On Friday 9th September, four Cundall employees took part in the 7th Annual Property Sector Velodrome challenge at the Herne Hill velodrome, the stage where Bradley Wiggins began his career. The event was held in aid of the international charity ChildHope and featured teams from Hopkins Architects, GVA and Assael Architects. Events included a scratch race, sprint race, Australian pursuit and team pursuit.
The Cundall team included Robin Pritchett, Tiago (Tiger!) Brazio, Martin Hockey and star man Tom Hayward. They finished exhausted but managed to come away victorious, winning the team pursuit race!
The riders share their experiences.
Tom Hayward, Engineer
“A few months back, I was asked by our marketing team if I wanted to join a team of four for the Property Velodrome Challenge. Having spent many evenings and weekends on the roads in the hills of Surrey and Sussex, I was eager to try out the velodrome and swiftly replied with “I’m keen!”
On the day our team rocked up, collective time spent on a track = 0. After about an hour of learning the basics, getting used to the track and riding a fixie, the racing began. With a mixture of individual races and team races, both with heats and finals, our legs were screaming towards the end of the day. Overall I had a brilliant afternoon. Not only trying out a bit of track racing and coming away with 2 golds, 1 silver and a massive trophy, but also for raising some money for a well-deserved charity, ChildHope. I’m looking forward to defending our title next year!”
Robin Pritchett, Principal Engineer
“The date of the Annual Property Sector Cycling Challenge in aid of ChildHope arrived and after months of preparation including gruelling training sessions and a carefully balanced diet… I finally got the chance to ride at an Olympic Velodrome – admittedly it was the 1948 Olympics but still.
We arrived at Herne Hill Velodrome to find the other teams of cyclists kitted out in their company branded gear and started to wonder if we may be out of our league. The afternoon started off with an induction to track cycling, this duly completed it’s time to start the racing; 5 teams, a 450m track, 30o of banking, no gears and lots of lycra. With sprint races, 5km endurance races and a team pursuit it’s was a tiring afternoon but we emerged victorious, thanks in no small part to Tom’s heroics. Once the racing was completed, it was time to celebrate with Fish n Chips and a beer. It was a great afternoon and an opportunity to support a charity that’s doing some fantastic work. Now to start the training for next year’s defence of the title…”
Martin Hockey, Associate Director
“Having never ridden a fixed wheel bike before with no gears and no brakes, many of us were a little nervous at the start especially when confronted with the 30° banking at either end of the track! However, after a series of exercises to get us used to slowing down by resisting the movement of the pedals and avoiding the likelihood of us crashing into each other, we were ready to race. The races came at a relentless rate, often finishing one before going straight into the next. We were pretty much exhausted by the end and there were some sore muscles the following day. However, there was a really good spirit between the teams and the whole day was great fun.”
Tiago Brazio, Engineer
“Cycling in the velodrome was a new and amazing experience for me. Although being a cyclist since an early age, it was my first time visiting, riding and racing in the “sanctuary” of most cyclists, the velodrome. After tweaking the bike, sitting and starting to pedal I thought: “I don’t know how to ride this bike.” I had mixed feeling of surprise and doubt while doing the first couple of meters. However, after the first few laps my skills were getting better and what felt really weird in the beginning became more or less ok (yes, I don’t dare to say it was natural, because it wasn’t!! I really missed the safe feeling of having brakes!). The event was really well organized, starting with the basics and then gradually changing to the set of races. The team spirit was always present along with the competition! At the end of the day, we could represent Cundall properly, bringing “home” the 1st place trophy.”
Pamela Atherton Vass, Digital Marketing and Event officer at ChildHope commented:
“At ChildHope we are keen to engage with the corporate world, and one way we do this is through our Annual Property Sector Velodrome Challenge. It’s a fun team afternoon, and really appeals to those with a competitive nature. We really appreciate everyone who takes time out of their working day, to try a new challenge and raise £’s for ChildHope. To date the event has raised £57,500.
ChildHope works hand-in-hand with locally based organisations to ensure we truly meet the needs of children. We focus our efforts on reaching those children who have insufficient support from families and communities and are often beyond the reach of other charities. We aim to give these children a safe space to learn and thrive, and an active role in making decisions about their lives.”