Next Event: Fearnoch Cross
Country Sunday 10th March 10am for 11am start
Chris Bell Racing fund for Mountain
Although only here in Oban a short time Chris Bell became a key
player in the club with blistering performances on and off road,
behind the scenes on the committee and as one of the Oban Sportive
organisers. It's clear that he was able to offer that same level
of commitment in any number of fields and cement strong relationships
on the way, always with infectious enthusiasm. He will be greatly
Contributions are being encouraged to the Mountain
Rescue teams via Chris
Bell Rings Time on Stag Party
In the final event of Tom Smith's Stagathlon the stage was set
at the NACC/WHW winter league round at Barcaldine. The humble
arena belied the quality of the field with past Winter League
champions, Celtmen and British Champions in the line up. With
two laps of burning climbs and steep, treachorous, natural, single
track descents and lingering hangovers this was a course for a
prodiguous climber and fearless downhiller. This was one man's
race. The Bell Boy came of age, the Blackburn Bullet, the Ubiquitous
Bell at his best took minutes out of his rivals and established
a new course record. That's where I'll remember him.
Tour Avoids Oban Rain
A record turnout for the Tour of Loch Linnhe left Oban and the
rain behind sweeping North to Corran. The lead group parted company
with the beleaguered peleton before the first ferry and battled
against a strong headwind to Lochaline. The final sprint to Craignure
was taken by "Bullet" Bell from Nick Charlton.
Dents on Cruachan
A healthy tailwind blew away last year's times with the ubiquitous
Bell heading the table. Four Dents were lead by Stephen taking
second place. Most others ended the season happy with pb's and
all enjoyed a good Lunch at Airds Bay courtesy of the Robinsons.
No Giving, No Winning!
Pre-race handicap jockeying now being the norm in the middle
order; a lead group was set off at four minutes and the remaining
riders offered a start at the time of their choice. David Turnbull
took his chances a couple of minutes later and the remainder took
the scratch start. The chasing group failed to produce any givers
and remained intact and behind the leaders at the third turn of
the Creagan roundabout. Ben Miller stood up on the turn with a
puncture and left Mike Bossard to attack the hill pursued by Nick.
Teaming up on the descent wasn't enough to throw off David Robinson
who ground through the gap. From the bridge Robinson and Charlton
slugged it out catching a still fighting Peter Martin but leaving
Kevin Whitehead free to cross the line unchallenged to win.
NACC "Owns" Craggy Island Triathlon
With six members in the top 22 NACC were the best represented
club in this new classic triathlon.
Hell or High Water
The large hill and having to climb it twice comes
as a nasty surprise to visitors to the NACC TT course. Nothing
could have led John Bosely and his wife to expect to wade through
the sea as well. Those who braved August's spring tide steeplechase
put in commendable times with PB's for Ben Miller and Chris Bell
who will now be vying for second place in the series. Davy Gunn
is numerically in with a shot too.
Having struggled to find a flat 25mile stretch
without obstacles it was decided to have a re-run of the standard
ten miles or Loch Creran without the hill. David Turnbull was
rewarded for all his hard work and new bike by becoming the
fastest rider over 10 miles with a course record of 24.22. Fiona
Gunn returned to competition after a long rest to establish
the ladies course record in 37.22. Full
Fort William Raided
Three Nacc riders headed North intent on doing some damage on
the Wheelers 25 mile TT course. Bell 3rd 59.18, Bossard 5th 61.08
and Charlton 7th 62.13.
Bossard relaxes in the motorhome.
Blackburn Bullet Breaks Record
the scratch group containg time trial giants Ben Miller, Stuart
Moran,Chris Bell and David Robinson the handicap riders set off
like lambs to the slaughter. Despite spirited efforts the prey
was nearly all caught by the start of the final climb. Dangerman
Miller attacked on the hill followed by Bell with Blainey in tow,
still with juice in his legs. Jim Stuart and Davy Gunn were caught
at the start of descent and they jumped on the train with Blainey
riding solo just behind. Miller made a break but the pace was
too high for Bell who tucked in behind Gunn, hopped onto Jim and
slingshot off at the final corner to catch Miller on the line
snatching victory with a thrust of the arms. The finishing time
was a course record of 45 mins giving Bell reason to be cheerful.
See picture for the ageing effect of this event.
June's flattish TT rescheduled into the wet saw times drop by
up to 5 minutes. More about the power and less the weight Nick
Charlton took advantage closely followed by guest Martin Wilson.
Everybody enjoyed better than usual times and benchmarks were
set for all categories.
With four TT's down Stuart Moran has cleaned up the full 200
points which will earn him this years trophy. Chris Bell warmed
up with a lap of Mull and put in a personal best of 26.10 and
holds 2nd in the rankings. This could be challenged over the final
two outings by Bossard, Miller or Turnbull. It's not over yet.
Moran on Track
At the halfway point with three TT's completed Stuart Moran is
the man to beat with a perfect score of 150. Blustery conditions
held him back to just over 25 mins. Fixed ratio records continued
to fall with Martin Charlton brightening the day and improving
his time against the elements. Good to see some old faces reappearing
with Tom Wilding on form and the return of the clubs founding
Chairman Chris Hutchens both sub 30.
Bell Boy Pips It
The Tour of Loch Awe was a race of two halves.
A dry run out with determined climbing, a very leisurely lunch
and a long wet slog home to Sunny Oban. Consistent climbing,
a good start in the sprint and other contributions to the Spirit
of the Tour earned Chris Bell the most points. First to cross
the line was Jim Montgomery. Ever the tactician he learned quickly
from Iain Stuart's example on Mull by pushing straight on as
soon as the breakaway rule allowed it, leaving the others at
the mercy of the Portsonachan Chef. An unscheduled diversion
by Bell and Bossard via the cycletrack nearly cost Bell the
Tour as the peleton just slid into Oban before them, pushing
Nick Charlton and Davy Gunn up the rankings.
Mull not Mobbed
The annual Tour of Mull brought forward to May was a quiet affair
but the Spirit of the Tour was as strong as ever. Some points
were awarded and the winner in no particular order was newcomer
Iain Stuart who used the post lunch breakaway rule to good advantage.
Records Keep Tumbling
May's TT continued to rewrite the record books. Moran found more
in his legs to set 24.36. And the Charlton brothers as yet uncontested
in the fixed ratios made more progress. The top of the table looks
to be taking shape with Moran and Turnbull, both new entrants
this year, with the bulk of the points.
If you're looking for Finlay Wells you probably won't need
to bother checking Musdale. Gravel, potholes, cattle grids,
sheep and shit make this the roughest hill climb in Britain.
Seven of North Argyll's finest turned out and hid in Kilmore
bus shelter until the worst of the rain had passed. The course
is 4.3 miles and 220m of climb starting flat and then climbing
in short steep bursts, wheels spinning at times, to the top.Whippets
Ben Miller and Ian Sim put in good times and Stephen Dent getting
stronger all the time was not far behind. The coast downhill
is equally challenging leading to some Armstrongesque excursions
into the countryside. Thanks to all for coming and to Alan Dent
for timing. Full results
Duathlon Doesn't Disappoint
sunshine graced the tranquil setting of Sutherlands Grove and
the low turnout didn't dampen the spirits of the competitors.
The youngest, Tormod Doherty, came all the way from Dunoon to
put in a good performance on the Junior Course in 33.50 close
to Calum Kirsop's course record from 2010. Leigh Murray showed
true sportswomanship by following Charmaine Love on a slight detour
before taking the advantage in the cycle leg and going on to win.
Mike Bossard still in his prime lead from the start against a
field which may have looked more at home at the bowls club. Thanks
to all for coming and the Marshall's for their help.
Duathlon set to expand
The Barcaldine duathlon now in it's 5th year is set to expand.
Designed as an introduction for cyclists to running and running
to cyclist's the course is demanding but not technically challenging
and suitable for all abilities with the top places being hard
fought for and a short course for youngsters or fun entrants.
Hill Racing have kindly included us in their calendar of events
and we hope to see some of their regulars at Sutherlands Grove.
The cycle course is suitable for mountain or cyclo cross bikes.
See route map to right. Meet is 10am for 11am start Sunday 15th
April at Sutherlands Grove just North of Barcaldine Village.
NACC are Better than WHW
The Annual Barcaldine XC attracted the cream of the West Coast
off roaders. The storm damage had been cleared to recover the
natural, technical single tracks. The Deer Path stage 1 and 2
with side slopes, roots, rocks, sludge and now root ball craters,
the Green Mile chopping through the trees and the legendary Tony's
Trail from the top of the course back to the dam at insane angles
are what they came for. Old hand Ruari Watt gave up first position
to Ben Thompson with a flat also letting through Liam Moinihan
and three NACC riders Bossard, Bell and Smith. Right behind them
was the first Junior Lachlan Blair. Marian Austen was challenged
only by the course to win the ladies. In the team competition
NACC just clinched it.
TT Record Smashed
The Summer Time Trial series 2012 kicked off at Loch Creran in
mixed but gentle weather. A good field of fifteen with a broad
range of machinery from an 80's rust bucket, a converted mountain
bike through standard road bikes, up to no compromise carbon rocket
ships. Skin suits and teardrop helmets were also noticed. Course
record was blown away by new club member Stuart Moran on his first
outing with a time of 25.15. Will Stuart be the first to break
25! New benchmarks were also set for single speed Nick and fixed
wheel Martin Charlton.
|Mergers and Acquisitions
Plucky independent Bikefix recently returned to Oban has joined
forces with Nevis cycles to open a new Oban superstore. Nevis
Cycles, now officially a chainstore, have supported Fort William
and Oban cyclists over many years. Proprietors old and new Maggie,
John and Ben Thompson are the living legends of cycling on the
West Coast.. The store will be run by well known cycle magnate
(and legend) Kevin Whitehead. Opening night is scheduled for
Sat 15th October.
NACCattack on Podium
Relentless the event with no midges guaranteed is familar ground
for the four riders of team NaccAttack. Nothing could have prepared
them however for the conditions laid on by evil organiser Fraser
Coupland. Rain was the order of the day and after getting a lap
each out of the way and establishing third position, manager Mike
Bossard imposed a two lap strategy to keep the laundry to a minimum.
The team battled on through the night with the wet, gritty course
taking its toll on the bikes. Nevis Cycle's Dougie was a regular
vistor with brake pads for all and for Mike's last laps it was
all we could do to scrape one working bike together. All smiles
at the finish and third place was held all the way for a spot
on the podium.