There are not many times that the elite G6 group can be “had”. After all, they are the crème de la crème of Redhill cycling club. So this piece is about a rare event, where a lower G group manages an all too brief bragging rights over a higher G group. Like in “Henry V”, in the annals of G5 riding, those that were there, Friday's Mallorca club run will be always remembered with a wry smile over a winter’s pint.
It all started off in the usual format, G5 & 6 ride out together. Bang! First big climb to the viaduct and the wheat and chaff get separated nominally along the G group line. But G5 this time, managed to cross swords with G6 until the climb out of Soller but even then Matthew and Andy had nipped at the G6 tailenders heels out of this climb. Owing to a puncture in the beautiful town of Deia, the G5’s arrived at the tea stop in Valldemossa fifteen minutes behind the G6’s, now looking more comfortable in their ascendency.
But that all changed, foregoing out post lunch coffees, we set off in hot pursuit, chain ganging to the drum ramming speed of Ben-Hur, we eventually spied them in the distance, chasing them down over a couple miles to within an unseen 100 yards, sitting up and discussing how we were going to overtake the G6’s with panache. Andy set the style, pen them in by going up the side, remove any Tommy Volkler looks from our faces. Peddle nonchalantly up alongside and passing with an imagined wicker basket on the front our bikes. Rumour has it, that Peter T was whistling but I did not hear him.
The G6’s reaction was classical and serious, first they thought we were a German team, then as they realised it was their own G5’s, feathers appeared and spat from their mouths. “Cheek to pass us and then slow down” was one comment. I could see fear in some of the G6’s eyes because they knew the hammer was going to fall. A few minutes later, the cruellest of blows, Nick’s chain came off and the G5’s had to stop to make repairs.
Never mind boys, we had some glory today, we might catch them at Campenet, always tricky for navigation. Sure enough we did catch them again, ok they had a mechanical but we were well past them and in with a good chance of getting home first. Then Matt has a seat post problem and we had to stop.
By this stage, the G6’s were acting like a herd of wilderbeasts, came charging past us in mad panic but sheer determination not to be caught again. “We’ll see you in a minute” shouted Chris Stone with unrestraint exuberance and glee.
Like Napoleon’s retreat from Moscow, the country trail between Campenet and Pollenca was littered with discarded G6 equipment. (Obviously, in panic, trying to lighten their load.) We even stopped to pick up a RCC gilet as a war trophy.
The “G7” band of brothers today was Peter T, Andy W, Matt K, Brian C, Chris S, Nick B & Stuart G.
“From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of G5 brothers;
For he to-day that cycled with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That rode with us from Valldemossa that day