Andy Seltzer writes…
After the near summers evening weather of the previous week it was back to business as usual with a drop in temperature and threat of rain which both helped to keep the numbers down from the previous week.
Fortunately the rain never materialised as 70 riders lined up for the start, this time I had managed to tempt another East Grinstead rider over in the shape of fellow 3rd Category Racer Paul Winkley with the promise of a 3 mile circuit flatter than Goodwood.
This weeks format was a true Handicap with the third category group off third and with the organisation of Graham Wood of AD Cycles we all literally worked well together with 20 plus riders all working in unison riding through and off, as Graham past me in the advancing line in commented that he thought he would never see the day when a group of third cats would work so well together.
After 5 of the 10 laps completed we had caught up with the leading 4th Category group and still had a good lead on the chasing scratch group.
Progress of group now slowed as we were now leading the leading group and with a prime sprint every lap people became more interested in racing for the prime points than working smoothly together and at the start of the ninth lap the inevitable happen and we caught by the scratch group. Three riders from this group managed to use this as a springboard to form a break that pulled away from the main bunch by a hand full a seconds but still enough to remained clear to contest the sprint for the win.
Back with the bunch on the final lap individual riders attempted to break clear including myself, unfortunately I hadn’t realised that Paul was on my wheel there was a flash of green and yellow as he sped past gaining a gap on the bunch, all I could do was shout some encouragement, alas the two of us were soon swamped by the riders behind us.
This all happened in the final kilometre setting the stage for a big bunch finish with Paul in 28th place and me in 44th. At the front with a handful of seconds over the charging bunch Jason Edwards of Wildside R.T. out sprinted Tom Marchment of Up Grade Bikes in a time of 1 hour and 10 minutes.