Archive for the ‘Cycling’ Category

Zappi’s Cyclocross 2014

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

zappi cyclocross 2014 b

On Sunday 19 October 2014 the third Zappi cyclocross race is being held on the Culham Park circuit at Culham in Oxfordshire.

Zappi’s Cycling Club are hosting round 3 of the Central CX League Series. New exciting course at Culham Park circuit. Stunning location close to the Thames.

Culham Park
Culham Science Park
OX14 3DA

 The event takes place at Culham Park which is situated off the A415 between Abingdon and Clifton Hampden. The entrance to the site is through Culham Science Park.

Racing for all ages and levels

Event is sponsored by Ubyk

Enter at the event or through British Cycling website which has a list of races and a map as well

Zappi Cyclo-Cross 2013

Monday, October 14th, 2013
Zappi Cyclo-Cross 2013

Zappi Cyclo-Cross 2013

On Sunday 20 October 2013 the second Zappi cyclo-cross race is being held on the motocross park course at Culham in Oxfordshire.

Zappi’s Cycling Club are hosting round 4 of the Central League Series. New exciting course at Culham Motocross circuit. Stunning location close to the Thames.

 The event takes place at Culham Motocross. Culham Park is situated off the A415 between Abingdon and Clifton

Hampden. The entrance to the site is through Culham No.1 Industrial Park.

Racing for all ages and levels

Enter at the event or through British Cycling website which has a list of races and a map as well

New Zappi’s website and online store

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

A new website has been launched for Zappi’s cycling club that includes an on-line store selling the very sought-after  Zappi club kit. There is also the option to purchase club membership which makes it easier to join the club. There is information about club rides and also a forum, the address is the easy to remember

Zappi Cycling Club website

All About the Doping – USADA releases its findings

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

The US Anti Doping Agency have released a statement on their website today 10 October 2012 saying

Today, we are sending the ‘Reasoned Decision’ in the Lance Armstrong case and supporting information to the Union Cycliste International (UCI)

The text of the article on the USADA website can be found at

It will be interesting to see what the UCI make of the documents they receive from USADA.

While on the one hand it is troubling that this case has not been tried in a court of law, the evidence seems to be overwhelming with so many former members of US Postal coming clean about their past.

George Hincapie has confessed and been suspended today for his pains, although he retired a short while ago, see the article in Cycling News at

Levi Leipheimer has also been suspended, he was racing on the Tour de France only a couple of months ago along with Hincapie.

Tyler Hamilton gives details in his book which are pretty damming of Armstrong even if it does seem very biased and self-serving at times, it is very difficult to set this level of detail to one side and ignore it all.

It seems very difficult to believe there is a conspiracy against Lance and his Livestrong foundation that is being funded by Tobacco money as he seems to be alleging.

There are now no less than 11 of his former team mates who have given evidence of systematic doping practices at US Postal.

And another statistic from the USADA report that makes grim reading is

Twenty of the twenty-one podium finishers in the Tour de France from 1999 through 2005 have been directly tied to likely doping through admissions, sanctions, public investigations or exceeding the UCI hematocrit threshold.
Of the forty-five (45) podium finishes during the time period between 1996 and 2010, thirty-six (36) were by riders similarly tainted by doping.12

Zappi Cyclo Cross Race

Sunday, October 7th, 2012

On Sunday 21st of October the first Zappi cyclocross race is being held on the motocross park course at Culham in Oxfordshire.  There is a map and details of the event on the British Cycling website and there is a website for the event at

Zappi’s Cycling Club are hosting a round of the Central League Series at Thame. New exciting course at Culham Motocross circuit. Stunning location close to the Thames.

 The event takes place at Culham Motocross. Culham Park is situated off the A415 between Abingdon and Clifton

Hampden. The entrance to the site is through Culham No.1 Industrial Park.

Racing for all ages and levels

Full programme of kid’s races and an adult novice race

Enter at the event or through British Cycling

Race day prizes

To volunteer help or find out more – please call 07796 696367

Zappi Cyclo Cross

La Faisanera Golf Segovia to Bola del Mundo

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

The penultimate stage of this year’s Vuelta de España will finish with the ascent of the Bola del Mundo. This is only the second time this climb has been used in the Vuelta after the first ascent two years ago in 2010.

The stage will start in a golf club in the picturesquely named region of Quitapesares, that roughly translates as Take away Sorrow, which is near the Royal Palace of La Granja de San Idelfonso.

The climb will start in Puerto de Navacerrada and is just over 11 km of climbing with an average gradient of 8.6% and with the last three kilometres getting progressively harder with ramps of over 20%.

This will hopefully take the fine attacking racing we’ve enjoyed this year right up to second to last day of the 2012 Vuelta.  Then there will presumably be a procession in to Madrid the next day with one of Purito Rodríguez,  Alberto Contador, Alejandro Valverde or even  Chris Froome wearing the definitive red jersey. With plenty of racing still to go before Saturday nothing is definitive yet although Contador looks ominously strong and is gaining strength rather than fading as lots of people had predicted.

There will be plenty of climbing before the riders even reach the Bola del Mundo as they have to get over the Navafría, Canencia, Morcuera and Cotos climbs on their way to the final challenge of the day.

Collado de la Gallina – not routine but full of surprises

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

Yesterdays ascent to the Collado de la Gallina in Andorra  in stage 8 of the Vuelta a España 2012 was described in El Pais by saying

there is nothing more beautiful than the surprising, the unexpected, the unpredictable.  And routine only provokes tiredness. And cycling is surprise, amen of being tiring,  or it’s not cycling, only routine.

Allowing for what is lost in translation, that does sum up yesterdays stage and in particular the last climb up the Collado de la Gallina which was full of surprises and devoid of routine.  This climb was described by the TV commentators as  Andorras’ Alpe d’Huez, as it winds its way up the mountain side with classic hairpin bends it does look like a smaller version of the famous French climb. The difference is that although it is shorter at somewhere over 7 km of climbing it is a whole lot steeper with ramps of 23% if the TV commentary was correct.

And it produced  a fascinating finale to the stage with first an electric attack by Valverde who appeared to escape but was then dragged back by gravity re-join the bunch. Then immediately a counter-attack by Froome who broke clear dragging Contador along with him. It then appeared it would be between these two riders but Contador refused to do any work in spite of Froome almost coming to a complete stop on the steepest sections of the climb.

So Froome and Contandor where caught again by the bunch, which by now was reduced to being a bunch of six that included the red jersey Rodríguez as well as Valverde. As they reached the steeper sections at the top of the climb Froome tried to get away at least twice before Contador made what appeared to the definitive escape dancing away from his three rivals and distancing them by quite a gap. Froome tried to bridge the gap and seemed to be getting away from the the other two riders then almost in the last 300 metres Valverde and Contador counter-attacked and swept past Froome who suddenly appeared to be standing still then they swept up to Contador with Valverde diving in the last corner to take his second stage.

It was fine attacking cycling and lovely to watch, in the end Froome lost some time, Valverde surprised everyone at least twice, Contador looked strong and inscrutable, and Purito Rodríguez kept the red jersey. So the Vuelta a España 2012 continues and there is no clear leader, we no wait for the time trial on Wednesday to see whether Froome will take some time back from Rodríguez and whether Contador can take time from Valverde.


Garmin GSC10 problems – the saga continues

Saturday, August 25th, 2012

I decided to purchase another GSC10 as I was keen to see whether its lack of waterproofing had been fixed by Garmin (for the background here is my previous take on this, see  Garmin Gsc10 problems).  Also the replacement unit sourced from the German  company o-synce had failed after working for a couple of years  (see MACRO 2SXcom speed and cadence sensor).

The new GSC10 was delivered from Wiggle a month ago and fitted to my bike. To get it working all I had to do was to change the wheel magnet as they don’t seem to be compatible, neither will work with the speed sensor from the other company which seems odd, a magnet is a magnet after all. My Garmin Edge 705 picked up the cadence sensor right away with no problems and it all worked well together.


Vuelta de España 2012 – Stage 8 – Lleida – Andorra Collado de la Gallina

Friday, August 24th, 2012

Collado de la Gallina

The stage tomorrow will be tough with 174 km ending in a new climb up the Collado de la Gallina, which roughly translates as the Col of the Chicken, but the name is misleading as this is a tough climb which is some 7.5 km long  (it goes further but the final bit will not be raced as it is a dirt road) and has an average of over 8% with some ramps of over 18%.

This promises a spectacular end to the stage tomorrow and may show who is the stronger of the GC contenders. It is a relief to get away from the Lance Armstrong case and back to bike racing and for sure whoever relaxes and takes their eye off the ball tomorrow risks losing a bucket load of time.

According to the Vuelta official website Lleida has been the depart of a Vuelta stage on 15 occasions, although you have to go back nearly 20 years to the time of Alex Zulle for the last time it enjoyed this honour. Nothing much is said about Andorra with the attention in Spain being concentrated on Sundays stage to Barcelona.

Zappi Gran Fondo sportive

Sunday, August 5th, 2012

On Sunday 16th of September the first edition of the Zappi Gran Fondo will take place, starting and finishing at the Cherwell School on the Marston Ferry Road in Oxford. There will be two routes, one Medio Fondo at 110 km and the Gran Fondo which is 185 km.

To my knowledge this is the only sportive that actually starts in Oxford and promises to provide an exciting and fun time to all participants, with a challenging route into the Cotswolds for the Gran Fondo which includes a climb of Fish Hill.

There are lots of details on the webpage at so why not visit the site and sign up for what promises to be a great day out on the bike.

What do you get on this event?

  • Electronic chip timing
  • 500 Riders
  • 1st class service stations on course
  • Signing on goody bag
  • Full Route Signage
  • Mobile mechanics
  • Free parking
  • Toilets
  • Photography
  • Pre ride refreshments at HQ
  • Post ride food + refreshments at HQ
  • Broom Wagon
  • GPX file of route and printed map