had what for him was an off day by returning 56:26. Hutchinson was fastest with a 47 minute ride. He was followed by former Tour de France yellow jersey holder Sean Yates who clocked just over 49 minutes.
Absolom came out top in Yeovil’s penultimate Thursday time trial of the season with 21:20. Millward was second in 21:41 and Graeme Lackford ( came third with 21:59.
Tim Reeves was the Chand’s best rider with 22:08 for fourth place. Loader (22:14) was fifth and Tom Cox of team MDT came sixth (22:50). There were 29 starters.

5th September 2002


Loader sixth in memorial trial

MIKE Loader, of Yeovil Cycling Club, clocked 56:11 to finish sixth in the Poole Wheelers Harold Cribb Memorial 25 at Lytchett Maltravers. The unusual Upton bypass course entailed riders covering the stretch of A35 dual carriageway between Bakers Arms and Holes Bay roundabouts no less than three times.
Chris Absolom, also Yeovil CC, finished 11th in a time of 57:32 and Andy Millward (VC Camelot) was 13th in 57.56.
Loader also rode in the National Ten Mile Championship and finished 55th with 22:24 in a 120-man field. Absolom’s preparation for the race in Poole was different. In company with club-mate Chris Fendt he spent time riding from Nice to Cherbourg via some of the Alpine passes made famous in the Tour de France.
Yeovil’s evening time trials have now finished for the year. The last event attracted 28 entries from as far afield as Exeter, Weymouth, Radstock and Gillingham. Somerset Road Clubs Rick Johnson was fastest in a time of 22:26 while Ian Hounsel (Mendip CC) clocked 22:36 and Andy Thomson (Exeter Wheelers) 22:41 to finish second and third respectively. James Hector was Yeovil’s top man. His time of 22:54 helped him to fourth While Steve Pym was one place back in 23:04 and Paul Horan (Gillingham & District Wheelers) was sixth in 23:19.

26th September 2002

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SEVENTH HEAVEN: Chris Absolom has won his seventh Yeovil Cycling Club hill-climb championship. "Conditions on the climb of High Ham were awful with persistent rain and a cold wind which, thankfully, did offer some assistance to the small entry of eight riders from four local clubs," said Yeovil
spokesman Garry Mitchener. Absolom's time of three minutes was good for the conditions - and he took the Yeovil title with ease as second-placed Chris Fendt clocked 3:43. Chard junior Dean Ward was third with 3:43, Steve Noyce of Gillingham& District fourth in 3:47, Simon Hickling of Tor 2000 fifth with 3:50 and Yeovil's Steve Pym sixth a fraction of a second slower. Hugo Baldacchino, a new Yeovil member recorded 4:04 in his first hill-climb and Andy Crocker of Tor 2000 posted 4:18.

24th October 2002


SADDLE STARS: Yeovil Cycling Club's top performers of 2002 display their trophies following an end-of season buffet and prize-giving Ceremony. From left, David Notley, Dave Walters, Mike Loader, Gary Swain and Chris Absolom.

December 2002

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On to 2003