Bath Train takes on Prudential Ride London

11 Aug , 2014  



17 Riders from Bath CC took on the Prudential Ride London in attrocious conditions. The Bath train carries 7 Bath riders to finish 11 mins behind the winner in 3hrs 35 mins at a speed of 38.5km/hr. Bath Team 1 is the 3rd club team. Bath Team 2 is 16th out of 400 teams entered.

After weeks of sunny weather, the day of the largest sportive in the country arrived and with it the tail end of hurricane Bertha and some appalling conditions. 17 Riders had start times between 6:20 and 8am, all starting in the Olympic Park. Unfortunatley the weather conditions meant that the route was cut from 100 to 86 miles and missing out Box hill and Leith Hill, this was a very sensible decsion by the organisers.

First up was the two Bath teams of 4 and a few extras. Alec Rumball set a storming pace off the start line before the Bath chaingang kicked in with Ruan, Joel and Matt Wells all working hard – the first 26 miles was covered in 1hr 1 min and 23 secs at an average speed of 40.66 km/hr. The sight of 10 cyclists in Bath CC kit cycling flat out along the embankment at 40+km/hr was an amazing spectacle. The route took us past Trafalgar Sqaure, Hyde Park Corner out along the A4 to hammersmith and Chiswick Bridge – although I don’t really remember any of it – just a blur as we swept past.

Up through Richmond Park, Kingston and out through Wadebridge. The bath train got a little swamped as it tried to navigate its way through the masses of riders that had started before. A few precious minutes were lost…. The only signifcant climb of the day was Newlands Corner (after 50 miles). Dan had to get off the train to refuel, Simon Martin stayed with him. Pete Phillips family were waiting in Dorking to cheer us on in the wet.


The descent from Dorking brought the 3rd casualty as Ruan Bester punctured. That left the remaining 7 to drive onwards to London. Joel, Simon and David showed that they had the endurance legs and kept the pace going. Leatherhead, Kingston, Final climb to Wimbledon, Putney and still the train did not stop. The gaggle of duckings on the train got larger and larger until there must have been 40 people taking the free ride. The return trip along Kings road and up the embankment seemed to take forever. Finally into Parliament sqaure, Whitehall and the left turn into the Mall. Joel, having worked hard for the last 20 miles, showed that he still had the race legs and sprinted down the Mall to take line honours. Mission accomplished. Finish time 3hrs 34mins 56 seconds.


The winning time was 3hrs 23 min and 23 secs and the winning team finished in 3 hrs 23 min 42 and consisted of Tom Copeland, James Wilson, Ross Muir and Craig McLean – some pedigree there.

We were all looking forward to the celebratory drink, but the heavans opened and it was all that we could do to get to a car and the journey back to bath.


Steve Brewer started 10 minutes later and in his words “Still flying high form the waves I created and riders I left in my wake. Avoided 2 crashes, didn’t look back until I crossed that line. Just focussed on the job in hand and didn’t ask anyone for a wheel. Felt like a pro rider there, for a few hours!”

The later riders had the worst of it Claire Phillips was stopped in Richmond park for 15 mins while they cleared up after a load of crashes, then had to walk through 2ft of water for 1/2 mile due to all the resulting bunched up riders, then pedal v slowly until it thinned out again. Flash floods, overflowing drains etc, lovely stuff.

Karina and Andy rode together, Andy holding her up with two flats (the first in the tunnel just a couple of miles in!). They also got held up for a total 40 minutes at the Richmond Park accident and the Newlands loo stop

Andy says “It was lots more fun than I thought it would be, even in the “damp” conditions 🙂 ”

A great weekend with an amazing team. Thanks to all….

The full results

184 Bragg, Joel 03:34:56
185 Williams, Simon 03:34:56
187 Edwards, Darren 03:34:57
188 Wells, Matt 03:34:58
189 Phillips, Peter 03:34:58
191 Rumball, Alec 03:35:00
192 Stoyle, David 03:35:01
397 Brewer, Steve 03:42:44
563 Martin, Simon 03:47:14
Bester, Ruan 03:47:00
1143 Taylor, Daniel 03:58:26
Lingard, Adam 04:14:31
11758Stewart, Karina 05:32:47
Stewart, Andy 05:32:47
14834Phillips, Claire 06:03:41
Riou, Claire 06:24:25
Campbell-Johnston, Anna 06:38:45


There were a few celebrities on the ride – shame we could not have beaten Ms Vos, but Simon won the battle of the Williamses

Vos, Marianne 03:31:34
Johnson, Martin 03:53:12
Barbet, Matt 04:09:54
Storey, Sarah 04:11:04
Boardman, Chris 04:15:40
Hall, Stuart 04:22:50
Trott, Laura 04:23:14
Bird, Sam 04:31:47
Tappy, Duncan 04:31:47
Dawson, Matt 04:41:26
MacGowan, Gary 05:00:35
Kaakinen, Liisa 05:00:35
Williams, Amy 05:27:31
Torode, John 05:45:57
Mather, Chris 05:55:57
Watson, Gary 07:01:42
Russell, Lisa 07:01:43
Novelli, Jean-Christophe 07:58:30

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