Grand Prix des Gentlemen 2up
Paul Winkley writes…
I think it was on the Lewes Wanderers website after the ESCA 2up earlier in the season that they called Steve Dennis’ partner Alan McInnis in Team Time Trial his ‘victim’.
So, always one for a challenge I asked Steve if I could be his ‘victim’ at the Lewes Wanderers Gentleman’s GP. Not as bad as it seems because in this race I only had to ride behind Steve. After a short practice on the 10 course at Horne on Thursday night we agreed the best combination would be Steve sitting slightly higher on this road bike with me in ‘full bling’ on a time trial bike behind, mainly because Steve is 10 ½ stone ‘soaking wet’ and I’m 6ft 3ins and 13 stone!
I woke Sunday morning feeling slightly nervous having taken a bit of a ‘kicking’ on Thursday night but confidence soon returned in the warm up, the advantage of my deep rimmed carbon front wheel, rear disc and aero helmet making itself apparent.
We were soon away and up to a good 26mph average catching the team 2 minutes in front quickly. One thing I soon noticed is Steve’s style is incredibly smooth and so long as you are close to his back wheel staying there is not a problem – until you go up hill!
We went well until we got to the bit I feared – the slight climb after Earwig Corner were we lost a bit of time coming ‘unglued’ up the hill. Quickly recovering and soon overtaking cars though Ringmer who were paying too much attention to the 30mph speed limit. Through Dog Kennel Corner to the Broyle grinding up to the finish – where the gentleman [that’s me!] is allowed to sprint past his pacer in the last 200yards.
We came home in 40 minutes 59 seconds for the 17.68 miles just missing out on fastest team. This competition is mainly judged on veterans standard times and I’m simply not old enough [nor fast enough] to make up the 5 minute deficit on veterans standard to the winners Dave Shepard and Ben Fielden [although we were quicker on actual time].
There’s no prize for being second fastest but that really wasn’t the point of riding, which was just a bit of fun and a great experience – thanks Steve
1st Standard Actual time David Shepherd & Ben Fielden +16.41 41.10 Fastest Team Rob Pelham & Nick Dyer +09.11 40.30 Steve Dennis & Paul Winkley +11.33 40.59