The Team Grumpy rules

Rule #1. Remember to make your excuses before the race, not after. Otherwise it will just sound pathetic.

Rule #2. Don't tinker with your bike the evening before the event. It will break, either then or, worse still, during the event.

Rule #3. If all else fails, buy some new bike kit.

Rule #4. And if rule #3 fails, new skinsuits are probably a good option.

Rule #5. Never train or race with a bad cough - it will destroy your entire season.

Rule #6. Tantrums are appropriate if provoked (e.g. by mechanical problems), but try to avoid damage to equipment.

Rule #7. Team Grumpy riders are allowed to use whatever equipment they wish (and their wallets permit). However, the official team energy drink is always pop belge.

Of course, our seven rules pale in comparison to the Velominati rules.

As is now usual, Team Grumpy prepared intensively for the 48h prior to this event: a preparation which entails consumption of takeaway curry and Belgian beer, while sitting on a sofa watching TV.  Team Grumpy dispensed with rule #2, by tinkering with 'Grumpy' Art's chainring bolts the day before the race.  On the morning of the event both riders woke feeling surprisingly chipper considering the quantity of preparation, but were were somewhat disappointed to see thick fog blanketing southern Wales.  Fortunately the weather lifted, leaving clear sunny conditions with a light but rising wind by the time the team convoy reached the race HQ at Resolven. 

 

The Team Manager was a little concerned that the team might set forth into conditions of poor visibility, but really the race was held in the best conditions for several years - sunny and quite warm.   Grumpy Bob and 'Grumpy' Art squeezed into the new skinsuits, which proved surprisingly tight, shiny and (fortunately) stretchy. Unfortunately the Team Grumpy sartorial adviser had made a less excellent decision regarding the matching overshoes, which turned out to fit the shoes well, but were surprisingly baggy round the ankles (shades of verterans' baggy skinsuits).  The new overshoes were quickly discarded in favour of trusty old Pro overshoes (the rather pervy looking black shiny variety), and Team Grumpy set off to warm up on the second half of the course.  But not before having trouble with the damned numbers which were difficult to affix using the bendy safety pins (not helped by the shiny skinsuit fabric).
As the warmup was nearly complete, Grumpy Bob suffered a front wheel puncture.  The Team returned the Team Convoy in as much haste as the rapidly softening front tyre permitted.  Astonishingly the tyre was changed and new number pins obtained and fitted in time to get to the start line in time to see the team in front of us start.
After an awkward start, as a car on the roundabout stalled the riders, Team Grumpy performed pretty much as expected: a good showing of 2-up technique with the overall speed hampered by inadequate training (illness and injury most recently).  That being said, Team Grumpy kept up a pretty good pace over the first half of the event, which is held on a section of dual carriageway, and really only found the second half, which is on an older road with a pretty damaged road surface and quite a bit of climbing a bit challenging – it was here that the defects in Team preparations were exposed. At around 18 miles, and just short of the third turn, Grumpy Bob looked over his shoulder and noticed he'd dropped 'Grumpy' Art on the climb - somewhat discomfited by this, he eased off to get his team mate back on.  What wasn't apparent until the finish was that 'Grumpy' Art's chain had unshipped at the bottom of the climb.  Grumpy Bob's opinion is that there's no place for changing to the small ring when time trialling, but who notices that advice...
The Team Manager was out on the course and took some video footage - this'll be uploaded to the Team Grumpy YouTube channel in due course.  She did, however, comment that Team Grumpy appeared to be  sauntering rather than racing, and accusation both riders were rather horrified by.  Such is team management. 
Team Grumpy crossed the line in 1:01:25.  It was enough for 14th place.
 
1 K DAVIES & R PAYNE BYNEA CC PORTH & DISTRICT 00:53:42
2 J LEWIS & H PRICE PORT TALBOT WHS 00:55:10
3 W BEVAN & J PILE ROSS ON WYE CC VC SEVALE 00:56:39
4 J ASPEL & N CRAIG FORZA CC 00:56:53
5 R HICKS & C WALLACE PORT TALBOT WHS MERTHYR CC 00:58:09
6 B PHILLIPS & M PHILLIPS BYNEA CC 00:58:55
7 C JONES & K JONES M & D / KINETICA 00:59:05
8 R AICHELER & J PRITCHARD CASTLE BIKES PORT TALBOT WHS 00:59:56
9 G GILES & I REES PONTYPOOL RCC 01:00:09
10 S BENT & A MEAR LUDLOW CC 01:00:18
11 C MATTHEWS & R WHITE FORZA CC 01:00:27
12 J FRANKLIN & D GOUGH SWANSEA WHS 01:00:49
13 M PORTLOCK & M WILLIAMS VC L’ESCARGOT 01:01:11
14 G ORAM & R SAUNDERS BYNEA CC NORTH BUCKS RC 01:01:25