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Derek’s Sparkling Saumur

This summer, my wife and I spent the last weekend of our holiday in France at the lovely town of Saumur on the banks of the River Loire which, incidentally, is the longest river in France. Our aim was to take in the Anjou Vélo Vintage. 2017 was the 7th running of the vintage cycle festival, although we can remember riding in the Sunday traffic-free cycle ride along the Loire some 20 years ago.

vvs6The festival just about takes in everything you can cram into a long weekend in typically French style. Added to this is the Saturday market in Saumur which takes over all the streets in the centre of town. There are 3 signposted rides on the Saturday of various length and difficulty. I rode the 120km ‘Authentic’ which is only open to pre-1987 bikes. The ride is noted as 120km, which turned out to be 130km, and includes 30km of gravel tracks. I rode my 1984 Holdsworth fitted with 25mm Schwalbe Durano tyres which were perfecty adequate. Many riders on narrower and lighter rubber suffered punctures! The route was well signposted and on very quiet roads and tracks.vvs3 vvs2

My 32 Euros included a brioche before the start, one drink stop, 2 food stops and an eat-all-you-want dinner at the end in the Town Hall square with musical entertainment, including wine. Typically French, wine was also on tap at the stops! My goody bag included energy bar, wine drink voucher, wine glass as an event memento and also a voucher for a bottle of Saumur sparkling white, especially bottled for the event.


The entertainment on stage and in the streets was fantastic, obviously geared at 40s and 50s dance and jive music. Getting dressed in period was ‘de rigueur’, with plenty of stalls selling food, wine, clothing, bikes and bike bits.

On Sunday – plenty of choice. There were 3 signposted routes on offer plus the chance to ride alongside both banks of the Loire down to Angers, with roads completely closed to traffic. In 2016, we rode the 30km ‘family’ route which was great fun – with SEVEN included stops, all including a glass of wine. The 30km route took us nearly 51/2 hours! The best part of the route was through the underground ‘Caves’, old tunnels into the Tufa limestone, which are now used for storing and maturing the sparkling wines of this region. After that wobbly ride, we decided this year not to register but to make our own way around the closed 30km circuit. In every village around the route, there are bars, barbecues and food stops where you can stop, sit and watch the world on 2 wheels (and one, three or four wheels!) go by.

vvs7   vvs5  vvs1

We camped at the Camping d’Offard which is on an island in the middle of the river. The campsite has it’s own bar, restaurant and swimming pool, although it’s only a 15 minute walk or ride into town. There are other camp sites nearby and I believe decent budget to top standard accommodation is also plentiful. Saumur is 3 -4 hours drive South from Caen, and obviously there are other ports and flight options.

We’re definitely going again in 2018, Pauleen’s already supplementing her wardrobe!, so if anyone’s interested or wants more information please let me know. Check out some of the photos on the attached – you may be able to spot yours truly in ‘l’Authentic’!

Derek Schofield

TT News

Rossendale riders have been busy lately in competition, both on and off road, with the highlights being the performances in the recent West Pennine 10 mile time trial event at Sawley, near Clitheroe. The club just missed out on the overall team award by under a minute, with Lisa Greenwood and Sean Greenwood both gaining PBs, in 28:75 and 23:27 respectively. Paul Warrener was 12th overall with 23:14 and Chris Thomas 23rd (24:53).

Lisa Greenwood

Off road, the 1st round of this summer’s Mountain Bike Madness series took place at Leverhulme Park, Bolton. James Tudor was the leading valley rider, coming home 16th in the Expert racer class. Carl Nelson was 34th and Adrian Watts also 16th, this time in the Enthusiast class.

Back on the roads, Blackburn CTC’s 2 up time trial took place at St Michaels last Thursday evening. On a tricky circuit JLT Condor took the win in an astonishing time of 19:16 mins for the 10 miles. Three pairings from the club rode in the event and Paul Warrener and Derek Schofield took the vets award in a time of 23:07 with Chris Thomas/Craig Howarth in 22nd place. A welcome return to racing for Peter Duerden and Tony Pilling saw them take 26th place with an encouraging time of 26:25 mins.

Derek Paul

After 3 events in The Harry law evening TT series, Paul Warrener leads overall by a slender margin of one point from Roy Flanagan. Mick McGrane leads the road bike club class and Natasha Newell heads the Ladies.

Derek’s weekend round-up

The latest round of the L&L spoco series took place last Saturday’s time trial at Hurst Green, near Longridge, and the competitors had to endure a very wet and windy event. The 14 mile circuit took in a loop around Bashall Eaves and, together with major sponsorship, had attracted a large field of the NW’s top riders. Rossendale Road Club were well represented. The event was won by James Gullen of JLT Condor in 32:40, over 2 minutes ahead of second placed David Allonby. Derek Schofield headed the valley based riders in 22nd place (39:54), also taking the 1st V60 award. Paul Warrener (42:29) just held off Russell Milnes (42:59) to take 36th place, with Sean Greenwood making a welcome return to racing in 66th. Lisa Greenwood headed the local ladies in 71st (52:27) and Norman Lomax was unfortunate to suffer a puncture and didn’t finish.

The action on the following day moved North to Caton for a 22 mile event and, in equally bad conditions, James Gullen took his second win of the weekend. The sole representative from Rossendale was Paul Warrener who finished just over the hour in1:04:29 to take 41st spot.

The Spoco series moves further North this weekend with a 2 lap circuit on Sundayaround Lazonby, nr. Penrith.

Derek Schofield

WoodPlumpton Hillclimb 1st Oct 2016

20 David Huck Lakes Road Club Male Senior 2.37.4 1st overall
21 Aidan Holgate North Lancs RC Male Senior 2.46.9 2nd overall
27 Thomas Brook Lancaster CC Male Senior 2.52.4 3rd overall
15 Sam Anderton North Lancs RC Male Senior 2.53.4 4th overall
10 Mark Tickle Leigh Premier Road Club Male Senior 3.00.8 5th overall
25 William Brown Rossendale RC Male Senior 3.07.7
5 Chris Smith Condor RC Male Senior 3.10.7
24 David Stammers Bury Clarion CC Male Senior 3.22.4
22 John Hartley Salford Cycling Club Male Veteran 3.24.6 1st vet
23 Russell Milnes Rossendale RC Male Veteran 3.31.6 2nd vet
16 Paul Targett Pendle Forest CC Male Veteran 3.34.1 3rd vet
26 Kevin Williams ABC Centreville Male Veteran 3.43.6
6 Charlotte Gorman Bury Clarion CC Female Senior 3.49.6 1st lady
17 Will Kerry Lancashire RC Male Junior 3.58.8
3 Julian Monk Rossendale RC Male Veteran 4.11.8
4 Holly Carter Manchester Wheelers Female Senior 4.19.4 2nd lady
11 Martin Wilson Manchester Wheelers Male Senior 4.22.3
8 Julie Holden Salford Cycling Club Female Veteran 4.23.9 3rd lady
7 Hope Kerry Lancashire RC Female Senior 4.24.3
13 Carol Westmorland Border City Whs CC Female Veteran 4.26.2
12 Christopher Thomas Rossendale RC Male Veteran 4.28.3
14 Craig Howarth Rossendale RC Male Veteran 4.37.2
18 Paul Drake Clitheroe Bike Club Male Veteran 5.24.6
19 David Tinker Clayton velo Male Veteran 5.39.9
1 Lisa Greenwood Rossendale RC Female Veteran 5.54.5

Combined Clubs’ 25… Impromptu 10

Nine riders from Rossendale braved a threatening forecast to ride the Impromptu 10 mile time trial at Garstang on Sunday, after roadworks on the A6 forced the Combined Clubs’ 25 mile tt on the L2528 course to be shortened. The rain held off for the Rossendale Riders’ late start times, although blustery conditions made going difficult at times. It being particularly tough on the outward leg through Nateby, but stronger riders were able to take advantage of the strong tailwind through St Michael’s to the finish.

Steve Irwin (NLRC) took the first place in a strong field with a time of 21:52 but there were some excellent rides from our club contingent, with Paul Warrener (24:03) leading the pack, followed by Derek Schofield (24:49) and Russ Milnes (25:02).

Eyes turn to the hills now with the Woodplumpton Road HC this Saturday 1st October, followed by Lancashire Road Clubs event on the Rake the following Sunday.

results-1   results-2


Harry Law 10

In the absence of the ‘big hitters’, it was the turn of the lesser lights to shine at Tuesdays’s latest round of the Rossendale Road Club’s summer time trial series. Andy Horner of Bury Clarion took the opportunity to record his first win of the season in an excellent time of 25:31min for the 10 mile circuit in blustery conditions. Close on his heels was valley club member Derek Schofield, making a rare appearance in this series, in 25:44 with Russ Milnes just another 24 secs back in 3rd.
Riders from both North Lancs and Clitheroe bike clubs made an appearance, in preparation for next week’s running of the Malcolm Eccles Trophy, raised in memory of Malcolm who was a long serving member of Rossendale RC. This will be run over Tuesday and Wednesday evenings over the Hapton and Bashall Eaves circuits, with the aggregate scores from the top 5 riders from each club counting towards the event, and the valley club will be hoping to retain the trophy they won in 2015. With 5 riders counting, strength in depth is the key and all members are urged to turn out to support the club over the two nights of racing. Marshals will also be needed and all help would be appreciated.



Bolton-by-Bowland SPOCO

Saturday saw the time trial season begin with an excellent turnout for the 11 mile hilly circuit above Bolton-by-Bowland. James Gullen took the honours with a time of 23:11, which was 26 seconds quicker than second-placed man Adam Hartley (23:37).
Lee Baldwin (24:49) led Champion Systems VCUK to the team prize.

Full results available here. Download

Photos: Norman Lomax