Who went to the National Road Champs at Amblethorpe North Yorkshire and what did they think about it?
Well, that's not quite what it says in the title, but I went and had a good day. I've never been to one before but as this one was on my local roads and regular loops it was a great opportunity to get out and see some proper racing.
It was great to see so many people on the roads, riding the route. Big crowds in certain places around the route - most prominently at Yearsley where the two loops crossed and the riders were blowing after a climb up North Moor Lane. The Rapha coffee wagon was parked up there so there was quite a crowd, but the spectators lined the climb too. That was probably the prime spot.
I spent a bit of time at Ampleforth Abbey, the start/finish, but it didn't seem like there was much going on and it was getting cold and wet so I moved on further round the course.
Organisation was good. The marshalling and policing seemed very well done, and there was an announcer's car riding in front of the race giving time gaps and commentary to the spectators on the roads.
As for the race itself. It was a good one. The initial breakaway went quite early and stayed out for the whole race. Excellent effort. Bit of a shame that Briggsy and Oli Beckinsale couldn't hold on with them but that lead group, even late in the race were on fire.
So yeah. A good day out. A nice ride on familiar roads for me and my first experience of a professional road race.
Ooops, poor thread title, apologies.
Well, it seems like you and I went to different races, although as it was your first pro race, you havent got anything to gauge it to?
I was very dissapointed in a few areas.
1. Signs. A lot of signs telling us a road race was going on in the area but not one telling us how to get there. We got lost and when we asked a few people they were lost too. The Setting when we got there was amazing.
2. Commenrty, for the womens race it was poor, the commentator was unknowledgable about the racers and seemed to have lack of information what was happening out on the circut.
3. Trade stands were few and far between. The holding aeras for the teams, I only saw Sky and Endura, where was the rest?
It is our National event, we should use this to promote cycling to the kids who are taken there by enthusiastic adults. It should be used to promote whats happening with cycling in the local area and further afield.
The mens 3 large laps were an hour long, what was there to do in that hour whilst we waited for them to come past? No screens, broken commentry and lack of information. Poor.
It was clear the residents at the college were not impressed with the event and I heard one or two mutterings from the teachers at the college.
Come on British Cycling, a few tweaks here and there and it will be a good event. The last two years have been poor IMO. Last year the food available was a glass of orange and a buttterfly bun from the Vicarage!
In the car park, well, cows field with the cows still wandering about there was a lot of frayed tempers from a few people and the atmospehere wasnt great.
Its time BC took up the organisation of this and not leave it to a local club.
Great racing, great setting, great parcours. Poor organisation, poor facilities & stands, poor commentry.
I agree completely about the situation at the Abbey. I got down there for lap2 of the big loop and it seemed very disappointing. Lots of people standing wanting something to do.
I expected trade stands, catering (there may have been some but it wasn't obvious), and probably some mini-events put on for the kids. It's not like there wasn't space for it.
Instead the adults were all watching the tractor pulling cars out of the quagmire of a car park and the kids were all clicking their heels and asking if they could get their Nintendo DS from the car.
Yeah, that bit was a let down but that's why I didn't stay there too long. I suppose I was at an advantage in knowing the roads and where the climbs and vantage points would be.
I did hear some mumbling from a farmer on the North Moor Lane climb who'd not been told about the event. Apparently he'd let his dogs out in the morning only to see the Women's race fly past his driveway. That could have caused quite a stir if the dogs had started chasing the peleton.
He was also a little bit cross at having 50+ lycra-clad enthusiasts with their bikes across the entrance to his drive, but thankfully not cross enough to ask us to move.
So how did the finishing straight compare to the Norwegian one?