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Let me start with some interesting things that have happened at the shop over the last few weeks...
We've had loads of new Summer clothing turn up and as such Tania, Nick and Ray have rearranged the clothing to best show off our current ranges. We've already had compliments about how fresh it looks and the great variety of clothing available for both men and women.
New items this year include Mavic's helmet range (as tried and tested by our own race team), some fantastic bits from Sportful and more womenswear from Endura.
As you may have seen me Tweet about last week we've got GoPro in stock now! These amazing cameras offer users the chance to record their goings on in picture perfect quality. A couple of my colleagues have been playing around with a demo one for the past couple of weeks and Matt even tried to record one of the early season races with it (unfortunately he forgot to charge it up first!). Expect to see some of their homemade, or rather outdoor-made, movies on here and on our Facebook page soon.
We've also added Zipp Service Course bars and stems to our shelves to offer more choice when you decide to build your dream bike.
Enough about new products, what else has been happening... Club Corley Cycles is attracting new members every week, and hopefully this means we'll have some cracking rides organised throughout the year including night time MTB rides! E-mails will be sent out shortly detailing the next event so hopefully you'll be able to join in. We're looking into getting our first Club Corley maintenance class set up, so if you need a bit of help with the more basic aspects of bike maintenance but don't like to ask keep checking back and get yourself signed up.
Now onto my Sunday job, driving riders to races and hoping to see them cross the line first... When I last wrote Matt had picked up a win at Thruxton, Liam won at the Bowl, Ashley had come 4th at the Peter Young and Rich had placed 5th at the Jock Wadley. Since then... Chris Dredge picked up his first cycling win at the Bowl and then come 3rd the following week. Liam had come 3rd at the race Chris had won, 7th in the Bill Jinks Memorial and started and finished his first ever Premier Calendar, the Dengie Marshes Tour, where he ended 34th.
And Matt won his second race of the year - the Wally Gimber Trophy. Matt had been in the day long break with his team mate Ashley and big names including Simon Gaywood, Marcel Six and Steve Lampier (all former winners of the race). On the last lap Matt managed to get away from the group with only Marcel Six able to go with him. He led all the way from the bottom of the hill and managed to hold on all the way to the line for a close victory over Six.
The Dengie Marshes Tour was the following week where Matt ended up 33rd, Liam as I already said was 34th, Ashley 38th and Mike 42nd. Doing a race like Dengie there is always going to be an element of luck involved, not necessarily having good luck, but being able to avoid bad luck. Unfortunately Rich and Milly both punctured very early on and wouldn't go on to contest the race.
Where else have we been, oh yes, Scotland. What a grim weekend, cold, wind, rain all added up to make each stage a battle of attrition. Having missed the break on the first day Milly spent a long time on the front of the bunch with little help trying to get the gap down, he didn't finish the first stage. The crit was an hour of misery and although a rogue safety pin tried to take Ashley out of the race they all got round the stage. Stage 3 in addition to the cold, wind and rain was also long. Overall our highest placed rider was Matt in 35th.
Enough about Scotland, it's making me cold thinking about it, brrrrr. Yesterday (Sunday 15th) six riders from Team Corley Cycles/Blue took the start of the Glade CC Spring Road Race. On the first lap Matt attacked the bunch, shortly joined by 6 others, this group gained a maximum gap of around 2 minutes. They looked to be working well together whilst the bunch were grimacing trying to reel them back, this effort caused the race to splint massively with a big group being stopped with 2 laps to go. Up the road a chase group had managed to latch on to the front group only to split again, now with Roy and Matt both in the new front group.
Just before the finish hill, and before they took the bell signifying the last lap Matt attacked again. When he crossed the line with a lap to go he had a gap of about 45 seconds and he looked strong. Unfortunately Colin Parry (Wilier) was also looking strong, he managed to bridge the gap and open up a gap of his own to take a fine solo win. Matt came 2nd 19 seconds back. Nick Baker (Team Zappis) took third after having also taken all of the primes. Roy came 5th just losing out on 4th to Andrew Griffiths (IG-Sigma) and Ashley came 7th.
In another part of the country Liam and Chris were racing at the Stan Jones Road Race. Liam rang me some time after the finish, apparently having spent a good while looking for his windjacket (if anyone reading this picked it up I would be most grateful of it's return!). The reply I got from asking how it went - "It was a good course, hard, but it really suited me" and...? "Erm... I won". So Liam had his 3rd win of the season, shouldn't be too long until he gets his first category licence now!
That's my "quick" recap over. I'll make sure the next installment is done soon so it doesn't have to be this long next time!
Yours in sport,