Race Report - Velo Birmingham

Did anyone else ride Velo Birmingham yesterday?

101 miles of brilliant riding on empty, closed roads in a fast moving group. Sunshine, dry surface, well marshalled. The best fun i’ve ever had on a bike! I was in the first wave and amidst all the “normal riders” some people went quite hard from the start to establish a bit of speed and pretty soon groups began to coalesce so that within a few miles we were on clear roads in a decent (smallish) peloton.

Thanks to TrainerRoad for all of those winter hours on the trainer meaning that i managed to finish in 4:36:53 for an average speed of 22mi/h
Ave Power 218W
NP 254W

Anyone in the UK: - I’d recommend it for next year.


Yup! Finished just under an hour after you at 18mph – I didn’t get to hang on to any big groups, so was just pairing with whoever.

I enjoyed the experience – definitely nice to not have to worry about traffic or road signals. And the cobbles through Coventry were fun.

Unfortunately, some chap had an off on that first decent descent in Coleshill and died from his injuries later that evening :confused: Had just happened as I got there, but was impressed with the support he was getting from his group, and how they had organised to start warning oncoming riders.

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That’s terrible news

The event seems to be getting a bit of a bashing overall over on their FB Page.

Congratulations on your time. I think the weather also came good on the day for you all.

I did the original ride in 2017 and whilst I thought it was very well organised, there were several serious incidents out on the route and I decided to stay away from this years event.

For sure it helped that it was such good weather. The trick is definitely to get in the front wave and nail it for a while to get to the open road. I’ve looked at tons of photos from the event that show 1000’s of riders ambling along and it looks like a nightmare to be stuck in the middle of that.

I read a few reports which were very negative. Poor supplies at the aid stations, running out of water/electrolyte early on and poor start timings.

Big mix of abilities in the fast track. Some idiots in later waves treating it as a race in chain gangs rather than a sportive, screaming ‘on your right’ at anyone in their way and weaving far too close to inexperienced riders. Not appropriate for a mass participation event like this that attracts such a range of different riders.

Overall organisation was good I felt and the marshals did an excellent job. Not as much of a sense of occasion at the end though and I think they could have done more to create a celebratory atmosphere for the first timers. Didn’t stop apart from a brief comfort break so can’t comment on the pit stops but at first glance looked better than 2017.

Not a very interesting course but nice to be on closed roads.

Yeah. I reckon it’s critical to be able to get into the first wave if you’re going to go fast, and for the organisers to identify and get the fast riders to the front. I started about 30 metres from the front and i was surrounded by a motley mix of people, very few of whom looked like club riders. 95% looked like they were doing their first century, or going bike packing. The first couple of minutes was quite sedate and busy until the speed kicked in and the groups coalesced. I reckon a lot of people might have gone off hard and paid for it later.

Admittedly there are crashes in races, but this is exactly why I avoid sportives.