Gareth & the 4 man team from High Wycombe cycling club are now in their final preparation for the Tour of Wales cycle race or Ras de Cymru as it’s also known.

With that in mind Gareth is now on a strict diet to rip down to his racing weight. He is now on week 2 of the diet & has so far lost 7lbs or 3kg! All this in 7 days.

Keep checking in to see how the preparation is going & also to follow his blogs during race week.

James & Gareth Attack in a build up race at Goodwood!

 Friday 18th June

Today I had an NLP session (neuro-linguistic programming) with Craig Thompson to help me get in the right head space for the race. What a fantastic session! We worked on removing any negative issues & doubts I have. So far I feel much more positive. I would highly recommend this to anyone with a big goal ahead of them. Bring on June 30th!

 Sunday 27th June.

For those that are interested apart from my daily updates during the Ras, results

can be found on Now off for a final light training ride before England V Germany!

Wednesday 30th June.  Stage 1 – Prologue

There was a slight course change which played into the Team’s hand nicely.  Team Leader, Clive Nicholls, found himself in Yellow after the first stage.  So the Team is happy, and it’s a job well done.

Thursday 1st July.  Stage 2 – Hilly Road Race

Due to mechanical problems, Gareth Batson lost quite a bit of time on this stage.  The rest of the boys finished in the bunch, narrowly avoiding a big crash.  Clive just losing the jersey by 13 seconds to the stage winner.  Will keep you posted.

Friday 2nd July.  Stage 3 – Team Time Trial

Although this was the focus for the Team, Gareth started with a very tight chest and, unfortunately, was dropped on the first big climb.  But overall, the Team went on post a good time with the only three remaining members.

                                   Stage 4 – Hilly Road Race

Sadly, Gareth has abandoned the race at the top of the first major climb with respiratory problems.  Clive, James and Tom went on to complete a very tough stage.  Well done Team!

Stage 5 : Road Race

This was probably the toughest stage of the race. 2 climbs both of 3km plus. Tom attacked hard on the first climb and forced a break but unfortunately the leader of the race was too strong & beat Tom over both climbs. Tom ended up finishing in the front group with Clive in a bigger group a few minutes back. James found this stage very tough & ended up losing 20 plus minutes finishing in the final group on the road with anyone behind being disqualified for falling below the time cut-off.

Stage 6: Flat Road race with mountain top finish.

This race has really taken it’s toll with only 83 out of the original 102 riders starting!

The bunch stayed together for the first 10 miles then both Tom & Clive attacked with Tom yet again forcing a break, this was however dragged back by the start of the climb which was very windy & wet. The yellow jersey wearer Mike Smith of Team Corley cemented his lead with a very convincing final stage win with Tom finishing first of the Wycombe team. Clive & James finished together a little way down.

The final General Classification placings for the team are : Tom Crouch 28th @8mins 19 sec down

  • Clive Nicholls 46th @ 16mins 11 secs
  • James Norris 73rd @ 38mins 9 secs
  • Gareth Batson DNF.

All of the team would very much like to thank Scott ( team manager) for his superb support during the race. Also Gordon & Margaret Wright (High Wycombe CC club president & secretary respectively) for coming down for the whole race & also giving much needed support.

Gareth’s final comment:

Although I’m very disappointed to have had to pull out with my breathing issues (yet to be diagnosed) it was a great experience. I really must give my congratulations to Tom, Clive & James for completing a very hard stage race! As  individuals & as a team we will now be looking for our next racing challenges….watch this space!