Steve Dennis writes…

This Sunday morning saw the 99th running of the Southern Counties
Cycling Union’s annual 50 miles time trial
East Grinstead had four riders on the start sheet and two people on
marshalling duties. Ben & Stef were posted at Broadfield roundabout for
about 4 hours – thanks for that guys.

Whereas Paul W., Alan Starsmeare,
Kev Bashford and Myself were part of a 102 rider field that faced what
is basically two laps of the popular G25/53 course between Southwater
and Crawley.

We awoke to perfect conditions as was forcast 2 days before, and as I
was riding out to the Headquarters, all my careful preparation was
blown out of the window as my rear tyre softened. Half way there, there
wasn’t enough time to change the tub and go home and change wheels, so
I opted to continue by riding/stopping/pumping my way to the HQ where I
was lucky enough to blag a wheel off of Richard Payn of ’34 Nomads to
whom I am sincerely grateful.

Paul was well on the road by now, having had an 06:11 start, and for
some reason Alan & Kev didn’t turn up. By this time with all the
faffing about trying to get a wheel into my track-ended Cervelo, it was
getting close to my start time. I jumped on the bike with the wheel
still rubbing the frame and got to the timekeeper with 3 mins to spare.

…3-2-1-off. Welcome to hell. A fifty is somewhere between a sprint
and an endurance event. Go too hard and you’ll blow up at about 35
miles. Too gentle and you’ll be kicking yourself at the finish with
loads left in the tank. I seemed to have judged this one just about
perfectly as with 28.5 mph fixed on the computer, I crossed the line in
1hr 45mins and 43secs. A personal best by exactly two minutes.

Paul was gone home when I got back to the HQ so all I saw of him was
his time; 2hrs 9mins 04secs, and as we only had two riders to finish
there was no chance in the team.

1st  Steve Dennis      EGCC                 1:45:43
2nd  Laurence Harding  Shorter Rochford RT  1:48:07
3rd  Shaun Kennedy     Bec CC               1:50:41

46th Paul Winkley      EGCC                 2:09:04