Steve Dennis and East Grinstead CC promoted an early race of the Sussex Cyclists’ Association Time Trial calendar.
Known as a Hard Riders event, these are usually run at the beginning of the year to try your early season fitness on challenging hilly courses when the weather isn’t at its best.
Sunday’s race certainly lived up to its name with torrential rain and a biting northerly wind which saw the temperature drop to around 2 – 3′ C. The conditions put off nearly half the field from starting and those that did were additionally faced with flooded roads and still unrepaired pot holes from the winter. Truly testing conditions that were more a battle against the elements than against the clock.
The course started in Staplefield, climbing up to Handcross, on to Cowfold and the A272 before hitting the testing hills from Ansty to Balcombe. The route had to be shortened due to roadworks but featured one last tortuous climb from Balcombe church to Brantridge lane near Handcross.
The 20.7 mile event was won by Niall Digby of Sigma Sport in 55:39. Second place went to Tony Reeves of G.S Stella with 56:25.
Third spot went to a delighted Alan MacInnes of East Grinstead CC with a time of 57:07. This is an excellent result for Alan and looks to be a good sign for the coming season.
Press Secretary EGCC