Dear all,

A great summer of sport is slowly coming to an end with an amazing show of sporting abilities and capabilities in Rio and before that we had a spectacular Tour de France (how often do you get to see the Yellow Jersey running rather than cycling?) with some unexpected results in the Premier League as well as in the European Football Championships. Vuelta Espana is still widely open with several top GC riders packed just a few minutes within each other. However, the biggest sporting event closer to our home, the "Southeast" Interclub Time Trial Championship, has not been decided yet. There is one individual time trial left tomorrow and a 4-up team event at Brands Hatch (a closed racing circuit) next week. GS Avanti is currently still in the lead but we can't be complacent. All Avanti members of this world unite!

We have nearly 40 members wanting to participate in this finale to the time trialling season. Please keep an eye out on the forum which is being used to plan teams – if you want to ride, but don’t see your name there, please comment. In addition, a full briefing note will be sent out early next week. Registration will be in the Pit Lane from 7am on the day – and there will be time for a practice lap (the race will be 4 laps). We will have dedicated facilities and will be able to use the Press Centre afterwards for photographs and the Trophy Award. Everyone (including families and supporters) will be very welcome to hang around and to watch the start of the Revolve 24 event as well, with Jason Golden Kenny taking part, at some point!

On a more sombre note, as some of you may have already heard, our club chairman, Chris Dines, underwent an emergency surgery in a hospital in Belgium while on holidays with the family. He is now out of hospital and is recovering at home. I hope I speak for everyone when I say we wish him a speedy recovery and see you soon on one of the club rides, Chris!

As I have already mentioned, tomorrow morning we have the last individual time trial of the season. It will be in the Tonbridge area and details can be found here. It starts at 7am to avoid a busy traffic on the roads and it is the fastest time trial on offer. Anyone who is an Avanti member (or the two other clubs) can join and everyone gets at least one point for finishing. Please comment here if you have a space for another club member in your car. We have a couple of fast boys who need a lift.

This Sunday fifteen brave souls will be taking part in the annual Circuit of Kent sportive. It is an 80-mile loop (130km in real money) across Kentish roads, lanes and hills that we don't tackle very often. A sting in the tail is Carter's Hill at the end of the event just to finish riders off. Anyone who is taking part, please don't forget to wear our club kit because it is an opportunity to promote the club at one of the most popular sportives in our area (obviously, nothing can beat the Kentish Killer with its level of organisation, enthusiasm and pure suffering on climbs that Kent has on offer).

Our club shop is now open for two weeks. You can order anything from light tops to winter jerseys or skinsuits. Two of our club members (Patrick and Julian) were even offered a free posh hospitality during the Tour of Flanders in April just because cycling-mad Belgians liked our club kit so much! Enough said. We have refreshed our stock of club tops and all sizes of arm warmers. Gloves are on order and should be with us later this month. We will even have socks in club colours! For any questions, please check the website or contact Steve Sensei Rodgers on kit@gsavanti.co.uk.

Despite a large contingent of club members taking part in the Circuit of Kent, we will still have our Sunday rides. G3 will be heading to Tanhouse Café near Newdigate (63 miles) and will led by Steve Riley leaving the Green at 9.15am. Please click here to register your attendance and help with planning of the ride. G4 will be going to West Malling on a 40 miler led by Jenny. Please click here to resister. At the moment, there is no G1/G2 ride planned but if someone has a nice route in mind and would like to lead a grupetto of riders, please comment here.

I usually start with a short story but today I will finish with one for change. The other day I was doing one of my training loops when I was passing through a small village. An elderly couple on hybrid bikes was taking a short break on the side of the road and she lightly touched him on the face while she was passing him an energy bar. He gave her a small kiss and then I lost the sight of them. I may sound like a softie (because I probably am) but it was very sweet and it was so nice to see cycling bringing up these nice emotions in people.

Have a lovely weekend, stay safe on the roads and enjoy the rest of the summer!

Marek