It’s 10 days until 2013 Elite League kicks off. It has been long time coming. Weather is absolutely shocking, and we all want the season to start. My new club, Horspath already had two South West League matches, with another one this sunday. I had one meeting, Dave Andrews Memorial cancelled, one also didn’t go ahead due to Stoke pulling out at the last minute, which makes me a little behind the schedule. Work commitments do not allow me to race every week and with cancellations it might put me out of action for a month sometimes. Luckily I have made regular trips to the Village recently and I must say the team has been working really hard on those sessions. It is a change to my trainings at Leicester. Previously I have been mostly working on my own which is a big mental hill to climb. With the clocks going forward I can now look for local tracks to go riding. I ‘m still to make my choice, I have a Swindon track near by with club mate Shaun Rudman there, also Filton is relatively close so I will be making enquiries soon whether it will be feasible to use their tracks.
Cheltenham is a great place for any cyclist. I just found out there is a bit of road that is in top 10 of best and most difficult British climbs. About 25% gradient… I thought Gidley Hill was steep. On the other hand you have Forest of Dean, an off-road paradise, which I’m planning to explore on Wednesday. I do miss that MTB break from the tracks. I used to get lost in the singletrack and forget about the whole world outside. Guys from work do a regular ChainGang ride after work, which is an insane intensive grind out on the road. I’d like to see if I can even hang on to the wheel in there, but I’d have to get a road bike first.
Last week we had our Leisure Lakes Bikes VIP night, with sales reps from around the UK, I could see some familiar faces from Hotlines UK (Lynskey) and 2Pure (POC), and had a brief chat about things. Great night with loads of customers through the door. We had the new carbon Santa Cruz V10 in the house, also Peter Sagan’s Cannondale replica. 2Pure had the new Ibis on display and more helmets from POC. Oh, and we had drinks afterwards.
News from Poland still not too good. More clubs are struggling, only 6 teams entered the Extra League, which is a massive step back. Still not clear if we see Polish and European Champion racing for Leszno this year, along his mate Ganczarek, their names are missing in Leszno’s rooster on their website, with rumours confirming they will concentrate on the Elite League this year, but this is just hearsay. That will make my club Torun favourites to take that crown back home, but it wont be easy. I see Ostrow emerging as a real threat this year, with their massive home advantage track and a young squad, they will be hard to beat at home. Also Swietochlowice will be a tough nut to crack. With a sad loss of Kalety and Zoledowo, Extra League will be all about home wins this year. Good to see Gniezno making a come back, we’ll see how they will cope though, they have a narrow squad of riders.
Eagerly awaiting spring…