Steve Dennis writes…
As another qualifying event for the SPOCO south east competition, I entered the Colchester Rovers 47 after being offered a lift up by Robin Johnson.
The alarm went off at stupid O’clock on the Sunday morning for the drive up to Peldon, just south of Colchester. All was going to plan until we got caught on the wrong side of the central barrier on the M25 in a contra-flow just as the A12 disappeared off into the distance. This resulted in a 28 mile detour via Harlow to get back to Chelmsford again. Robin said that his van has never been over 80 before!
Anyway, we got to the HQ with 15 minutes to spare before Robin’s start time, so after a quick sign-on and visit to the loo, he made a dash for the start. I was off 16 minutes after so I had a relatively relaxed approach.
The course involves two laps of a 22 mile circuit with a bit tagged onto the end which conveniently ends up about 200yards before the HQ. I set off steady, knowing that there were several hills to tackle along the way and not wanting to blow up. As it was I found the course to my liking, with asphalt smooth surfaces most of the way round, I wound up the tempo to a 50 mile pace and tried to keep it going.
There was a slight westerly breeze making the leg through Tiptree and Great Totham (about 9 miles) tough, but when you turned left at Heybridge (Maldon), you got blown all the way up the B1026 through Goldhanger and Tolleshunt D’Arcy and on to the finish at the end of the second lap.
I passed Robin after about 17 miles and went on to record the fastest time (and apparently course record) in 1hr 41mins 44 seconds. The next rider, Jason White of Cycle Premier was about 4 mins back.
Results 1st Steve Dennis EGCC 1:41:44 2nd Jason White Cycle Premier 1:46:51 3rd Mark Arnold Team Pedal Revolution 1:49:07