Thursday, December 30, 2010
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
We had quite a good return to racing at the traditional post-Xmas puke-fest at Footscray in Kent. I (Andy, Hi, nice to meet you) came 3rd, Kevin came 7th (and first vet) and Dirty Bird gave up.
It's always heavy going down there as the ground is disconcertingly rough and covered in mole hills (weird) and obviously, with snow still hanging around, it was even harder going. Kevin had a really good start and was up into the front group with Billy-Joe Whenman, Jamie Newall and Paul Schier while I floundered a bit behind. As Jamie and Billy escaped, Kev got dropped whilst I started moving up, first past him, then past Paul.
Next thing, Jamie was sat at the side of the track picking course tape out of his cassette and I was up into second. At that point I got a time check that Billy Beans was only 12 secs ahead and I was catching him, so it occurred to me I might win. Which would have been nice.
Didn't happen though. First Newall flew past, I sat on his wheel for a bit, but got so much filthy yellow snow and slushy shit in my eyes I couldn't actually see any more as we entered a technical bit, so had to slow down to have blinking fit.
Then, when he caught Billy, he attacked, with Billy jumping into his wheel and extending his lead.
After the race we hung around for an hour and a half to receive our prize money. I got £10 for coming third, which, as the entry fee was £12 meant I only lost £2 — seriously, what's the point of giving out prize money, especially for a podium, that is less than the entry fee????
They couldn't work out the placings as far down as Kev, who came 7th, so he left empty handed. Hilarious.
Friday, December 24, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
And yet this looks way more fun than most London League races.
Oh yeah, get on the comments to persuade Vicious Kevin to get a mohawk in time for the National Champs. Cheers.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
This doesn't really look like much, and on an MTB in the dry, it isn't. On a cross bike though, it's pretty sketchy, just becasue there's shit loads of slick, cambered roots all across the line you want to take.
Good to see Dirty Bird back on his bike — he's third man through. He's a nob isn't he?
Monday, December 20, 2010
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Monday, December 13, 2010
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
First up is Karate Kid Bart Wellens who, like our friend Richard Groenendaal, is pissed off with a lippy spectator. Unlike Groenendaal, Wellens doesn't slow down for his act of Viciousness, preferring the high speed karate kick approach. Bravo Bartje!
Tom "Hard As" Steels is another hero — imagine having the presence of mind to reach down, pick up your bottle, then launch it at another rider, all at 60kph (or more) in a bunch sprint! We mortals can but dream.
Last, and in this case, least, are Carlos Barredo and Rui Costa at the 2010 Tour. These boys just look like angry queens, bitch fighting over some guy they fancy. Fighting in road shoes is not cool. If you're going to incorporate violence into your racing repertoire, do it before the finish line — anytime after that is just lame.
UPDATE How did I forget to put Mark Renshaw's awesome headbutt in here? This is ideal bike racing violence that would never be picked up on at anything below televised international races. Renshaw is another hero.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Richard Groenendaal = VICIOUS!
Giving a good exampe above of using violence against other riders (lapped losers) and below, to spectators is Richard Groenendaal, legendary Dutch hardman and now owner of the Dugast tubular company. Follow Richard's lead and don't be put off attacking spectators — if you've got a number on your back, you've got a free reign to be as wild as you like. Roll with it.
The Vicious Velo guide to Rotten Racing will aim to share tips with you on just how you too can get better results from less effort, skill and talent, simply by being a horrible little bastard on the bike. Got any tips or tricks? Share them in the comments!
Saturday, December 4, 2010
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Dunno if you noticed but the weather's thrown a shit fit and outside is covered in snow. BORING! I'm sitting at home avoiding the turbo, watching old MTB vids and wishing someone with style, taste, and attitude would make something like Kev's old Dead Kennedy's newspaper but about cyclocross. Now who could do something like that...
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
I had perhaps my best ever start in Southampton on Sunday. Starting from the fourth row, I somehow snuck my way through a whole heap of riders to find myself up in the top 20 at the end of the first lap. Unbelievable. Kevin was stood trackside yelling at me about how great the situation was, and I believed him. I was up with the strong guys, I just had to keep it going.
One lap later, things started to go pear shaped. I was getting knackered; I'd been punching above my weight, and I was starting to get hit back. Billy Whenman and Darren Barclay got across to me on the only real descent of the circuit, and as I tried to get round the hairpin at the bottom of the hill, I caught my STI on the course marking post and knocked myself off.
The group rode away as I untangled myself.
I sprinted off, but with the foresight that I needed to relax for a bit and recover if I wanted to avoid making mistakes. The errors kept coming though, and I crashed twice more on the next lap before I pulled my finger out and started riding well again. The whole race, I was up and down like a yo-yo — literally and figuratively.
I found myself riding round with Andrew Nichols, and together we caught Mike Cotty with about three laps to go. Things were looking good for a while and I took the lead. Nothing much happened from there on, except first, Cotty rode away — fair enough, he's a very good athlete — and then on the last lap, Nichols dropped me. He's a skinny little under 23 who goes up hills somewhat easier than me. Oh well. I came home in 31st, outside the points, so technically no better than a DNF. What a load of bollocks.
Realistically, it was quite a positive ride as I had an amazing start and I was mixing it with some good riders all race. Negatives were the lapses of concentration and the lack of strength in the final. Lessons learned — more miles needed, more skills required.
Two weeks till Bradford, scene of my first decent ride at this level when I came top 30 at the 2009 National Champs. At last year's Trophy however, I had a thoroughly shitty ride, so who knows how I'll go. One thing — my fingers are crossed that fewer than 10 Belgians turn up in Yorkshire. They're taking all the points scoring placings and ruining my ranking!
Thursday, November 25, 2010
I sent off my rotten Dugast Rhino to FMB last week, and then this arrived by UPS this morning. Totally unexpected to get it so soon, and an amazing service as I was really expecting everything to be done on a French time scale. It wasn't cheap, in fact it would have been less costly to buy a new Dugast Rhino or new FMB by the time you've factored in postage costs and the bank charges for money transfer (they don't take credit cards on the FMB website). It's worth it though as the FMB comes with the carcass pre treated to prevent rotting so it should be more durable than the Dugast one. Money well spent I hope.
Monday, November 22, 2010
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
A luckluster race at the National Trophy last weekend was saved by sneaking a sprint finish for tenth place, a small victory in and otherwise poor race for me. Although starting well from the front row of the grid and keeping it together through the first few turns I lost motivation in my legs, but more importantly in my head, and was unable to keep up with the leaders. By the end of the first lap any hope of another top 5 had vanished along with any fight that I had left in me.
All became clear on the long drive back south to London, I felt worse and worse during the journey and was barely able to unpack the car. By the evening I felt terrible and was sick all night. I've only just started to feel better two days later. At least I know that it wasn't my lack of race fitness causing me to feel so unmotivated and weak, when you get ill, that's it, nothing you can do but to sit it out. Bring on Southampton in a fortnight, I've got unfinished business.
Andy Jones's photo here on cycling weekly illustrates my mood after the race perfectly
On a more positive note I'm really excited about getting Vicious Velo off the ground for 2011 and hoping we can get the new kit sorted out in time for Nationals in January. We're bound to get noticed...
Monday, November 15, 2010
Mallory Park has an unenviable reputation as a venue that eats bikes, riders, and the enthusiasm of all who step over the threshold. I'm glad to say that I, my bikes and most of my enthusiasm for cyclocross are still intact, despite a completely mediocre result.
I ended up coming 28th yesterday, which on paper is my second best result at a National race, but I still feel a bit disappointed. I never really got going in the race — a lack of traction and enthusiasm being the main culprits. The Vittoria XM tubs I'm using have no central ridge to them, unlike the hallowed Dugast Rhinos I borrowed from Kevin to use in Ipswich, so I was finding that I had very little cornering grip on the greasy, flat grass corners and cambered straights that made up much of the Mallory course. That lack of confidence meant there were only a few places on the course where I was able to really push on the pedals without fear of crashing. Excuses excuses...
Next round is Southampton in two weeks time. I'm hoping for a return to the top 25.
Photos are all by Dave Haygarth, who came fifth in the vets. Loads more on his Flickr
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Monday, November 8, 2010
Friday, November 5, 2010
Saturday, October 30, 2010
*don't get me wrong, we love aggro, but pushing first timers into the bushes is just bullying
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
If you want to see your logo on the Vicious Velo skinsuits in 2011, give us a shout! We're particularly interested in sponsors from the world of coffee, beer and tubular tyres (what else is there in life?).