Ashmei Musette RACE TEAM

AMRT is a race team comprised of a handful of riders from clubs in Hertfordshire. Several guys keen on racing together approached us at Musette Cafe to see if we would be interested in sponsoring a race team. We opened our doors in September 2018, sharing our building with ashmei (who make excellent cycling apparel) so we invited them to be a co-sponsor…and AMRT was born. We are basically a bunch of likeminded dads who love to ride our bikes fast. Whilst we are very much an amateur team, we’re enjoying acting like professionals as our mugshots clearly show! Whilst we are pretty relaxed, the team is serious about training and racing and we are already in the points for this season. AMRT currently only supports a men’s team but we are keen to explore a women’s team in the future if things go well. We have designed a new kit for the team which will be unveiled in the coming weeks which is also very exciting. For now, we are racing in the ashmei 3 seasons kit - which is pretty special!

Follow our Facebook page for news and updates on the team’s progress

Musette Cafe Facebook / www.ashmei.com

Matthew Buckle - Cat 2    Racing / Cycling History   I always liked riding my bike fast, but was a shy kid and cycling really wasn't cool in the 90s. So I used to suffer alone or with my Mum! 10 years off, then my renaissance came through Cycle to Work. I did a sportive on a MTB and realised I was going past people with all the gear. That led to distance challenges then, with kids, racing became a way to get the same buzz in a much shorter time. I've since done a variety of crits, road races and TTs with mixed success, the most fun being winning from a final selection of 11 after a chase of 6 caught a break of 5.   Goals for the season   A bit of suck it and see initially this year. With a new baby I expect the second cats to be a baptism of fire. I will mostly target 2/3 crits and see how the first part of the season goes before reevaluating. I also have a bit of a hankering to try a 12 hour.   Family / Interests / hobbies outside of cycling   I'm a Dad of three boys working by London Bridge, so squeezing training and racing in around family time, work and commuting is often challenge enough, though I also enjoy football (5s and 11s) where my only strength is my engine; and golf, where I have no strengths at all. I love to snowboard and I love to sit and watch almost any sport on TV. To keep me going I like a good coffee (Georgia makes the best).

Matthew Buckle - Cat 2

Racing / Cycling History

I always liked riding my bike fast, but was a shy kid and cycling really wasn't cool in the 90s. So I used to suffer alone or with my Mum! 10 years off, then my renaissance came through Cycle to Work. I did a sportive on a MTB and realised I was going past people with all the gear. That led to distance challenges then, with kids, racing became a way to get the same buzz in a much shorter time. I've since done a variety of crits, road races and TTs with mixed success, the most fun being winning from a final selection of 11 after a chase of 6 caught a break of 5.

Goals for the season

A bit of suck it and see initially this year. With a new baby I expect the second cats to be a baptism of fire. I will mostly target 2/3 crits and see how the first part of the season goes before reevaluating. I also have a bit of a hankering to try a 12 hour.

Family / Interests / hobbies outside of cycling

I'm a Dad of three boys working by London Bridge, so squeezing training and racing in around family time, work and commuting is often challenge enough, though I also enjoy football (5s and 11s) where my only strength is my engine; and golf, where I have no strengths at all. I love to snowboard and I love to sit and watch almost any sport on TV. To keep me going I like a good coffee (Georgia makes the best).

James McG - Cat 4    Racing / Cycling History   I Started racing my bike a few years ago and have had success really at Criteriums . I enjoy riding my bike fast but can also quite happily ride a cafe ride. I’ve managed twice now to be within 1-2 points of becoming Cat 3 and then stopping . Last year was because I was in a car crash.   Goals for the season   I’m about to become a father for the first time so I’d like to keep some form and then get to Cat 3 through mainly crits. I’d also like to drop Vallis on a ride one day.   Family / Interests / hobbies outside of cycling   I enjoy lots of things such as outdoor pursuits and i am a decent snowboarder but I’ve got a feeling with the impending new arrival all of these are going to be put on ice.

James McG - Cat 4

Racing / Cycling History

I Started racing my bike a few years ago and have had success really at Criteriums . I enjoy riding my bike fast but can also quite happily ride a cafe ride. I’ve managed twice now to be within 1-2 points of becoming Cat 3 and then stopping . Last year was because I was in a car crash.

Goals for the season

I’m about to become a father for the first time so I’d like to keep some form and then get to Cat 3 through mainly crits. I’d also like to drop Vallis on a ride one day.

Family / Interests / hobbies outside of cycling

I enjoy lots of things such as outdoor pursuits and i am a decent snowboarder but I’ve got a feeling with the impending new arrival all of these are going to be put on ice.

Ben Nixon - Cat 3    Racing / Cycling History   I have ridden bikes from a young age, back in the 80's it was BMX, I tried a few races (unsuccessfully). Then switched between road and MTB over the years, Sportives, social rides and a few longer multi day MTB rides with my brother. Joining Berkhamsted Cycling Club a few years ago pushed me on a bit, I was also talked into taking part in their Castle Revolutions novice race last year, which I went on to win. That was the catalyst for my racing, I scored points in my first competitive crit and managed to go up to Cat 3 after 3 races last year. I also qualified and went on represented GB at the UCI Gran Fondo World Champs for may age group last year. I am hoping joining AMRT will push me more and maybe I can beat my younger sibling again, currently 1-1   Goals for the season   To be competitive in Cat 3, score some more cat 3 points and push my brother!   Family / Interests / hobbies outside of cycling   I'm married to Jo, (never mention cycling around her !) , have 3 children Amber (19) Poppy (16) , Max (12) and 1 step daughter Mia (17) they all keep me pretty busy. I'm not a bad snowboarder and have been know to par take in the occasional ale (for recovery only)

Ben Nixon - Cat 3

Racing / Cycling History

I have ridden bikes from a young age, back in the 80's it was BMX, I tried a few races (unsuccessfully). Then switched between road and MTB over the years, Sportives, social rides and a few longer multi day MTB rides with my brother. Joining Berkhamsted Cycling Club a few years ago pushed me on a bit, I was also talked into taking part in their Castle Revolutions novice race last year, which I went on to win. That was the catalyst for my racing, I scored points in my first competitive crit and managed to go up to Cat 3 after 3 races last year. I also qualified and went on represented GB at the UCI Gran Fondo World Champs for may age group last year. I am hoping joining AMRT will push me more and maybe I can beat my younger sibling again, currently 1-1

Goals for the season

To be competitive in Cat 3, score some more cat 3 points and push my brother!

Family / Interests / hobbies outside of cycling

I'm married to Jo, (never mention cycling around her !) , have 3 children Amber (19) Poppy (16) , Max (12) and 1 step daughter Mia (17) they all keep me pretty busy. I'm not a bad snowboarder and have been know to par take in the occasional ale (for recovery only)

Joe Nixon - Cat 3    Racing / Cycling History   I have always enjoyed cycling and started my early years mountain biking with mates. I tried a bit of mountain bike racing in my easily 20's but moved over to road bikes after moving to London. Over the last 5 years I started to do some big tours like the Land end to John o groats, weekly Alps or Pyrenees tours to the The Marmotte. I would get fit for one big trip, but then loose my fitness soon after. I joined AMRT to ensure my brother, who is also in the team, doesn't get faster than me!   Goals for the season   This is my first year of racing and i have moved from cat 4 to 3 after the first 3 races. I would like to see if I can get into Cat 2 this year?   Family / Interests / hobbies outside of cycling   I'm a father of two teenage girls so time is a bit easier now they are more grown up. I enjoy anything outdoors and am also a bit of a wild food forager.

Joe Nixon - Cat 3

Racing / Cycling History

I have always enjoyed cycling and started my early years mountain biking with mates. I tried a bit of mountain bike racing in my easily 20's but moved over to road bikes after moving to London. Over the last 5 years I started to do some big tours like the Land end to John o groats, weekly Alps or Pyrenees tours to the The Marmotte. I would get fit for one big trip, but then loose my fitness soon after. I joined AMRT to ensure my brother, who is also in the team, doesn't get faster than me!

Goals for the season

This is my first year of racing and i have moved from cat 4 to 3 after the first 3 races. I would like to see if I can get into Cat 2 this year?

Family / Interests / hobbies outside of cycling

I'm a father of two teenage girls so time is a bit easier now they are more grown up. I enjoy anything outdoors and am also a bit of a wild food forager.

Nick Darvell - Cat 4    Racing / Cycling History   I found my love for riding BMX and mountain bikes quite early on, enjoying downhill and trial riding. I started racing in 2015 for Lovelo RT starting with a team time trial. I then got stuck in to riding in crit races, only managing a couple of top ten finishes. I’ve competed in a couple of hill climbing events and last year took part in my first full distance Triathlon relay.   Goals for the season   Aiming for a Cat 3 race license this season and and supporting my team mates in their accomplishments. I'm looking to compete in some sprint duathlons   Family / Interests / hobbies outside of cycling   I'm married with a two-year-old daughter who takes up most of my spare time. I also have started to enjoy running again and I try and get out on the mountain bike occasionally. Other interests include motorsport and cooking.

Nick Darvell - Cat 4

Racing / Cycling History

I found my love for riding BMX and mountain bikes quite early on, enjoying downhill and trial riding. I started racing in 2015 for Lovelo RT starting with a team time trial. I then got stuck in to riding in crit races, only managing a couple of top ten finishes. I’ve competed in a couple of hill climbing events and last year took part in my first full distance Triathlon relay.

Goals for the season

Aiming for a Cat 3 race license this season and and supporting my team mates in their accomplishments. I'm looking to compete in some sprint duathlons

Family / Interests / hobbies outside of cycling

I'm married with a two-year-old daughter who takes up most of my spare time. I also have started to enjoy running again and I try and get out on the mountain bike occasionally. Other interests include motorsport and cooking.

Simon Voysey - Cat 4

Racing / Cycling History

My parents bought me a road bike when I was 9 and although all the other kids in my class had mountain bikes or BMX's, I loved my Raleigh Pursuit! Fast forward 20 years and having spent most of my sporting life playing football, injuries meant I needed to find a lower impact sport - so I took up road cycling again, commuting, Sportives and London to Paris followed. In 2014, I set up Berkhamsted Cycling Club with a couple of others guys and subsequently had a go at Crit racing in 2016 - and really enjoyed it, managing a 12th and a 4th place. With a little one on the way that year, training fell away. Although that was a pretty short season, it did feel like I might have improved on these results. This time round i'm looking forward to racing as part of a team.

Goals for the season

I would very much like to move to Cat 3 this year and improve my overall fitness to able to compete at this level.

Family / Interests / hobbies outside of cycling

I'm married to Vicky and a proud father of one (Elise), who takes up much of my time when not at work. I'm half of Musette Cafe, the first cycle cafe in the Chilterns (and team sponsor). I also play a bit of 5-a-side and enjoy a bit of gardening.

Ben Hurford - Cat 3    Racing / Cycling History   I started road racing while living in the Midlands in the mid 2000's. I was lucky to ride for an active club so I was able to race with team mates week in, week out (AMRT is going to be same). I quickly gained my 3rd cat licence, but then had to move with work so racing had to take a back seat for while. I then returned to racing in the late 2000's, when I was then encouraged to run a half-marathon. This was the start of a period away from road racing, which saw me complete 4 London Marathons, 1 half-ironman and 2 full ironman races. I'm now looking forward to returning to racing with an active team. For me, helping team mates achieve top 10's, is as rewarding as as gaining points myself.   Goals for the season   It is going to take me a few races to get back into the flow, but I plan to ride hard and have fun. As my racing form returns, i will aim to get into breaks and we'll see how the season progresses   Family / Interests / hobbies outside of cycling   I'm married to Lorraine, my very understanding and supportive wife. We have a 9 year old daughter, so I now have a second job as taxi driver. I enjoy listening to music and i'm a fan of craft beer. Craft beer will have to take a back-seat for a while, but i'll keep some chilled for when I gain my first points of the season.

Ben Hurford - Cat 3

Racing / Cycling History

I started road racing while living in the Midlands in the mid 2000's. I was lucky to ride for an active club so I was able to race with team mates week in, week out (AMRT is going to be same). I quickly gained my 3rd cat licence, but then had to move with work so racing had to take a back seat for while. I then returned to racing in the late 2000's, when I was then encouraged to run a half-marathon. This was the start of a period away from road racing, which saw me complete 4 London Marathons, 1 half-ironman and 2 full ironman races. I'm now looking forward to returning to racing with an active team. For me, helping team mates achieve top 10's, is as rewarding as as gaining points myself.

Goals for the season

It is going to take me a few races to get back into the flow, but I plan to ride hard and have fun. As my racing form returns, i will aim to get into breaks and we'll see how the season progresses

Family / Interests / hobbies outside of cycling

I'm married to Lorraine, my very understanding and supportive wife. We have a 9 year old daughter, so I now have a second job as taxi driver. I enjoy listening to music and i'm a fan of craft beer. Craft beer will have to take a back-seat for a while, but i'll keep some chilled for when I gain my first points of the season.

Stuart Elvins - Cat 3    Racing / Cycling History   I have always ridden, but it wasn't until my company offered a Ride-To-Work scheme in 2006 that I converted from MTB to the road. I started out riding on my own and then progressed to Sportives. I got my race licence in 2015 on the basis that if I didn't try racing I would never know and immediately fell in love with crit racing.   2 of my proudest moments on a bike are getting my Cat 3 licence in my 50th year and completing the Marmotte in 2011, having never having ridden up anything bigger than White Leaf before.   But the one that trumps them all is riding up Mont Ventoux with my daughter when she was just 16! It wasn't fast but seeing her determination to make it and the absolute joy when she reached the top was priceless.   Goals for the season   Having had 2 seasons interupted by operations and bereavements, I am just hoping to get back to being racing fit and hanging on in Cat3 races. I wont be winning anything, so hope to be able to help other quicker riders from the team to their targets,   Family / Interests / hobbies outside of cycling   I'm married with a 19 year old daughter who is fulfilling one of my life's ambitions by working as a ski instructor in Canada for this year and next. I love skiing and am considering getting qualified as an instructor while I am between jobs. Other than that I love walking, watching films and a good coffee, which is fortunate given the team co-sponsor ;-)

Stuart Elvins - Cat 3

Racing / Cycling History

I have always ridden, but it wasn't until my company offered a Ride-To-Work scheme in 2006 that I converted from MTB to the road. I started out riding on my own and then progressed to Sportives. I got my race licence in 2015 on the basis that if I didn't try racing I would never know and immediately fell in love with crit racing.

2 of my proudest moments on a bike are getting my Cat 3 licence in my 50th year and completing the Marmotte in 2011, having never having ridden up anything bigger than White Leaf before.

But the one that trumps them all is riding up Mont Ventoux with my daughter when she was just 16! It wasn't fast but seeing her determination to make it and the absolute joy when she reached the top was priceless.

Goals for the season

Having had 2 seasons interupted by operations and bereavements, I am just hoping to get back to being racing fit and hanging on in Cat3 races. I wont be winning anything, so hope to be able to help other quicker riders from the team to their targets,

Family / Interests / hobbies outside of cycling

I'm married with a 19 year old daughter who is fulfilling one of my life's ambitions by working as a ski instructor in Canada for this year and next. I love skiing and am considering getting qualified as an instructor while I am between jobs. Other than that I love walking, watching films and a good coffee, which is fortunate given the team co-sponsor ;-)

Matt Vallis - Cat 3    Racing / Cycling History   Started cycling as a substitute for playing rugby as a way of staying fit after a serious injury and fell in love. Started racing 3 years ago as a way of fulfilling the competitive desire that wasnt being fulfilled on the club ride and found I really enjoyed it and was quite competitive. After making 2nd Cat in 2017 and racing as a 2nd Cat in 2018 my intention is to make it back there after a 3 month hiatus. Training is going well and I‘m making really progress getting back to where I was.   Goals for the season   Be competitive in 3/4 road races and win 3/4 crits. Hopefully make it back to Cat 2.   Family / Interests / hobbies outside of cycling   I’m married and we celebrated the birth of our first daughter at the end of last summer hence the disruption to my 2018 season. Apart from my family work takes up most of my time along with trying to fit in some kind of training I enjoy walking and a Netflix binge whilst on the turbo.

Matt Vallis - Cat 3

Racing / Cycling History

Started cycling as a substitute for playing rugby as a way of staying fit after a serious injury and fell in love. Started racing 3 years ago as a way of fulfilling the competitive desire that wasnt being fulfilled on the club ride and found I really enjoyed it and was quite competitive. After making 2nd Cat in 2017 and racing as a 2nd Cat in 2018 my intention is to make it back there after a 3 month hiatus. Training is going well and I‘m making really progress getting back to where I was.

Goals for the season

Be competitive in 3/4 road races and win 3/4 crits. Hopefully make it back to Cat 2.

Family / Interests / hobbies outside of cycling

I’m married and we celebrated the birth of our first daughter at the end of last summer hence the disruption to my 2018 season. Apart from my family work takes up most of my time along with trying to fit in some kind of training I enjoy walking and a Netflix binge whilst on the turbo.

Matt Verrinder - Cat 3    Racing / Cycling History   I've always loved cycling. I remember long summers as a kid disappearing off for hours on end with my bike, a bottle of squash and a cheese sandwich, free to go wherever the mood took me, as long as I was back in time for tea. The bike has always been a means of escape, a pathway to freedom. It took me a while to discover bike racing, but after years of running and triathlon I realised the error of my ways. I used to think I wasn't fast enough... I was right, but that doesn't mean it can't still be fun.   Goals for the season   I'm just in it for the buzz, sometimes the relief of finishing a race in one piece is reward enough. Having said that, a few top 10 finishes would be nice, and obviously I still dream of one day winning the Tour de France...   Family / Interests / hobbies outside of cycling   Fitting in training with family (wife, Charllotte, 2 boys, William and Leo) commitments is a tricky balancing act, and not one I always get right. I'm lucky that my wife also races, so she understands... until our race calendars clash that is.

Matt Verrinder - Cat 3

Racing / Cycling History

I've always loved cycling. I remember long summers as a kid disappearing off for hours on end with my bike, a bottle of squash and a cheese sandwich, free to go wherever the mood took me, as long as I was back in time for tea. The bike has always been a means of escape, a pathway to freedom. It took me a while to discover bike racing, but after years of running and triathlon I realised the error of my ways. I used to think I wasn't fast enough... I was right, but that doesn't mean it can't still be fun.

Goals for the season

I'm just in it for the buzz, sometimes the relief of finishing a race in one piece is reward enough. Having said that, a few top 10 finishes would be nice, and obviously I still dream of one day winning the Tour de France...

Family / Interests / hobbies outside of cycling

Fitting in training with family (wife, Charllotte, 2 boys, William and Leo) commitments is a tricky balancing act, and not one I always get right. I'm lucky that my wife also races, so she understands... until our race calendars clash that is.

Simon Gill - Cat 4    Racing / Cycling History   I've been cycling for a long time now and have kind of become a long distance specialist. I've completed LEJoG, Tring to Tromso in the Arctic Circle and last year, the Transatlantic Way (the entire West Coast of Ireland). Having spent so many years photographing the best races in the world, I'm going to give racing a go. Expect fireworks :)   Goals for the season   Race fitness is top of the list - just really want to get out there and be part of a race team!   Family / Interests / hobbies outside of cycling   I'm a husband and father to 3 beautiful girls...but also a cycling photographer, so I've seen my fair share of racing over the years. I'm also the other half of Musette Cafe which the team use for all our activities - including our hilarious photo shoot. Big Watford fan.

Simon Gill - Cat 4

Racing / Cycling History

I've been cycling for a long time now and have kind of become a long distance specialist. I've completed LEJoG, Tring to Tromso in the Arctic Circle and last year, the Transatlantic Way (the entire West Coast of Ireland). Having spent so many years photographing the best races in the world, I'm going to give racing a go. Expect fireworks :)

Goals for the season

Race fitness is top of the list - just really want to get out there and be part of a race team!

Family / Interests / hobbies outside of cycling

I'm a husband and father to 3 beautiful girls...but also a cycling photographer, so I've seen my fair share of racing over the years. I'm also the other half of Musette Cafe which the team use for all our activities - including our hilarious photo shoot. Big Watford fan.

Untitled-1.jpg