Steve Dennis writes…
It was up to Essex again last Sunday for another qualifying event in this year’s SPOCO South East competition. This time it was the Southend Wheelers’ “Norman Wells Memorial 50 miles Time Trial” held on the undulating and very twisty E21/50 course that reaches out on the bit of land between the rivers Blackwater and Crouch south-east of Maldon.
On paper, and barring accidents, I could see it was an event that I could win, which would be good as maximum points in a SPOCO event are always an advantage. I last rode this course two years ago, again as a SPOCO counter and recorded a 1 hour 50 minute ride so the challenge was to better that time. Warm, dry conditions prevailed with just a gently rising south-westerly breeze to contend with, so things were looking favorable.
A 7:50 start time not only meant a five o’clock pick-up, but very little traffic in that part of the world which is good as the course goes through several villages on it’s two-and-three-quarter laps of an 18 miles circuit. In fact the only problems out there that day was a couple of slow-moving horse-boxes, and the road section of a triathlon with what seemed like a thousand scantily-clad triathletes of all shapes and sizes (and abilities!).
Anyway, brushing this aside I had a schedule to maintain to get under 1:50. 27.6mph was the target and by 30 miles it was 27.8 and looking good, but two more legs into that south-westerly took their toll and by 50 miles the average had shrunk a bit to a shade over 27.7. Still, job done! 1hr 47mins 58secs. Enough for a win and course record.
Thanks to Robin Johnson for the lift. (Robin was up at 3:30 that morning and didn’t want any petrol money either!)
1 Steve Dennis East Grinstead CC 1:47:58 2 Andrew Leggett Stowmarket &District CC 1:57:02 3 Colin Wilgress Essex Roads CC 1:58:30 4 Colin Ward Essex Roads CC 1:58:40 5 Darren Frostick Maldon &District CC 1:58:43
[Ed. that is almost a 10 minute gap over the rest of the field ! well done Steve]