CS Grupetto

We are a little bit different to most clubs in that we\'re primarily a group of friends who socialise off the bike, but we happen to share a common interest in cycling and cyclesport. We are based in Putney and have regular weekend rides out to Windsor and the Surrey Hills, as well as occasional trips elsewhere.

We have a wide variety of cycling interests amongst club members, from track riding to road racing, and sportives to bike polo. Several of our members have their race licences, and we\'re represented in every category including Elite

We regularly travel further afield to enjoy some of the classic races – this year quite a few of us have ridden the Tour of Flanders and Paris Roubaix sportives, and then watched the pros follow our tyre tracks. We also try and get to see the Ghent and Berlin six day track events.

At the core of the club ethos is a desire to enjoy good rides with good friends.


Peter Young Memorial ride

Deep in the pain cave doesn’t begin to describe it!

We set off for Chobham feeling yesterday’s TT in our legs (in a good way), and with some ganga-rap playing on the stereo, life was sweet. Since there was a pretty good field we decided that any move that had each of the main teams represented was the place to be.

Wayne, Ricky and Steve kindly came to support and hand us bottles, which was vital!

The race set off and as expected there were attacks from the gun. The best bit was that we were represented in almost all of them. I think I only did a single turn of domestique as we built up a bit of a lead together. However, nothing seemed to stick and I guess I got tired after about 45 minutes because I ended up no longer in the thick of it on the front.

I looked up and there was a big group up the road – Nic was in this. A bit annoyed to have missed it I decided to move back to the front to see if I could bridge the gap. It soon became clear that I wouldn’t be able to do that. But luckily when a few Corley riders put the hammer down on the hill I was there, and a second chase group was formed. We rode quite well together and had the breakaway within about 300m at one point, then they seemed to disappear up the road again.

We were riding well and I was feeling thrilled to be in a chase group way ahead of the bunch in the second time I rode this race. We turned onto the finishing circuit (6 short laps with a climb), and I was feeling it in my legs the first time over the climb. The next time over the climb me and a couple of other riders couldn’t stick with it anymore. We tried to work together but I was really blowing by this point. Then disaster struck, I looked behind and there was the bunch again.

All that work and effort for nothing!

Then next time over the hill I couldn’t even stick with the bunch any more. I was fucked big time. Ricky offered me a bottle but all I wanted was a push.

Worked together again with a couple of other riders and one of the people from the break who I guess was in the same place as me. Thought about getting off on the next lap but decided to keep going. Ate the rest of my Snickers and just resolved to finish. At some point the Motorpoint guys and Nic’s group both came steaming past me, amazing to see those guys ride.

Then it occurred to me that maybe I wasn’t behind the bunch and actually I was still ahead of them. This was confirmed when I crossed the line and heard the bell for me, which was just a few seconds before the winner crossed the line. So I kept riding as fast as I could, now determined to stay ahead of the bunch!

If this is confusing, the reason being that we’d already done a lap on the finishing circuit before the bunch joined it (I presume).

Anyway, despite being totally broken I did just finish ahead of the bunch, and am pretty happy to see how I improved on last year. From being content to finish the race last year; to have really been part of making the race at the start, riding in a chasing group, totally blowing but digging in and fighting to the end, I’m pretty chuffed.

Also the moral of the story is never ever to give up, and never to get off before the finish, because you just never know what is going on behind or ahead of you.

Nic of course got a great result against and all-star break, but I’ll let him tell his own story. Hopefully the beginning bit corroborates with mine!

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