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LRNSC 15k / 7.5k Skating Race Report 10 May 2009 Hillingdon Cycle Circuit

Good weather conditions and a delegation from the British Nordic Development [BNDS] Squad promised a high standard of racing and so it proved.

The weather was ideal, sunny but not too warm. The ever-present Hillingdon wind was less strong than usual.

Click for results

A strong field

The young members of the BNDS were fresh from their most successful winter so far, having spent the whole of it on snow. It was clear from the start that the men’s podium would belong to the visitors, although the ladies had strong local representation in the form of Karolina Bicova, last year’s overall winner.

The first couple of laps saw four of the Squad break clear: Alex Standen, Andrew Musgrave, Simon Platt and Simon Spencer. A couple of laps later and the group had parted in the middle, Standen and Musgrave opening up a gap on the other two.

A hard fought race

A chasing group of four were working together behind: Karolina Bicova, Iain Ballentine, Andrzej Honczar and Fiona Hughes, but in front of them was Rob Dorwood who was doing it all on his own.

As the race developed it was apparent that record times were being posted. The leaders were maintaining a lap time of 3 minutes, ie 30k per hour. Until recently the sprint single lap record was about the same time, which indicates how much the standard had risen.

By the mid point of the race it was also apparent that it would come down to a sprint to determine the final positions, meaning high stress for the timekeepers

The two leaders battled up the hill to the finish, flat out neck and neck, then just before the line Andrew Musgrave, perhaps feeling the effects of V02 max testing the previous day more than his team mate, eased off. Alex Standen took the prize in 29’ 55" at an average speed of over 30k/hr and an event record.  Alex won a pair of Skikes courtesy of Tom Jones of Euroski.

A similar battle took place shortly after for the bronze, with Simon Platt just squeezing past Simon Spencer.

Rob Dorwood followed them in a minute later-an impressive performance having covered most of the distance on his own.

A close finish in the women’s race too

Then it was the ladies turn to contest the honours. They were still in the group of four chasers as they approached the line. In the end Karolina led the group in, followed by Iain Ballentine, Andrzej Honczar and Fiona, with only one second separating the front from the back of the group.

Karolina’s time was some half a minute quicker than last year, when she was the outright winner-another indication of the rising standard of the event.  Rachel Buttery claimed the third spot for the ladies.

A race for all

The race is not just about the elite competitiors: a large contingent from London Hyde Park Club took part, some having their first taste of competition. The 7.5k option is always popular and was won this year by Megan Lennard in 26’ 20" from Nick Jubert and Radek Berka.

An insight into the British Nordic Development Squad

After the race, we were entertained by the BNDS who gave an illustrated talk on their winter experiences. It was an impressive account by Andrew Musgrave of competing at the highest levels of the sport, against the legendary names who by all accounts made our representatives very welcome.

Five nations represented

The above activities rounded off a full day of instruction and training, with half a dozen different groups working simultaneously around the track, and at least seven clubs represented, as well as five nations, including Scotland – a worthwhile day. 

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