Steve Dennis writes…
The Epsom CC hold the last open 25 of the season on the (so called) fast G25/53 course based at Broadbridge Heath. It’s a good opportunity to demonstrate just what one has been working so hard for all season long! The weather can obviously be a deciding factor, with storms or even frost having played their part in the past, but Sunday dawned warm and windless, in fact, one of the best mornings of the year so far.
We had three riders in the main ‘solo’ event, but we also had Christian Yates partnering big brother Sean in the earlier 2up, of which there were six teams entered. On my way out to the HQ, I stopped off at Tolgate Hill to see them appear out of the mist and give them a shout. They looked smooth but it was clear that Chris was hanging on to Sean’s wheel who was still enjoying the excellent form that took him to that amazing 281 mile ride in the National 12 hour Championships just a few weeks before. Their finish time was 56:50, 1 minute 42 seconds slower than the winning pair of Epsom CC/Twickenham CC composite riders.
Our 1st solo rider, (no.34) Kevin Bashford was a non-starter, so it was a long wait until I was off at no.110. By this time of course, the traffic had increased significantly and the wind had got up. Ted Boorman was off 8 minutes after so he also experienced similar conditions, I’m sure. With so many roundabouts to negotiate and a triathlon using the same piece of road, there was bound to be some riders coming to grief. At one point a double-decker bus over-took me 50 yards before a roundabout causing me to take evasive action around the outside…. blah, blah… I could go on.
With a few seconds wasted hear and there, I crossed the finish in 51:23, which was 20 seconds clear of my closest rival and (as it turns out) extremely nice bloke, Richard Simmonds of The Altitude Centre Cycling Team. Ted followed in with a time of 1:05:03 but gets extra Brownie points for actually starting! (Only kidding Ted).