Ride bikes. Have fun. Feel good.

Eastbourne Rovers Cliff Sharp Memorial 25

Steve Dennis writes…

The promotional flyer for this event said “Come and test your speed and fitness at the peak of your season”. Well, who could resist that. Especially as they were offering £100 prize for breaking course record!

It’s only when you realized that it was going to be held on the ‘rather bumpy’ G25/89 Maresfield to Boship course, and course record currently stands at 48:55 set by a certain Graeme Obree, that it dampens your enthusiasm somewhat. It could be for that very reason that EGCC could only field two riders out of the 99 or so on the start sheet.

With a fair splattering of ‘out of district’ riders, it was going to almost feel like an ‘out of district event’ if it were not for the all too familiar pot-holes!

Richard Woodward was the only other Grinnie this time to back me up and he was off at 06:51, well over an hour before me, so by the time I got back to the HQ all that remained of him was his time on the result board! – Duty called at the allotment I assume.

The north-west wind that dogged the previous weeks race had not abated and caused problems for riders on the return from Boship. I chose to use a lower-profile front wheel to avoid being blown all over the road. A move that I think I benefitted from as I didn’t find the conditions too harsh until the last 2 miles or so when the wind was directly in your face. Then it was a case of grit your teeth and accept your losses.

At the finish, after what I thought was going to be a “duff” ride I was pleased to record 51:59 which was good enough for another win. Richard clocked 1:04:47 for 40th place out of 77 finishers.

A well promoted event and one that I would thoroughly recommend to ride – if only for the vast array of cakes at the HQ! Disappointing to see 19 non-starters though.

1st   Steve Dennis  EGCC        0:51:59
2nd   Will Manger   In-Gear     0:54:32
=3rd  Rob Pelham    Lewes Wdrs  0:55:38
=3rd  Nick Dwyer    Lewes Wdrs  0:55:38
5th   Gary Record   VC Deal     0:56:28