Steve Dennis writes…
Bank Holiday Monday morning saw me up before dawn and bundling my bike and kit into the car and off on a damp murky drive over to Liss in Hampshire to attempt a last ditch 50 mile TT to try and improve on this years best.
I might have stayed in bed had it not been the case that Brian had equalled my best time so far of 1:45:43 and in doing so, taken the vets standard record by a mile!
Anyway, an hour and a bit later I arrived at the HQ and started the routine – prepare bike, sign on, pin on number, always an eye on the clock. Go for a warm up – try not to get a puncture! 08:15. Time to roll to the start. The road is still damp – got to take care on the descent after the start and on the tight corners.
As I said the first 2 and a half miles are flat out down-hill, you then swing sharp onto the southbound A3 to turn at the foot of the South Downs and blast north over several interchanges to turn again at Liphook. Tight turns and greasy roads make for careful bike handling. You then head south again on a long leg into what wind there was to complete 1 lap.
At the 25 mile point things looked promising when glancing at the watch I saw 50:19! Crikey I thought, can I keep this pace up?
On I plodded up the drag to the southernmost turn again and tried with all my might to regain any losses on the faster northern leg. After turning yet again (greasy road, tight corner etc etc…), I passed the 5 miles to go board with still a bit left in the tank which I used to try and catch my 5 minute man, former national 25 champ, Richard Prebble.
We both flashed over the line almost together, although the timekeeper had us at 7 seconds apart!
Satisfied with my ride I crawled back up the hill to the HQ to wait for the big fish to come home. I didn’t have to wait long as pre-race favorite Steve Walkling (Velocity Bikes) posted a time 1min 58seconds slower than me. I was top of the board – I’d won! In a new PB and course record time of 1:40:50. That’s a new club record too – I think.
S Dennis EGCC 1:40:50 S Walkling Velocity Bikes 1:42:48 S Ader a3crg 1:43:51 R Prebble CandiTV-Marshals 1:45:43 J Jenkinson UTAG Yamaha.com 1:45:56 G Powdrill London Dynamo 1:46:10