On Sunday 3rd April 2016, Armidale Cycling Club hosts the 2016 edition of the Thunderbolt Roubaix – our very own Hell of the North, followed two weeks later on Saturday 16th April by the Dangarsleigh Eroica, an officially sanctioned road race. Both events will follow the same route and format as in previous years.
In the Thunderbolt Roubaix, riders competing on road bikes will face a number of tough ‘cobbled’ sectors across dirt tracks with enough potholes and corrugations to send you hobbling off to Dr Tindale on Monday morning. On completion of the tough cross-country course, riders will complete 2 laps of the Mann St velodrome before retiring to a local cafe for coffee and cake. Riders are encouraged to dress in gear and ride road bikes from the 70’s, 80’s or any past era with bravery awards for those who present on particularly heavy vintage steeds.
The 92 kilometre “race” will depart (whatever the weather) at 7am from Bullen’s Bike Shop on Sunday 3rd April and may take 3 or 4 hours depending on punctures and whether we’ve had any rain in the preceding days. Whatever happens, it’s sure to be another fantastic day.
Note: Last year we had around 248 punctures. Although the numerous stops were much appreciated by those riding heavier bikes, please bring tyres that are in reasonable condition. You won’t go far wrong with a pair of 28C steel-beaded Jock Bullen solids. Hint: if you can already see the inner tube through the sidewall of your tyre at the start of the ride then it’s probably not going to last the distance.
Two weeks later, on April 16th we bring you another unmissable event in the Armidale Cycling Club Monuments series, the Dangarsleigh Eroica. Whereas the Thunderbolt is a social Sunday ride, albeit of monumental proportions, the Eroica is a true race – a 35 kilometre handicap run on our regular Saturday afternoon slot with the added dimension of 5 sectors of gravel totaling 12km.
The profile shows the gravel sectors with obvious highlights including the heavily corrugated uphill Forest D’Angersleigh and the tortuous ascent of Knobs Road at the end of the race before riders hit the tarmac once again for the final run-in to the Kingdom Hall.
There is also a detailed route sheet from last year that you can download here which identifies all the sectors and includes Swanny’s secret racing line hints and tips. Swanny and President Tindale will be running the race and have threatened to modify handicaps if secret training is undertaken beforehand. For those in the know, the Thunderbolt Roubaix course includes a couple of sections of the Eroica so it would make excellent pre-race preparation…
Note this race will take place whatever the weather conditions given that a bit of rain will only serve to make things more interesting.