Eventual winner James Coleman leads his clubmate Pierre Thomas of Cadence RT and the rest of the 3/4 pack. Line judge Laurie Chalk in a fine VC Walcot cap looks on

The evening of Tuesday 4th June 2013 saw our club’s first event at the new Odd Down Circuit. Although we’d had the experience of the last few years’ promotions at Victoria Park as well as the opportunity to help with the inaugural Bath Cycling Club race last week, there was still a feeling of trepidation going in. Had we forgotten the chalk to draw the finish line? Had organiser Jonathan Arnold swotted up on his British Cycling book of rules, the better to be ready when whichever official Race Commissaire we’d been allocated ran a critical eye over our well-drilled team of helper elves.

As it turned out, we had a sunny evening and a lot of happy faces, even from the poor chap in the vintage ‘Peugeot’ jersey who the Commissaire made remove his pannier rack and mudguards on the start line and who then crashed in the closing laps of the 3/4 race.


A full field of 40 on the start line for the 3/4 race

You can read the results on the British Cycling website here and a fine race report from Daniel McKimm who came an eventful 9th in the E123 race for the Dream Cycling team.

Importantly, it was entertaining racing to watch with ‘Awesome’ Alec Baskaya putting on a good show in winning from the Elites but Alec Rumball of the Bath CC getting the spectators’ award and plenty of boisterous support from his trackside clubmates in bravely bridging across the bunch to the breakaways and oh-so-nearly making it to 4th. Ma and Pa Coleman held court on the viewing grass and modestly declined to explain the secret of parenting sons James – winner of the 3/4 race – and Charles – 3rd in the E123. Although genes and tallness looked likely to us.

Disappointments? We were determined to offer a women’s race but only had one entry which has sparked much debate about how we might improve this. You can be sure we’re on the case but do speak up if you have any suggestions.

Meanwhile, the next VC Walcot Odd Down Circuit races are on Tuesday week the 18th June so you can either sign up and enter a race under the proud #vcwalcotracing twitter hashtag or turn up and watch – even better, volunteer and expand your skills. Two weeks ago stalwart member Dan Lunnon didn’t realise that junior racers are not permitted to cycle further than a certain distance per pedal revolution according to their category. Now he knows all the metres per age group in his sleep. It can only improve your CV, folks.  

Seconds after this, Alec Baskaya of Dream Cycling turned on the power to drop breakaway companion James Lowsley-Williams of Team UK Youth and went on to win the E123 race

More pictures by Nick Rearden on Flickr here