Cycling: Lewes Wanderers take a strong contingent of racers over to Broadbridge Heath

Stephen Gaston by Mike Anton
Stephen Gaston by Mike Anton

Last weekend a strong contingent from the Lewes Wanderers Cycling Club headed out to Broadbridge Heath to take part in the SCCU 10 and Worthing Excelsior 25 held on consecutive days.

The Saturday ten was run in pleasant conditions over a revised course. Lewes star Nick Dwyer notched up yet another impressive victory, covering the course in a remarkable time of 20:13.

Rob Pelham had elected to ride out to the course and, despite approaching his ride as a training exercise, he still managed to finish his ride in an impressive time of 22:13.

Kaye Dwyer was the sole Lady representative for the Wanderers, clocking a steady time of 28:18.

On Sunday five Wanderers made the increasingly familiar trip to ride the rolling 25 course around Ockley. Riders must be getting used to the course, as it is noticeable that times have been steadily improving, and this increased familiarity, coupled with still conditions, saw most of the Wanderers knock a minute or more off their previous ride.

Pete Morris made light of the seesaw course and put in a storming ride to finish in a time of 54:43, a time fast enough to secure second place in the General Classification.

Duncan Fuller (57:42) and Mark Paton (58:58) teamed up with Pete to grab an impressive team victory over local rivals, In-Gear. Dominic Lowden had an eventful ride; at the start of his efforts he found he could not engage the big ring, somewhat of a handicap on a circuit that features some very fast downhill sections. To further add to his woes he managed to crack the seat post of his bike which, over a 25 mile course, is akin to playing Russian Roulette with valuable assets. Your correspondent knocked more than 1:30 off his previous week’s ride and was pleased to set a new course PB with a time of 1:01:30.

Stephen Gaston went one better by slicing more than two minutes of his previous ride on the course, and in the process set a new PB of 1:03:52.

Time trialling is sometimes referred to as ‘testing’. Last Monday’s LWCC Evening 10 put a slight nuance on the word, as it was run in the most demanding of conditions. Grim overcast weather turned nasty with a sudden increase in wind speed; so strong was the wind that several riders commented after that they was the windiest conditions they had ever ridden in.

Several riders, after warming up, wisely decided that deep sectioned wheels were the wrong choice for the conditions and swapped to low profile alternatives.

Riders who did not make this choice were continually buffeted by fierce sidewinds, which at times made riding on the tri bars an unfeasible proposition. Lesser riders look to conditions as an excuse for slow times, where class acts seem impervious to such considerations and post incredible times. Pete Morris mastered the elements to sail around the course in a stunning 21:49. Only one other rider, the in-form Peter Baker managed to break the 24-minute mark in 23:55.

Lewes Hockey Clubs U8s won their first ever medals at the Enid Saunders tournament.

After cutting their teeth in this tournament last year, the well co-ordinated group of youngsters worked extremely maturely as a team and won all six of their matches, netting an amazing 16 goals for and two against. Alex Rus bagged 10, Finlay Webster four and Matthew Branton two. Great defensive play came from Beatrice Osman-Allu, Aiden Fitzpatrick and Isabel Loader.

“These young players show massive promise for the future of Lewes Hockey Club,” said team manager Steve Loader. “They worked brilliantly as a team today and we are so proud of them.”