Steve Dennis writes…
Alan and I entered this race a week or so before the tragic events during our Italy trip of last weekend, so when it was time to drive down to Laughton on Sunday it’s fair to say that our hearts were not exactly in it.
Having said that, it was looking like it was going to be a corker of a morning and just beckoning a fast ride.
We were the only Grinstead pairing on the start sheet and being last year’s winners, we were last team off and favorites to win. We were going to have our work cut out though with a strong entry from Lewes Wanderers who fielded no fewer than six teams.
The early mist had lifted and the sun was warming our backs when we started. Thundering down the Broyle with a light south-westerly in our faces, it was soon apparent that it was going to be a fast morning. Left at Kennel Corner and along to Whitesmith, I was forcing a pace that Alan could hold but not necessarily contribute to. Sharp left, up the A22 and on to Little Horstead where left down that crappy A26 to Earwig Corner (It might be alright in a 4×4, but on a push-bike with 150 pounds in your tyres it nearly rattles your fillings out!).
The climb out of Lewes on the way to Ringmer was the only place Alan drifted off the back slightly so a subtle adjustment of pace soon had us back together again and we were storming through Ringmer, setting off the 30mph signs as we went (well one of them at least!). Just the drag back up the Broyle to go and we’re home and dry. We crossed the line in 52:44 – nearly 3 minutes faster than the previous year!
At the HQ there were unconfirmed rumors of a few seconds either way. This was later confirmed to be in our favor by a slim margin of 3 seconds from in-form Lewes Wanderers Nick Dwyer and Rob Pelham. We gave ourselves a big pat on the back and Alan kindly donated his share of the prize money to the petrol tank!
Results 1 Steve Dennis & Alan MacInnes East Grinstead 00:52:44 2 Rob Pelham & Nick Dwyer Lewes Wanderers 00:52:47 3 Peter Morris & Tom Glandfield Lewes Wanderers 00:53:38 4 Adrian Elliott & Stuart Sorrell Eastbourne Rovers 00:55:28 5 Robert Rollings & James Ryan Lewes Wanderers 00:56:23