Steve Dennis writes…
It’s a shame really that an event that once had such a high status in
the South of England that they had to close the entries a week early to
compile the field, and even then, ran two events to accommodate an over
subscribed entry, is reduced to a humble 38 rider field. A pretty poor
show, considering the lengths the organising club goes to to ensure the
smooth running of an event that is far from straight forward,
requireing at least 15 marshalling points.
Even so, EGCC managed to field two riders, Ben Hardisty and myself. We
were greeted with far better conditions than the previous year when
high winds and persistant drizzle were the order of the day. Just a
light breeze and sunshine prevailed making racing almost a pleasure.
The only thing to mar the day was a slight course alteration due to
The course is pretty much a tour of mid-Sussex. Starting in Handcross
and going south to Cowfold then over to West Grinstead, south again to
Partridge Green and Steyning, along to just north of Shoreham then up
through Beeding, Small Dole, where we had to make a diversion due to
the road being closed at Henfield. We came out on the course again at
Woodmancote, along to Shaves Wood, north to High Cross, back to just
north of Henfield then all the way back to Handcross including the leg-
sapping climb of Crabtree hill.
Ben was off no.28 at 06.58, I followed 32 minutes later and last man
on the road. It’s pretty much downhill all the way to Steyning and this
was evident on the old computer as the average speed hovered around the
28mph mark. Unfortunately this was not to continue as the road
eventually tipped upwards and into the slight headwind.
I got a time-check at 32 miles when Fred Shepherd wrote in large letters on a board
“2nd AT 11 SECONDS”, I thought “I’ve blown this one” as my legs were
almost empty and there was still the long drag up to the finish. Still,
keep plodding on but my heart wasn’t in it. I just thought it’s a nice
day to be out on a bike!
As I collapsed into a chair at the HQ after finishing, someone said
“that was a close one Steve – one second – well done!” Bloody hell, I
pulled him back, I thought. How did that happen?
This is starting to look worrying – 5 wins on the trot. I’m going to
have to stop shaving or washing or something……..
Results 1 Steve Dennis East Grinstead CC 01:30:51 2 Darren Barclay Arctic Premier RT 01:30:52 3 Niall Digby www.sigmasport.co.uk 01:36:37 4 David Shepherd Liphook Cycles 01:36:52 5 Iain Brogden Eastbourne Rovers 01:39:01 also (ran) Ben Hardisty 01:52:59