Steve Dennis writes…
Under normal circumstances, this event should have been a routine trundle up and down the G25/53 Southwater/Crawley course. Especially being the morning after the night before at the club BBQ where I’m sure I wasn’t the only one feeling the effects of over-indulgence.
However, there happened to be on the start list a couple of riders who have recently got the better of me in local TTs, and I wanted to see just how I’d fair in a head-to-head on equal terms.
The riders in question were Jerone Walters of Sigma Sport and Phil Sykes of VC St Raphael who were faster on paper too.
There were three other Grinnies on the start sheet too with Ted Boorman putting in a rare appearance after holidaying in Kentucky and Mr (new dad) Woodward along with Ange Nainby. Ange was a bit iffy as to whether or not she’d start. As it turned out she didn’t.
Ted and Richard were of nos. 16 & 32 respectively, a good hour before me so I didn’t expect to see to see either of them back at the HQ. As it happened Ted stayed on to see one of his mates who had made the long trip from Guernsey, so I did get to chat with him.
The morning started quite still but in keeping with recent trend, the wind soon got up followed by the showers. The south-westerly gale certainly helped you out to Crawley (my average was in excess of 32mph), but the drag up to Tolgate hill and subsequent slog into the wind all the way back to Southwater took it’s toll on many I’m sure. The only chance of recovery being the return along the A24 to the finish at Broadbridge Heath.
Traffic was lighter than normal for a gone-eight o’clock-start, this was probably down to the less than favorable weather forecast and as a result, I had a trouble free ride feeling good into the headwind sections and recording 51 minute 55 seconds – equaling my personal best time and beating Sykes by 1 min 17 secs and Walters by 2 mins 6 secs.
Richard, still suffering from lack or sleep, clocked 1hr 3mins 41, and Ted with the effects of jet-lag still in his system recorded 1hr 7mins 32.
I’m off on hols for two weeks next weekend so I’ll see you all at the Eastbourne Rovers 25 on the 16th August.