Cycle clips round Notts
Over 70 cyclists and guests of the Velo Clubs Bread & Bitter and Poppy & Pint marked the running of the annual three week bicycle race, the Tour of Italy (Giro d’Italia), with their own La Squadra Fondo group ride round Nottingham in May.
Over a breath-taking, knee crunching 115 miles, the teams of six rode west into Derbyshire, up to Heanor, and east to the Bread & Bitter, Bottesford and Bingham and back to finish at the Poppy & Pint. Hill climbs en route included Cloves Hill near Smalley, George’s Hill at Calverton, and what the organisers describe as the ‘treacherous’ Strada Bianchi, or White Roads, the unmade and deeply pitted tracks, not on a section not in rural Tuscany, but leading to the finish at Lady Bay.
Winners of the team prize, marked by the arrival time of the fourth team member, was a squad from the Bread & Bitter, overall single fastest rider was Mark Newing and the prestigious King of the Mountains prize went to Leisure Lakes Cycles sponsored Darren Buckby, riding for another Bread & Bitter squad. The most elegant team, La Bella Figura, was the men of the University of Nottingham Alumni squad, as adjudicated by Kathleen De Cock, a Flemish cycling aficionado and friend of the VC Bread & Bitter. In the women’s categories for all prizes, VC Bread & Bitter’s Tessa Langley swept the board, showing many a road-mile hardened man exactly how it should be done.
The Velo clubs at the Poppy & Pint and the Bread & Bitter are open to all riders. Call in at either pub for more information. You will recognise the riders with their lycra tops, clicky shoes – and the pint in their hand.