Mike Anton writes…
Having started my racing very late this year and with some testing and/or stupid first rides, I thought I better make some sort of effort and do a proper 25.
CTT’s new on line entry system is very easy to use and after a few mouse clicks I’d entered the BEC 25 on the popular G25/53 Crawley – Horsham course.
My ride diary spreadsheets confirmed that my last proper year of racing was 2008 and since then I’d done the princely sum of five 25’s, one of which was Robin Johnson’s hilly up and down Devils Dyke, another on my full sus MTB and three other ‘flat’ ones, the fastest of which was a short ‘two’ last year.
Once the startsheet had arrived I saw we had a team of three, being joined by Messrs Crick and Hardisty.
I decided to ride out to the event and did the 18 miles in a decent, but comfortable 49 minutes. This ride was dry and generally calm so I was hopeful of the weather holding. Unfortunately no sooner had Mr Hardisty and I set off from the HQ the heavens opened and we were soaked by the time we got to the start. (Mr Crick along with quite a few others, was a DNS).
Having got all dressed up and subsequently soaked, there was no point changing my mind so off I went in to the rain.
The first stint out to Crawley was quite fast despite the wet though I tip toed around some of the roundabouts. Tolgate Hill arrived after 20 mins and I started the grovel up there, being passed by my 3 minute man Iain ‘da Brog’ Brogden. Iain was on a flyer and I had no chance of keeping him in sight so I carried on trying to get the average back up to 25mph.
The drag up Pollards Hill aka to the Shell garage wasn’t quite as horrible as usual so perhaps there was a tail wind? The final drag back from the Southwater turn definitely had a tail wind as I was surprised to spot 22mph on the Garmin towards the top of the hill. From the Shell roundabout I knew it was only 3 ½ more minutes to the finish but I’d got there too late for an hour ride.
Powering top gear down the hill for the final mile always needs effort, especially the final run to the finish which is sufficiently uphill to make the legs scream in the final push.
I crossed the line with 1:1:10, which got me 37th out of 70 starters. Ben finished with 1:6:21.
The aforementioned Iain Brogden of Eastbourne Rovers won the event with an excellent 53:10, pipping Conall Yates by 1 second. 3rd was Nick Dwyer with 53:49.