Dear Avanti member,

We would like to wish you a very Happy New Year and many happy miles or even kilometres on your road, mountain, time-trial or even a track bike!

Let's hope that 2017 will be better than 2016 but worse than 2018.

I hope you all got some nice Christmas presents. My wife surprised me with a very original gift. I got an original signed and framed photograph of Peter Sagan winning the World Championship in Richmond last year. The photo now hangs proudly in my study. It will always remind me of the old cycling race rule that if you dig deep and burn an extra match, it can make a big difference between a good result and a historic result. I guess we all can use one of those matches from time to time, and not necessarily only in cycling…

Winter Training

The Christmas season is now behind us so there are no more excuses to delay the training for the 2017 season.

If you struggle during these dark and cold winter months with motivation, one of the best places to start with the winter training is the Avanti Turbo Session every Thursday at 7.30pm led by Lee Staples in the Halstead Village Hall followed by a yoga session for cyclists.

All your performance data will be projected on a big screen together with a cycling video & music in the background so that you can see your and everyone else's effort, and push a little bit harder.

As always, we have our early Saturday rides (a mixed ability single group) and Sunday rides (four performance groups) to get endurance base miles under your belt.

Training apparently looks like a pyramid which needs a solid foundation. In case of cycling, this foundation consists of base endurance or tempo miles (the latter is a faster pace with lower volume if you have less time) so there is no time to waste!

Kentish Killer 2017

With the painful topic of post-Christmas training out of the way, in February we will be again organising the Kentish Killer (a hilly sportive taking on almost all famous climbs in the Kentish countryside).

Not only is the Kentish Killer one of the most popular sportives (all 1000 places were sold out within 24 hours last year), it is also our main fund-raising event which helps us to generously subsidise many club activities and to make a regular donation to the Kent-Surrey Air Ambulance.

The main planning meeting will take place next Monday (9th January) at 8pm at the Westcombe Park Rugby Park. We still need more helpers and usually all members get involved given the size of the event. Please join us on Monday if you have an experience of any kind running an event like the Kentish Killer.

Avanti Annual General Meeting

On Monday January 16th we have the GS Avanti Annual General Meeting. It will be held in the William Pitt room in the Bromley Court Hotel starting at 8pm. Chris Dines (club chairman) will present a plan for the club's future activities which will include the ideas discussed at the recent club meeting. Lee Powell (club treasurer) will also present the club's accounts for 2016 and a budget for the coming year 2017. Finally, the meeting will agree the club officials for 2017. All members are invited!

A Brave One

One of our members, Dan McDermott, has relocated to Canary Islands (Tenerife) to train hard in the mountains until the spring when he is coming back to start racing in Avanti colours and to attempt to join a race team. Dan is looking to make connections on social media (including Strava, Twitter or Instagram) to expand his network. If you are active on any of these media, please reach out to Dan and connect with him. I am already following him on Strava and his climbing endeavours are very impressive supplemented by spectacular pictures of the Tenerife landscape. Dan is already a holder of several King-of-Mountains crowns on local climbs here in Kent. Extra kudos to Dan! 

Saturday Ride

This weekend we have the usual early Saturday ride departing from the Green at 8am for a 40 miler ending with a coffee bonanza in Belmondo's.

Sunday Rides

On Sunday, G4 will set off to the Hildenborough Golf Club, and G3 will be heading to Horley.

There will be also G1/G2 rides. Please keep your eyes on the website.


Stay safe on your bikes, put on the mudguards and swap those ageing summer tyres for new winter tyres.

See you at one of the club rides or at one of our club meetings.

Our club is in a great shape because it has a clear vision, a passion for cycling and great members!

Onwards and upwards in 2017!