Archive | CIA Insurance General Blog RSS feed for this archive

Sales Manager Becomes British Dragan Champion

May 31, 2012


By Michael Hoppitt

Breaking News…..

Following on from our recent story in April, Motorbike Sales Manager Phil Byerley has realized his dream of becoming the Dragan Challenge Sprint champion, beating all-comers from across the country, and even going up against legendary strongman Mariusz Pudzianowski.

On the 19th of May 2012, Phil completed his 2 year journey to become British champion, earning the title of Britain’s Fastest Endurance Lifter, competing on the main stage in front of a crowd of over 400 people at the NEC Body Power event in Birmingham, a 2 day international fitness bonanza. 

For the Dragan Challenge Sprint competition, competitors must lift a 20kg dumbbell from having their arms straight down by their sides, curling it up to their shoulder, then finally pressing it up over their head until their arms are straight, doing one arm after the other, for a lung and muscle busting 100 reps.  

To win the overall championship, Phil had to endure two grueling rounds of this with just 30 minutes rest in-between, against the best fellow lifters in the country and guest athletes trying to test their mettle.

Phil won the semi final in an amazing 3 minutes 24 seconds, dashing the dreams of four other regional champions. In the final, he was pitted against 3 of Britain’s best lifters Nuno Barretto , Mick Swickbank and Kurt Hoffman, both Mick and Kurt former team British Champions for the North of England and Nuno the star of Southern Britain in 2011.

In an adrenaline filled effort, and roared on by the strong Midlands contingent in the crowd Phil pulled ahead in the final last few reps hanging on to win the British Finals in an awe-inspiring 3 minutes 14 seconds, and was elated to have finally realized his dream.

Five-time Worlds Strongest Man Mariusz Pudzianowski came on stage to congratulate Phil and present him with his prizes, including a generous £500 worth of Maximuscle products.

Phil say’s “my adrenaline was pumping all day and then to win was absolutely amazing, I felt so much pride and it was such a great honour to receive my prizes from Marius and then lift against him”

The crowd was then delighted and cheering when Phil and Mariusz picked up the dumbells for an encore and lifted for another 30 reps or so.

When asked what his next challenge will be, Phil said “it’s time to relax for the time being after the intense training over the past few months, and wait and see what challenges come along next. I’d also like to say a big thank-you to everyone who’s helped and supported me, all my family and friends, and everyone at CIA.

Watch this space for Sales Manager Phil Byerley’s next great physical feat!



Here is a small piece from the Dragan Challenge website…

Mens SPRINT finals 2012

Men’s elite 20kg sprint (100 reps) was the first time that athletes were required to get through a semi – final before completing another 100 reps for their GRAND FINAL, meaning that both endurance and power would be tested to their max. Winner Phil Byerley smashed out a winning time of 3min 14 to not only beat all his competitors, but also beat all previous best times set at LA Fitness clubs across the country in 2012!

Continue reading...

CIA Insurance do Race For Life 2012

May 21, 2012


At CIA Insurance we always like to do our bit for charity and two departments are doing just that on the 15th July.

Race for life comes to Rugby and the ladies who work in the Commercial and Administration departments will be taking part.

To find out more about what Race for life is and what Cancer Research does CLICK HERE.

To donate to the Commercial ‘Pink’ ladies CLICK HERE

And if you are feeling extra generous…

To donate to Kirsten from Administration CLICK HERE

Thank You.

Continue reading...

Sales manager on way to becoming Britain’s Best Endurance Lifter

April 2, 2012


Sales manager on way to becoming Britain’s Best Endurance Lifter

By Mike Hoppitt

Phil Byerley

Phil Byerley (Please click for larger image)

Motorbike Sales Manager Phil Byerley is getting near to the end of a two year journey to achieve the title of Britain’s Best Endurance Lifter in the Maximuscle Dragan Challenge.

Phil has been with CIA Insurance for over 6 years, with the past 2 of those being spent undergoing an arduous daily training routine that keeps him in top  physical shape so he can compete at elite levels with some of the UK’s top athletes.

His chosen sport is the Dragan Challenge, a brutal test of strength and endurance. Competitors must lift a dumbbell from having their arms straight down by their sides, curling it up to their shoulder, then finally pressing it up over their head until their arms are straight, doing one arm after the other.

Phil competes at the Elite tier of the competition, using two 20 kg dumbbells – doing this lift once is hard enough with this amount of weight, but for this years Dragan Challenge he has to do this an incredible 100 times in the fastest time he can! Most people who have entered the challenge struggle to get to 100 repetitions, but Phil has managed a personal best time of 3 minutes 27 seconds.

Phil was first introduced to the Dragan Challenge in 2009 while visiting BodyPower –Europe’s biggest event for bodybuilders and fitness and strength athletes. The challenge was being done on the main stage, and when the host asked for audience members to participate, he jumped at the chance. Phil recalls – “I first tried the challenge in 2009 while watching the lifters, I was impressed by their endurance and strength, and when the host invited members of the audience I had to give it a go! I found myself actually competing and really enjoyed myself. It was at that moment I decided I wanted to do this and succeed.”

From there, he threw himself into a rigorous training regime, focusing his efforts on coming back in the future to be one of the main contenders. The following year, in February 2010, Phil was crowned the Midlands Champion for an endurance Dragan Challenge, performing an incredible 500 repetitions, non-stop with 16kg dumbells – that’s an unbelievable 8 tons of total weight being lifted over the course of his effort – imagine 50 Suzuki GSXR 1000’s lined up and you can picture the weight!

Keeping the momentum going, in May 2011 Phil competed as captain of Northern Britain in the Maximuscle Dragan Challenge team Event, tasked with doing 100 reps of 16kg in the fastest time possible against teams from Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Southern England and a team of professional bodybuilding stars. Naturally, Phil and his team beat all-comers, gaining the title of best team endurance lifters in Britain and Northern Ireland

Phil with the other Loughborough Finalist and Organiser Rajko

Phil with the other Loughborough Finalist and Organiser Rajko (Please click for larger image)

In February 2012 Phil qualified to compete in the 20kg Elite-level challenge for the quickest 100 reps, coming top in his region with a time twice as quick as the next nearest entrant, which was fielded from the best of the local professional rugby team, The Rugby Lions.

This led to a place in the regional finals in Loughborough, famous for its University that commonly produces top athletes and high-level sports studies. With a place in the final on the main stage at BodyPower later in the year, there was a very competitive buzz around the competition, with a mixture of endurance athletes from various sports, bodybuilders and rugby players all vying for a chance at the top spot.

Phil was eventually pitted against the Captain of The Olympic Sailing Team, 18 stones of lean lifting power,  who was the Dragan Challenge Loughborough champion, and massively the favourite to win. Thanks to all of the dedication and determination Phil had put into his training, and the added promise of beating the odds-on favourite, he was able to smash through the pain barrier and push himself his hardest yet, beating the local favourite by a full minute to 100 repetitions of 20kg.

His feat of strength gained him a coveted place to the British Finals at BodyPower on 19th May, where he will compete against the other 6 regional winners, a specially picked collection of athletes and former champions from across Europe, and of course any lucky audience members who fancy a go.

Watch this space to see if Motorcycle Sales Manager Phil Byerley can achieve his dream of becoming the Dragan Challenge Champion, and show that hard work and dedication to anything can pay off.

Please click here for a video of Phil and Rajko giving a demo

Continue reading...

The Army Cadet Force – Steph Woods

December 16, 2011


For our CIA Insurance general blog we like to get staff members to write up about what they are doing on their days off from work, weither it be track days or taking part in fundrasing for charities.

This time we have Steph Woods who works in the accounts department, she is an adult instructor for the Army Cadet Force. Here in her own words is what she has been up to recently with the cadets.

 The Army Cadet Force is a youth organisation funded by the MOD. I was a cadet for 5 years and then became an adult instructor. We aim to teach the 12-18 year olds about respect, self discipline, self confidence and more.

 We take part in events like Remembrance Parades and the Rugby christmas lights switch on. I’ve also taken part in the Malta Tatto in which we went to Malta for 4 days to play music for the Maltese Prime Minister and a large audience. We have also marched up the Mall to Buckingham Palace where we were invited into the garden and there i met Prince Charles and had a quick chat with him about camping.

 I’ve gained qualifications such as BTECs in Public Services and music

First Aid

Bronze Duck of Edinburgh

 It has given me so many great qualities and amazing friends, without the Army Cadet Force i wouldn’t be the person i am today.

Video of the para assosiation gig 2011

Steph Woods

Continue reading...

Wear it pink day at CIA Insurance!

October 28, 2011


It's breast cancer awareness month!

Today (28th October) is ‘Wear It Pink’ day all in aid of breast cancer awareness. October is breast cancer awareness month and today people are being incouraged to wear something pink and to donate £2 for this inspiring cause.

From the wear it pink website…

What is wear it pink?

wear it pink day is Breast Cancer Campaign’s
biggest fundraising event. Put on something pink and
donate £2 to Breast Cancer Campaign – it couldn’t be
easier to help save lives!

Members of the CIA Insurance team have been wearing it pink today and we have raised £110 for the charity!

If you would like to donate, visit the wear it pink website at

Center- Emily & Steph Back row left to right- Andy, Graham & Naomi

Continue reading...

Mike Hoppitt- Track day review

October 24, 2011


One of our own motorcycle insurance telesales advisors took to the race track for the first time last week. Here in his own words, Mike Hoppitt, has given us his own account of his day on the track.

Mike Hoppitt

On a windy September day I had my first introduction to track days at Donington Park, preceded by at least a week of worrying about my riding skills, what the weather would be, and if my bike and myself would end the day in one piece.  

Having booked the track day with Focused Events the week before, we turned up early and got settled into one of the many garages lining the pit lane – the very same garages used by all the top racing teams that frequent Donington. A quick walk down the pit lane to attend the safety brief gave me a great chance to see all the biking exotica lined up in the other garages. There was a mix of street bikes and track bikes alike, with everything from the latest Ducatis, Aprilias and BMWs, to a couple of 10 year old Triumph Sprint 955’s.

We were split into 3 groups depending on experience, and by 9a.m my group was taken out by the team of instructors for 3 slow laps to get a feel of the track, then straight onto our first 20 minute session. Blasting out of the pit lane straight into the first corner on my K1 Suzuki GSXR-600 was a surreal experience, having seen it so many times on the television or from the grandstands it felt great to finally be out there myself.

Mike With his K1 Suzuki GSXR-600

I started out slow for the first few laps to get my tyres warm, gradually getting the corner speed up and braking a bit less each lap. I started out fairly nervous, but quickly became more and more confident as I realized there was bags of grip and lean angle to be had, and if all else failed, plenty of run off room into the gravel traps, where at least a couple of people a session ended up.

Each session was enough for about 8 laps, with a total of 6 sessions throughout the day. The 40 minutes between sessions was the perfect amount of time to get yourself rested and grab a cup of coffee ready for the next session, and to let you go watch the bikes in the faster groups blast down the start / finish straight by the garages. The sight and sound of the bikes flying past you at full throttle was worth the track day fee alone, where else could you see Ducatis, Aprilias and KTM v-twins being chased down by Japanese fours at speeds that you would lose your license for?

There were many instructors on hand, as well as lots of other riders eager to share their expertise and advice. I went out with an instructor for a few laps so he could show me the best lines and speed through each corner, which was a massive help for the rest of the day.  Spending a day on the track taught me a lot of things about riding – mainly that a bike is often a lot more capable than its rider, you can brake later, steer quicker, and carry a lot more corner speed than you are used to doing on the road. It really helps you become a lot smoother as a rider, being able to concentrate on your riding and not having to look out for everyday hazards like when out on the road. The next day when I went out on the road, my cornering was a lot smoother and my lines more precise, but more importantly I had a lot more confidence in myself and my bike having seen what it was capable of doing.

Riding on the track is a great way to give you a good thrill and to ride how you’ve always wanted to in relative safety, there’s lots of grip, lots of room and you’re surrounded by lots of like minded people. It’s a completely different feeling to riding on the road, you’re constantly at full throttle with your eyes on stalks at maximum concentration, all you’re thinking about is the next corner, your track position, and where everyone else is around you. The only real drawbacks compared to road riding is the lack of changing scenery and different roads – you quickly learn every corner, bumpy bit and layout of the track, after 2 hours of riding it can feel a tiny bit repetitive, and you obviously don’t have the freedom to ride off to wherever you want to!  

The whole experience was extremely enjoyable, something everyone who owns a bike needs to do it at some point, it doesn’t cost a huge amount of money and is a lot easier to arrange and to do than I ever imagined. Its great to get a small taste of what bike racers experience, and to be able to stretch the legs of your bike a bit more than you usually would. I was able to hire an on-board camera with GPS telemetry showing track position and speed, this was a great souvenir for the day, but you don’t realise until you watch it back at home just how many times you get overtaken!

Mike at the track day, Donington Park

We hope you found this information useful. Please remember to use CIA Insurance when you or your family and friends need motorcycle insurance, landlords insurance or commercial insurance.

Continue reading...

Biking with a slight difference!…

October 24, 2011


One of the guys from CIA Insurance services took park in a biking event earlier this week without his petrol powered bike, just human pedal power this time!

Bicester Millennium Cycling Club ( annually organise a 4 man time trial race over a ten mile distance comprising of 4 laps of the perimeter service road of RAF Weston On The Green. The event takes place on the airfield (which is usually used for parachute and glider training for the RAF) situated just outside the very picturesque village of Middleton Stoney near Bicester.

The event, which is brilliantly organised, went well and also helped raise funds for Help for Heroes charity campaign ( 32 Local (ish) teams took part to see what time they could achieve. Eliot and his three team mates from Rugby RCC managed a time of 23 minutes exactly, finishing 10th overall.

Eliot and his three team mates from Rugby RCC

Below is a results sheet for every team;


Winners of Broadribbs Cup Men & individual medals

 Warwickshire RC 21:24

Winners of Broadribbs Cup Women & individual medals

Lichfield City CC 25:24

Fastest Mens team

Warwickshire RC (no 32) 21:24 £60

Fastest Ladies team

Lichfield City CC (no 17) 25:24 £40


VC10 (no 20) 21:28 £40


MJS Racing (no 21) 21:57 £20


Python RT (no 4) 22:30 Sufferfest ‘tickets’

Closest to 23mins

Rugby RCC (no 29) 23:00 £10


Hemel Hempstead CC (no 23) 24:01 £10


VC10 (no 33) 24:59 £10


Rugby RCC (no 7) 26:02 £10


A5 Rangers (no 28) 26:48 £10

Future events:

Roller Racing – Tues 13th September @ 6pm ish.

The Butcher’s Arms, Fringford, £10 per rider including food. £100 prize list!

More details on Facebook

Invitation 9ups (WotG & Silverstone) next year


BMCC Four-up TTT 10 miles – Tuesday 16th August 2011

Promoted for and on behalf of Cycling Time Trials under

their Rules & Regulations

Course H2.5/20 – RAF Weston on the Green

Final Results

Pos’n Team No. Avg Speed Time Lap 1+ Lap 2 Lap 3 Lap 4

1 Warwickshire RC (32)

28.04 – 21:24 – 05:38 – 05:23 – 05:12 – 05:11

2 VC10 (20)

27.95 – 21:28 – 05:34 – 05:22 – 05:16 – 05:16

3 MJS Racing (21)

27.33 – 21:57 – 05:44 – 05:23 – 05:28 – 05:22

4 Python RT (4)

26.67 – 22:30 – 05:42 – 05:32 – 05:37 – 05:39

5 VC10 (1)

26.59 – 22:34 – 05:51 – 05:34 – 05:38 – 05:31

6 Team MK (22)

26.53 – 22:37 – 05:55 – 05:41 – 05:33 – 05:28

7 RugbyRCC (5)

26.41 – 22:43 – 05:43 – 05:38 – 05:40 – 05:42

8 BMCC (31)

26.39 – 22:44 – 05:59 – 05:39 – 05:35 – 05:31

9 Hemel HempsteadCC (15)

26.22 – 22:53 – 05:57 – 05:33 – 05:34 – 05:49

10 Rugby RCC (29)

26.09 – 23:00 – 06:06 – 05:41 – 05:42 – 05:31

11 Hillingdon Faster Boys (24)

25.94 – 23:08 – 05:57 – 05:46 – 05:41 – 05:44

12 Fairly United Cycling Team (11)

25.79 – 23:16 – 06:00 – 05:47 – 05:48 – 05:41

13 Didcot Phoenix CC (2)

25.32 – 23:42 – 06:05 – 05:49 – 05:53 – 05:55

14 Rugby RCC (12)

25.14 – 23:52 – 06:04 – 06:05 – 05:56 – 05:47

15 Hemel Hempstead CC (23)

24.98 – 24:01 – 06:15 – 05:54 – 06:01 – 05:51

16 Oxonian CC (16)

24.95 – 24:03 – 06:19 – 05:55 – 05:57 – 05:52

17 Rugby RCC (26)

24.86 – 24:08 – 06:20 – 05:58 – 06:02 – 05:48

18 Zappi’s (30)

24.76 – 24:14 – 06:24 – 05:59 – 05:58 – 05:53

19 Hemel Hempstead CC (6)

24.76 – 24:14 – 06:09 – 05:56 – 06:07 – 06:02

20 TeamMilton Keynes (3)

24.26 – 24:44 – 06:39 – 06:09 – 06:01 – 05:55

21 Oxonian CC (27)

24.16 – 24:50 – 06:43 – 06:08 – 06:03 – 05:56

22 VC10 (33)

24.02 – 24:59 – 06:38 – 06:14 – 06:03 – 06:04

23 Hillingdon Tri Flash Boys (14)

23.76 – 25:15 – 06:36 – 06:11 – 06:19 – 06:09

 24 LichfieldCity CC (W) (17)

23.62 – 25:24 – 06:35 – 06:21 – 06:11 – 06:17

25 TeamMilton Keynes(25)

23.47 – 25:34 – 06:45 – 06:26 – 06:15 – 06:08

26 Rugby RCC (7)

23.05 – 26:02 – 06:44 – 06:29 – 06:30 – 06:19

27 VC10 (13)

22.73 – 26:24 – 06:57 – 06:34 – 06:36 – 06:17

28 Hillingdon Tri Old Boys (19)

22.44 – 26:44 – 07:08 – 06:37 – 06:38 – 06:21

29 A5 Rangers (28)

22.39 – 26:48 – 06:52 – 06:40 – 06:43 – 06:33

30 Rugby RCC (18)

21.02 – 28:33 – 07:29 – 07:08 – 07:14 – 06:42

31 Hemel Hempstead CC (8)

19.67 – 30:30 – 08:11 – 07:42 – 07:24 – 07:13

32 Hillingdon Tri Mixed (9)

19.60 – 30:37 – 07:59 – 07:37 – 07:37 – 07:24

DNS Lichfield City CC (10) (apols)

We hope you found this information useful. Please remember to use CIA Insurance when you or your family and friends need motorcycle insurance, landlords insurance or commercial insurance.

Continue reading...

CIA- At the races!

October 24, 2011


Written by Nathan Yeung

To celebrate a successful few years of business and give the hardworking staff a night out, CIA booked a set of rooms with a sumptuous cold buffet and open bar at Warwick Racecourse’s inaugural Racing and Music night on Tuesday 23 August.

Eliza Doolittle performed at the races...


An early finish to the working day allowed eager employees time to get their glad rags on in anticipation of an entertaining night with 7 races and a set performed by Eliza Doolittle. While few of the staff professed to be horse racing experts, they were more than willing to part with their hard-earned cash to enter into the spirit of things; one of the accounts department, showing off her financial acumen, successfully backed a 40-1 long shot to make it a very memorable evening. 


After the races were completed, Eliza Doolittle entertained everyone with a 45 minute set containing some of her most popular hits such as “Skinny Genes” and “Pack Up”. Several staff took the opportunity to secure a prime location and enjoy the atmosphere of the open air concert; that this was not some large stadium making for a much more personal experience.


With the evening festivities drawing to a close at 10.30, the coach arrived to take home an exhilarated and satisfied group of people who, having been exposed to a different sort of night out than the usual weekend bar crawl, were talking of arranging an evening at a greyhound track or a return to Warwick Racecourse. Some hardier individuals continued the evening in Leamington Spa but may have enjoyed themselves a little too much judging from the stories the following day!
We hope you found this information useful. Please remember to use CIA Insurance when you or your family and friends need motorcycle insurance, landlords insurance or commercial insurance.

Continue reading...