The Willesden’s commitment to laying on great audax events has been recognised by Audax UK. The Squadra Verde has won the Organisers’ Award for 2017 which goes to the club which is responsible for the most rider points. Simply put, more people rode further thanks to the Willesden last year than with any other club!
The award is based on the number of points earned by riders on events organised by a club. A 200km ride – the minimum distance for this award – gives 2 points per rider, 3 points for a 300km ride and so on. Willesden has a regular program of 2, 3, 400km events from which it has accumulated 1,489 points over the season. Second place was taken by Audax Club Mid Essex, with 1,475 points and BlackSheep CC, who organise a string of 200km events in Tewkesbury were third.
The news will come as no surprise to followers of the long distance scene. For many years Willesden’s popular Willy Warmer 200km and 3Down 300km events which run in the Spring, and the Autumn Anfractuous events have attracted strong fields. Members have added new events to the Audax Calendar such as the London Ditchling Devil 200km organised by Paul Stewart and a revitalised 7Across – now known as the London Wales London 400km – organised by Liam FitzPatrick. With a regular field of 350+ riders, the London Ditchling Devil is the largest Brevet Randonneur (200km+) event in the AUK Calendar, and with 150 riders already signed up for 2018, London Wales London has joined an elite group of Audax events with a waiting list! Anne Mograby and Ian Oliver also run 50k and 100k Brevet Populaire events from Maidenhead. These popular shorter events attract a steady flow of riders, many of who go on to ride longer events.
Audax riding is undergoing something of a renaissance and is appealing to a new generation of cyclists. In particular it is winning-over riders from sportives who are looking for a more sociable challenge. The fact that events are run by volunteers who give up considerable time planning, marketing and organising rides adds to the appeal.
The Trophy will be presented at the AUK Annual Reunion in November and Willesden organiser Paul Stewart will be on hand to raise the cup for the Club.