Sunday, January 23, 2011

London League - Wilmington

London League, Wilmington (49 of 58)

It was the first London League for ViCiOUS VELO so the new kit got a few comments, I really thought everyone would hate it but most people came up and said how much they liked it. The course consisted of substantial lengths of single track through woodland squeezing between the gaps in the trees. By end the end of the race both Andy and I had both shredded our skin suits on the trees, that's how tight it was in places. Not good for passing and with the large London League fields of riders getting to the trees first was crucial.

Andy and I were both gridded on the front row at the start, from the off a trio of Arctic riders lead out the race leaving us fighting for the places behind them. Darren Barclay lead from the start to win solo. Today I had the measure of Andy (very rare) and it was down to me to chase the Arctic boys. First of all Matt Holmes came into sight and I passed him without t0o much trouble and quickly put time into him. The next rider in my sights was 2nd place junior Alec Briggs. I managed to pull him back and get myself onto his wheel as he looked to be taking it quite easy, perhaps unaware that I'd caught him. I started to think about where I was going to attack and then the shit hit the fan - I crashed into a back marker that had crashed just in front of me leaving me nowhere to go. After I'd untangled my bike from his I was up and going again but with my handle bars bent sideways riding the technical stuff was a bit tricky. A quick bike swap at the pits and I was back in business. I'd lost a lot of time, Alec was long gone so I was back to battling for 3rd with Matt Holmes breathing down my neck.

In the woods Matt decided to pass me where there really wasn't space for two. I came out the loser, forced out of the corner as he came through the inside to crash off the course into a tree. By the time I was back on the bike, with my chain back in place the gap was massive and the bell for the final lap was ringing. Demoralised by my crash I continued round the last lap with no hope of catching Matt and was almost caught by Paul Sheers. I finished in 4th place overall, just off of the podium and 1st veteran.

Andy fought on to finish 6th in spite of dropping down to 9th at one point. Phil Jones took a load of photos, I'll add them later.

London League, Wilmington (21 of 58)

Monday, January 17, 2011

How far away is Pont-Chateau? Can we have a National Trophy there next season, please?

Rutland — Trophy #6

National Trophy Round 6, Rutland Water

So, that's the season over, bar the shouting. I ended up 27th in the Rutland National Trophy. I managed to avoid going down in any of the first lap crashes — caused by a too-tight course with one distinct racing line which 90odd blokes all wanted to be on — but I did get held up a couple of times behind fallen riders. It didn't make too much difference though and I finished that first lap in the low 20's which would have been good — riding with the likes of Mike Cotty, Darren BArclay and Jamie Newall. But then it started raining, and although I felt perfect happy on the off-road sections, I managed to slide out on a tarmac corner. By the time I'd put my chain back on I was back in the mid-thirties, and feeling a bit pissed off.
National Trophy Round 6, Rutland Water
As the rain continued to fall, I kept going the same speed, glad to have plenty of targets to chase, and picking people off along the way, until eventually I was seconds off Greg Simcock, someone I've had a few good battles with this season. It was the last lap, so I gave it everyhting, until eventually, I gave it too much and slid out on one of the final corners, just as I was about to make contact.
To be honest, crashing there was probably a good thing — sprinting on slick tarmac would have been lethal, and sprinting for any position lower than top 10 is embarassing anyway. Don't do it kids.
Although it probably wouldn't be as embarassing as Kev's pre-race intervew with me...

Friday, January 14, 2011

Dear the media

Dear Media professionals/graffiti artists/results compositors, from this point on we respectfully request that in all media releases ViCiOUS VELO be written in capitals with lower case "i"'s.

There is no "I" in ViCiOUS VELO.

Sticking with our punk ethos, you are free to hyphenate and/or use the prefix "Team" as you prefer. Failure to comply with our initial request however will result in withdrawal of your media agency's access to the team, and possibly other sanctions through the courts.

How this will look in written communications:

Correct: ViCiOUS VELO smashed the field to smithereens and won by 24mins.
Incorrect: Team Viscous VelO were disqualified for being drunk.

You will notice the author of the second quote has also spelled the word ViCiOUS incorrectly. What an idiot.

Thanks for your help in establishing the proper team name standards. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

Oh yeah, go read Team Leopard Trek's letter to Cycle Sport

Monday, January 10, 2011

National Championships - twice the ViCiOUSness


Vets race: I had a bit of a fight with Mark James. I wondered if the ViCiOUS kit had anything to do with it? After that the battle was on, he'd got away from me but I wasn't going to let it go. The rest of the race I was chasing to get places back and thankfully I managed claw the places back that I lost and finish ahead of Mark. I was 7th and less than 30 seconds off my main goal of a top 5. Without the tussle it could have been top 5...

Seniors race: no fights. I was gridded on the 4th row and had a really good first half a lap avoiding both of the big pile ups on the first couple of bends, I couldn't believe my luck. The rest of the race was a continuous battle with so many riders within just a few seconds of each other. I just kept on trying to chase down the next rider and not give up. Loads of shouts of encouragement really helped me on, it was incredible. I had no idea were I was, at one point someone said 37th to me. The chequered flag was a long time coming, 1hr12 mins of grinding through the mud but I was so pleased to have achieved my goal of not being lapped, and on the drive home, even more pleased when I found out that I was in the top 30! Without my tyre blow-out on the final lap a top 25 could have been possible. I'm feeling stronger and really looking forward to Rutland next week, gonna smash it.

A Massive thanks to everyone that helped us out one way or another, or just came up to us to ask about ViCiOUS VELO. Also, a special thanks to Ken Jones and Chris Spencer from Onimpex/BioRacer for getting our kit made and ready for the Nationals in next to no time.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

National Championships, Derby: 20th place

pic by for British Cycling
Just back from an awesome weekend at the National Championships in Derby. I really, really REALLY wanted to come in the top 20, and I did, finishing 20th. Just made it!
The race started well for me, from the third row on the grid I was out of trouble despite some nasty crashes on the start straight. From that point on, I can't really remember much — I just kept my head down, kept pedaling, tried not to crash and tried not to let people overtake me. I was pretty much successful on all fronts, bar not letting people past. At one point I was up in about 15th, but that didn't last long...
I'll let Kev come on and update you on his double weekend, racing Saturday in the Vets and Sunday again in the seniors. Tough guy!
It was great to get loads of support all the way through the race. It's amazing how many people are getting behind us already, and we've only done two races in ViCiOUS kit. Thanks everyone who cheered us on. Special thanks to anyone who gobbed on us, called us cunts and jeered us — we love that stuff. Keep it coming!
Looking anguished - pic by

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Foxhall Stadium Eastern League Video

Check this out — video of our first race in Vicious Velo colours up at the Elmy Cycles Supacross in Ipswich. The course was great, although I came off at one point and wrapped a load of thorns round my cassette, dropping me back from 5th to 9th with 3 laps to go. I worked my way back up to 6th but those last few laps were a massive panic.
Kevin did well to win the Vets race and come 10th overall. He's interviewed at the end of this vid; blink and you'll miss it though, he's not at his most articulate at the end of a race haha.
Taylor Johnstone was on the receiving end of some Viciousness courtesy of Nathan Miller, when Nathan pushed him off the course through the final few corners, earning Nathan a time penalty for the second week running, only this week, he was the race organiser too. Getting disqualified from your own race is a new level of Viciousness, BRAVO!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

What is Vicious Velo a reaction against?

Just saw this on — someone asked "What was Punk music a reaction against" and to quote the answer:

"rock music had become very stale; it was all about long solos and using 12 different guitars. It was extravagant and pretentious. And the culture surrounding it — the hippie ideals like peace and love and everybody being nice to everybody else — seemed trite, unrealistic, namby-pamby, and doomed to failure."

Replace "rock music" with "cycle racing" and you'll see where we're coming from. Being a bike rider has become all about doing long boring rides, and wearing bland, boring clothes, on bland, boring — yet remarkably expensive — bikes.
Fuck that.
Vicious Velo is all about taking things back to basics.

Legs n Lungs n Rock & Roll

Go check out our press release on Cross-Crazy for more.