EC WALES 2006 - 10.09. 2006

Race Report - Swansea Eurocup 2006

This year we had two more UK riders and welcomed back our friends from The Netherlands. Sadly, our Czech friends could not come this year at the last moment because of some technical problems with car! We hope to see you next year.

The 19.5km race and the 3x2km relay races were held as last year in Singleton Park, overlooking the sea and the University in very pleasant warm end-of-summer weather; mostly sunny with a little cloud and a breeze from the south. The park is on the slope of a hill and provides a tough but interesting course of 1.95km with flat stretches, a long fast downhill, some technical bits and two uphill legs. 10 laps on this course is a challengewhich was met again by Lars Kessler (DE) who finished first of the men and by Peterina van der Molen (NL) who finished first of the women with an average of 8 laps at 5:33 for the 15.6km.

A newcomer from the UK this year; Mike King came a pretty close second with an average lap time of 5:21 against Lars's 5:06 - watch out for this guy! Roel van der Velde came third with an average lap time of 5:33. Only Ben Beachell UK and Rob Wachowki (UK) came close to the front runners completing 9 laps each at the end of the race when Lars had finished. Ben's result is particularly impressive since he rides an XC model Kickbike® with off-road tyres and front suspension - it would be interesting to know how quick he is with a customised road bike.

The relay race was entered by 4 teams and won by team (Kamperzeedik - NL) which quite remarkably had two riders with exactly the same name! The fastest lap of the day was Roel's second relay lap at 4:44. Second were Team Krackers (UK) in which Ben Beachell completed the second fastest lap of the day at 4:48.

The races as usual, after clearing the course and getting the bikes packed, were followed by a re-hydration session in the 'Brittania' pub in Llanmadoc followed by a calm technical analysis of racing technique (I don't think so!), distribution of certificates and a rather less calm evening with refreshment and chilli!

Slightly jaded riders assembled at the start of the 1km sprint race on the sea shore which is part of one of the biggest running events in the UK, the Swansea Bay 10km race. The Eurocup race was the first event of the day and - yes, Lars won it, but only by overtaking Roel in the last 200m! A notable third was achieved by David Riches (UK), a relative newcomer to the race closely followed by Pieter Jan van Loo. The weather was again very warm and pleasant, but there was a head wind for part of the race which has brought down finish times from previous years. Goody bags and medals were handed out to contestants at the end. Another enjoyable weekend!

I Look forward to seeing you all next year - Pete Sheterline


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