|Coming Events: Loch
Creran TT - Thursday 3rd April 7pm
Cruachan Hill Climb - Sunday 13th April 0930
Smith Wins It
Blazing sunshine, as is now customary at NACC
events, and a snowcapped backdrop made this the best looking XC
by far. A good turnout of old and new faces made short work of
the testing course. Runner Tom Smith showed he can still ride
a bike, Youth Brych Hensman-Martin put in a dangerous looking
time and the single speeders proved once again it's quicker on
a geared bike. Full results
So the final Loch Creran TT of 2013 was more about
good solid performances and sunshine than a series climax. Most
notable was Marie Meldrum's assault on the long standing women's
record held since 2009 by Fiona Gunn. 30.49 is the new standard.
Ewan Thorburn strong as ever led the men home in 26.29 and David
and Lauren Robinson brought tagalong time trialling to a new level.
So the series ends with another win in the men's for David Robinson
and in the women's for Frances Dent who quietly put in the work
to take the top spot. Full results
Turnbull Romps Home
Ice like conditions with diesel and fresh rain
on the roundabouts led to some interesting manoeuvres and a number
of downward excursions. Progress was mostly forward though and
only the ill fated Nick had to pull out with a bent skewer. David
Turnbull romped home in PB 23.01 and Marie Meldrum set a new standard
for the ladies at 28.42. Good times all round as the season matures.
NACC's first 2up TT designed to give everyone
a fighting chance of winning failed when David Robinson was drawn
with Stuart Moran. The winners decided, the rest battled it out
over three laps. The pairs managed to hold it together for the
Robinson/Dent Head Table
Gusty wind was forecast, not the worst but enough to keep the
numbers down for July's TT. Series leader David Robinson put in
a good time for the conditions to cement his position. Frances
Dent kept the pressure up on the ladies leader board and points
were bagged all round with most of the field scoring above par.
Talent Floods Loch
Much debate on the start line had no effect on the officials
at Loch Creran. The relevant data was crunched and the handicaps
applied in a scientific manner. Good conditions, increasing levels
of fitness and a strong field bolstered by West Highland Wheelers
led to a fast pace and retirement due to sickness of the wayward
Miller. Oblivious to the battle between the scratch and first
handicap groups Bruce Griffiths led the event home in a theoretical
time of 43.53 from Sam Wood and the rest of the field.
Sportive Courses Reccied
Thirteen NACC and WHW riders turned out for the
Tour of Loch Awe which this year was a dry run of the Oban Sportive
courses. Blazing sunshine, virtually traffic free roads and a
good mix of entrants. The four long course riders spent rather
more time in public toilets than they had planned and were deeply
envious of the good time charlies supping fresh coffee and homemade
shortbread on the short route. Full on feed stations available
on the day. Oban Sportive entries are now open at the link above.
Blainey 1st Home
Loch Creran the home of Australian Pursuits saw
a tactical masterpiece played out by Gavin Blainey.
NACC 123 Moran 22.05
June saw the first combined NACC west highland
wheelers 10 mile time trial at Loch Creran and near perfect conditions
ensured a record turnout of over thirty. The records kept on tumbling:
New course record for Stuart Moran, new ladies record for Mairi
Meldrum. great times from newcomers Andrew Barrington, Raeanne
Miller and Euan Mackie and loads of personal bests. Nacc took
the top three spots. Next combined TT is 1st August. Full
Ill wind Blows Good
Glean Salach sprint hill climb went ahead under
threatening weather conditions. Dark skies and windy conditions
didn't put everyone off and those that ventured out got a helping
hand from the southerly wind all putting in times under 5 mins
from cattle grid to summit. A new course a so new records for
Tim Brand in 4.51, and Nick Charlton on single speed 4.56. Podium
positions for everyone.
Foul weather didn't stop ten turning out for TT round 2. David
Robinson pounded round in under 27mins to tie the series with
David Turnbull. Frances Dent boosted her lead with another top
west coast weather continued into the weekend and a drizzly morning
gave way to full blown rain and a healthy breeze. Claire Treasurer
meant business from the start and in a surprise move pressed on
through lunch. Having opted out of the long loop former leaders
Maclucas, Griffiths and Charlton never made up the ground. Griffiths
punctured and a strong finish from Maclucas wasn't enough; Claire
was already sipping her tea. Regular visitor Barry Teal made the
ferry in good time having left Robin Morton wondering when the
magic was going to start.
Ewan, You Won
A crystal clear day in Fearnoch's attractive woodland
didn't draw the crowds but brought out the best in everyone. In
this well mannered race, the only thing cooler than the weather
was Ewan Thorburn who took the win from Ben Miller without breaking
a sweat. Nix Forster romped home for the ladies. Big smiles in
the middle order as not too much carrying of bikes downhill was
involved. Thanks to Mike for laying out and time keeping and the
greenkeepers lead by Gardensmith.
Turnbull drops glove
conditions hung over the opening TT of 2013. A healthy turnout
of faces old and new took on the flattish 10 mile course. Frances
Dent on good form dominated the ladies field but Meekin and Gunn
have plenty of potential to challenge. Debut times for Bruce Griffiths
and Kieran Curran were well up the rankings and all enjoyed missing
the hill. Top honours of the day go to David Turnbull who set
the standard with a new course record (24.22). 2012 champion Moran
waited in the wings. The time trial and hill climb events this
year will all be open events, free to NACC members and a nominal
entry fee for visitors.
Chris Bell Racing fund for Mountain
Although only here in Oban a short time Chris Bell became a key
player in the club with blistering performances on and off road,
behind the scenes on the committee and as one of the Oban Sportive
organisers. It's clear that he was able to offer that same level
of commitment in any number of fields and cement strong relationships
on the way, always with infectious enthusiasm. He will be greatly
Contributions are being encouraged to the Mountain
Rescue teams via Chris
In the final event of Tom Smith's Stagathlon the stage was set
at the NACC/WHW winter league round at Barcaldine. The humble
arena belied the quality of the field with past Winter League
champions, Celtmen and British Champions in the line up. With
two laps of burning climbs and steep, treachorous, natural, single
track descents and lingering hangovers this was a course for a
prodiguous climber and fearless downhiller. This was one man's
race. The Bell Boy came of age, the Blackburn Bullet, the Ubiquitous
Bell at his best took minutes out of his rivals and established
a new course record. That's where I'll remember him.
NACC "Owns" Craggy Island Triathlon
With six members in the top 22 NACC were the best represented
club in this new classic triathlon.
Hell or High Water
The large hill and having to climb it twice comes
as a nasty surprise to visitors to the NACC TT course. Nothing
could have led John Bosely and his wife to expect to wade through
the sea as well. Those who braved August's spring tide steeplechase
put in commendable times with PB's for Ben Miller and Chris Bell
who will now be vying for second place in the series. Davy Gunn
is numerically in with a shot too.
Having struggled to find a flat 25mile stretch
without obstacles it was decided to have a re-run of the standard
ten miles or Loch Creran without the hill. David Turnbull was
rewarded for all his hard work and new bike by becoming the
fastest rider over 10 miles with a course record of 24.22. Fiona
Gunn returned to competition after a long rest to establish
the ladies course record in 37.22. Full
Fort William Raided
Three Nacc riders headed North intent on doing some damage on
the Wheelers 25 mile TT course. Bell 3rd 59.18, Bossard 5th 61.08
and Charlton 7th 62.13.
Bossard relaxes in the motorhome.
Blackburn Bullet Breaks Record
the scratch group containg time trial giants Ben Miller, Stuart
Moran,Chris Bell and David Robinson the handicap riders set off
like lambs to the slaughter. Despite spirited efforts the prey
was nearly all caught by the start of the final climb. Dangerman
Miller attacked on the hill followed by Bell with Blainey in tow,
still with juice in his legs. Jim Stuart and Davy Gunn were caught
at the start of descent and they jumped on the train with Blainey
riding solo just behind. Miller made a break but the pace was
too high for Bell who tucked in behind Gunn, hopped onto Jim and
slingshot off at the final corner to catch Miller on the line
snatching victory with a thrust of the arms. The finishing time
was a course record of 45 mins giving Bell reason to be cheerful.
See picture for the ageing effect of this event.
June's flattish TT rescheduled into the wet saw times drop by
up to 5 minutes. More about the power and less the weight Nick
Charlton took advantage closely followed by guest Martin Wilson.
Everybody enjoyed better than usual times and benchmarks were
set for all categories.
With four TT's down Stuart Moran has cleaned up the full 200
points which will earn him this years trophy. Chris Bell warmed
up with a lap of Mull and put in a personal best of 26.10 and
holds 2nd in the rankings. This could be challenged over the final
two outings by Bossard, Miller or Turnbull. It's not over yet.
Moran on Track
At the halfway point with three TT's completed Stuart Moran is
the man to beat with a perfect score of 150. Blustery conditions
held him back to just over 25 mins. Fixed ratio records continued
to fall with Martin Charlton brightening the day and improving
his time against the elements. Good to see some old faces reappearing
with Tom Wilding on form and the return of the clubs founding
Chairman Chris Hutchens both sub 30.
Bell Boy Pips It
The Tour of Loch Awe was a race of two halves.
A dry run out with determined climbing, a very leisurely lunch
and a long wet slog home to Sunny Oban. Consistent climbing,
a good start in the sprint and other contributions to the Spirit
of the Tour earned Chris Bell the most points. First to cross
the line was Jim Montgomery. Ever the tactician he learned quickly
from Iain Stuart's example on Mull by pushing straight on as
soon as the breakaway rule allowed it, leaving the others at
the mercy of the Portsonachan Chef. An unscheduled diversion
by Bell and Bossard via the cycletrack nearly cost Bell the
Tour as the peleton just slid into Oban before them, pushing
Nick Charlton and Davy Gunn up the rankings.
Mull not Mobbed
The annual Tour of Mull brought forward to May was a quiet affair
but the Spirit of the Tour was as strong as ever. Some points
were awarded and the winner in no particular order was newcomer
Iain Stuart who used the post lunch breakaway rule to good advantage.
Records Keep Tumbling
May's TT continued to rewrite the record books. Moran found more
in his legs to set 24.36. And the Charlton brothers as yet uncontested
in the fixed ratios made more progress. The top of the table looks
to be taking shape with Moran and Turnbull, both new entrants
this year, with the bulk of the points.
If you're looking for Finlay Wells you probably won't need
to bother checking Musdale. Gravel, potholes, cattle grids,
sheep and shit make this the roughest hill climb in Britain.
Seven of North Argyll's finest turned out and hid in Kilmore
bus shelter until the worst of the rain had passed. The course
is 4.3 miles and 220m of climb starting flat and then climbing
in short steep bursts, wheels spinning at times, to the top.Whippets
Ben Miller and Ian Sim put in good times and Stephen Dent getting
stronger all the time was not far behind. The coast downhill
is equally challenging leading to some Armstrongesque excursions
into the countryside. Thanks to all for coming and to Alan Dent
for timing. Full results
Duathlon Doesn't Disappoint
sunshine graced the tranquil setting of Sutherlands Grove and
the low turnout didn't dampen the spirits of the competitors.
The youngest, Tormod Doherty, came all the way from Dunoon to
put in a good performance on the Junior Course in 33.50 close
to Calum Kirsop's course record from 2010. Leigh Murray showed
true sportswomanship by following Charmaine Love on a slight detour
before taking the advantage in the cycle leg and going on to win.
Mike Bossard still in his prime lead from the start against a
field which may have looked more at home at the bowls club. Thanks
to all for coming and the Marshall's for their help.
Duathlon set to expand
The Barcaldine duathlon now in it's 5th year is set to expand.
Designed as an introduction for cyclists to running and running
to cyclist's the course is demanding but not technically challenging
and suitable for all abilities with the top places being hard
fought for and a short course for youngsters or fun entrants.
Hill Racing have kindly included us in their calendar of events
and we hope to see some of their regulars at Sutherlands Grove.
The cycle course is suitable for mountain or cyclo cross bikes.
See route map to right. Meet is 10am for 11am start Sunday 15th
April at Sutherlands Grove just North of Barcaldine Village.
NACC are Better than WHW
The Annual Barcaldine XC attracted the cream of the West Coast
off roaders. The storm damage had been cleared to recover the
natural, technical single tracks. The Deer Path stage 1 and 2
with side slopes, roots, rocks, sludge and now root ball craters,
the Green Mile chopping through the trees and the legendary Tony's
Trail from the top of the course back to the dam at insane angles
are what they came for. Old hand Ruari Watt gave up first position
to Ben Thompson with a flat also letting through Liam Moinihan
and three NACC riders Bossard, Bell and Smith. Right behind them
was the first Junior Lachlan Blair. Marian Austen was challenged
only by the course to win the ladies. In the team competition
NACC just clinched it.
TT Record Smashed
The Summer Time Trial series 2012 kicked off at Loch Creran in
mixed but gentle weather. A good field of fifteen with a broad
range of machinery from an 80's rust bucket, a converted mountain
bike through standard road bikes, up to no compromise carbon rocket
ships. Skin suits and teardrop helmets were also noticed. Course
record was blown away by new club member Stuart Moran on his first
outing with a time of 25.15. Will Stuart be the first to break
25! New benchmarks were also set for single speed Nick and fixed
wheel Martin Charlton.
|Mergers and Acquisitions
Plucky independent Bikefix recently returned to Oban has joined
forces with Nevis cycles to open a new Oban superstore. Nevis
Cycles, now officially a chainstore, have supported Fort William
and Oban cyclists over many years. Proprietors old and new Maggie,
John and Ben Thompson are the living legends of cycling on the
West Coast.. The store will be run by well known cycle magnate
(and legend) Kevin Whitehead. Opening night is scheduled for
Sat 15th October.
NACCattack on Podium
Relentless the event with no midges guaranteed is familar ground
for the four riders of team NaccAttack. Nothing could have prepared
them however for the conditions laid on by evil organiser Fraser
Coupland. Rain was the order of the day and after getting a lap
each out of the way and establishing third position, manager Mike
Bossard imposed a two lap strategy to keep the laundry to a minimum.
The team battled on through the night with the wet, gritty course
taking its toll on the bikes. Nevis Cycle's Dougie was a regular
vistor with brake pads for all and for Mike's last laps it was
all we could do to scrape one working bike together. All smiles
at the finish and third place was held all the way for a spot
on the podium.