29 September 2006

Ian Cleverly's 2006 race

A great report from the London Cyclesport website from vet Ian Cleverly.
"Ingleborough is, it has to be said, a pig of a climb"

"Nick Craig overtakes soon after, looks over and smiles, practically invites me to join him, come home and meet the family"

28 September 2006

Keighley press cutting

Keighley news reporter ran this article today: Jebb Claims Sixth Peaks Win (from Thisisbradford)

"For me, it's been the best year ever. It'll never be as good."

Well... I dunno actually - all we need is a muddy nationals in January and 2007 could be off to a good start.

icHuddersfield - newspaper report on local riders

A useful round-up of Three Peaks fortunes relating to riders local to Huddersfield.

27 September 2006

A mere 650 photos from Pete Hartley

The number of Pete Hartley's photos of this year's event beggars belief. That would have been 20 rolls of film in the old days. Sme great shots and worth paying for if yours is a good one. Click on the out-of-control-blogger trying to beat Noel Clough down Penyghent to see all 650.

26 September 2006

Singletrack minds

A good thread of everyone's outpouring of their experiences on the Singletrack World website here.

"There was a guy sat on the grass near the finish area when we were leaving. He was crying."

Alpe D'Huez in reverse

A classic tale of Three Peaks excitement from Dominic Makin on the Three Peaks forum .

"...set off plumeting down to the first feed station where a sizeable crowd were offering support to
everyone - like Alp D' huez in reverse ..."

British Cycling's race report and photos

British Cycling's website gives a fairly lengthy report on this year's race along with two large galleries of images from Andrew Kennedy. Andrew must have been wiping his lens or changing his memory card as I came past, because he, too, decided not to take any photos of me, but never mind, Keith Parkinson emailed me this one, so at leat now I know that I didn't dream it all.....

2006 official photo gallery

The official Three Peaks site is now getting populated with photos - so far there's contributions from Pete Hartley and Keith Parkinson. Click on Lewis to see the index.

25 September 2006

More pics, this time from Andy Rushforth

Pretty in pinkAndy Rushforth has come up with another good set of flcikr shots this year. The long views from the top part of Penyghent show the splendid weather off well. Click on Jenn Hopkins' pink kit to see the set of loads of photos.

Simon Barnes' Penyghent snaps

Best pics of the year so far competition goes to Simon Barnes. No prize, just congrats for a great set of prints and STILL none of me. Tssk. Truly great shots though. Click the Jebbmeister to see them.

Mark Lenderyou's Ingleborough pics

Some great snaps of the action kicking off on the lower slopes of Simon Fell. Click Phil to see them.

24 September 2006

Another odd name, another fine set of snaps.

Someone, presumably of Eastern origin, called "NikonAlan" has posted some brill photos of the river crossing area on Whenrside. Clik on Eric Taylor to view them.

Johnbh100's Whernside pics

Image hosted by Webshots.comSomeone preferring to only be known as Johnbh100 has posted some cracking shots from Whernside. Click Rob to see them all.

24 09 2006: How was it for you?

Wow - it's all over again bar the blogging. Please email your own tales of the 2006 Three Peaks to me using the 'Email me' link on the right hand panel.

Three Peaks Cyclo CrossA friend of almost 20 years - John Walker - turned up today and I see so little of him normally so it was a lovely bonus. He gets the prize for the first published photos from this year's race - click on the image to see them.

So for me, after eleven starts and now ten finishes (don't ask!) this was the year I really think it all came together. I rode down Whernside on a flat back tyre. My front straddle wire snapped half way down Whernside, and I snapped my chain, having already given my chain tool to Stuart Reid (stronger team mate in need!) on Ingleborough. I had to run for about ten minutes and lost four places, but I can't deny that I did the ride of my life this year and was pleased with how it all came together.

Read about it on my personal blog here....

And what will the pundits make of the 45th Three Peaks? Well, it was the year that Rob Jebb equalled Tim Gould's record of six wins. From what I saw of it, Rob was never in trouble. Anyone who refers' to him as a 'fell runner' obviously hasn't witnessed the way he has ridden away from the whole field on the start of Simon fell in the last two events.

It was also a bit of a sad year for us here at Wheelbase - we missed the team prize because of a below par Stuart Reid (on flying form until an illness two weeks before and a recurring back problem hampered his progress even more). This when Rob was backed up by a very strong ride from Lewis Craven - taking third for the second time in three years. Hat's off to the Scott team though - only three riders but all in the top ten.

Anyway - get in touch with your tales and let's hear how it was for you.

21 September 2006

My brother's 'peaks preparation: a string of bad fortune

The 3 peaks forum has a popular thread on it asking 'Anyone else got a cold?' Reading through my brother Phil's blog this morning his is one of those tales typical of some of the sufferers on the forum. I have trained with Phil just once this year (he lives 300 miles away!) but chatted endlessly about preparing for the 'Peaks, and one recurring thing is making sure you're well as well as strong. For Phil, the wheels have really come off the wagon in the last few weeks - and his summary of how the last few weeks have gone is depressing reading. Still - he'll be on the start line and making the best of it - as we all do. Good luck, Phil - I know you'll put everything into it come what may.

19 September 2006

Diary of someone who takes it all too seriously

In a strange sequence of events that relate in a way to why I'm doing this blog, the BBC Countryfile programme got in touch with me last week and said they wanted to follow me preparing for this year's race. They're doing a programme about the race to be shown on BBC on 1st October, and have decided that they're going to feature the race as one of the main focuses - so tune in. They spent some time on Monday driving round bits of the area with John Rawnsley and will be out filming on Sunday.

Talking to them as I had to over five hours of filming, I couldn't help thinking that I take the Three Peaks a bit too seriously once or twice, but then I soon slipped back into my self-dellusion and got on with dreaming of a top 20 place.

The day itself was quite a lot of fun really - slow moving at time - having to do bits to the camera and pretending to train - but the whole thing was well worth the visit - and inevitable recce of some bits of the course (not in a rule violating way!!). The course is looking pretty fast again up Blea Moor way - and I'm expecting Rob to beat his own record this year if he has a trouble-free ride.

Also bumped into three of the Horwich CC lads up there having a jog over Whernside. Nice to see you all.... good luck on the 24th. I'm off to sign some autographs and prepare for a lucrative TV career.

14 September 2006

A single-minded single speeder

Shonkysinglespeeder is keeping a blog and has entered the three peaks on a single speed bike. Well, at least he wont get in our way.

How it's going for me

It's just occurred to me that I've got so 'blogged down' in tracking what else everyone else is doing that I've not really told you loyal readers about my own build-up to the 24th September.

First, a tiny bit of background context - I'm not podium material - let's get that straight - my best ever position in nine finishes is 20th - and beating that is this year's priority. I'd love to have time for more training, but with a young family and a 9-5 job, I've got to be realistic about just how good I can actually get at all of this.

The basic pattern of my year, (the new year always starts the day after the Three Peaks) is:
  • Ride the 'cross season until end of Jan
  • Just ride the bike and a bit of running until the clocks change
  • Start fell running in the spring (including the Three Peaks fell race the last two years)
  • Add a few crits on the bike in summer
  • Three Peaks specific training and longer hours on the bike in August and September
... so that's how it's been again this year - and it's going fairly well really. I've had my ups and downs - in terms of fitness as well as altitude - but I'm getting there and feel like I've got the engine to to a good one this year.

I did my back in in mid August - gardening - felt like a total idiot having to go to see an osteopath and hobbling around when I was supposed to be honing my form. But I was lucky and the six days I ended up doing with no exercise acted as both a rest and a wake-up call. The Yorkshire CCA day was the first ride I'd done after that - straight into six hours mostly off road - but I was - thankfully - fine.

Bank holiday weekend saw me ride up to Ingleton through Bowland on the Saturday, run Whernside on the Sunday, then ride home on the Monday. Good training and good psychological stuff getting out on Whernside.

My brother Phil - another experienced 'Peaks rider came up from Devon to ride the and I rode Cumberland Cycle Challenge in early September - a good solid training ride - and a rare opportunity to spend some quality time with Phil.

Last weekend I rode the first cyclo-cross in the NW league - at Northwich - I thought it was time I shocked my body with some racing. I won that in a field of 65 riders - so felt good - and still do.

Experienced riders will know that it's much more than being fit or experienced - so I've also been trying to reduce the risks and leave as little as possible to chance. This has meant some recces of the course - despite how familiar I am after nine races - to see how I can improve some lines on the trickier, slower bits of the course. Don't worry - I've not broken any race rules (practiocing on the course) and only ridden my bike on the bridleway section between Ribblehead and Blea Moor. The rest of the recces have been on foot with my dog. They've hopefully been helpful and what's the sacrifice of a few hours recce-ing if it saves you a minute in the race, eh?

More next week, then more after the race.

08 September 2006

Diary of three peaks first timer - Simon Fox

"My name is Simon.
I’m a virgin.
Well, I’m a 3 Peaks virgin, at least.

Over the years I’ve had a go at mostbike related events – on an MTB I’ve done XC, DH, trials and enduros.I’ve done time trials, duathlons, triathlons and hillclimbs. I’ve been round the Velodrome a few times. Hell, I’ve even owned a unicycle."

Read more of Simon's attempts to get ready for a good finish in his first Three Peaks here...

04 September 2006

From Hull, going to Hell.

I've just found Dominic Makin's Three Peaks Blog - his own account of preparing for the race for the first time. A truly uplifting, sometimes funny, and sometimes heartbreaking account of the ups and downs of preparing for the challenge of the 'first race'.

"I'm Dominic Makin, 41 and a hairdresser - born in Hull, living in Halifax and going to Hell.....
.... I bought a nice second hand cyclocross bike and headed off for the hills. "

A great read - keep it coming' Dominic, and good luck for the 24th.