LAST weekend saw the running of the ESCA 10 and 25 mile time trials over the rolling A22-based Boship courses.
The ominous forecast for the weekend thankfully never materialised, and on Saturday the conditions were favourable, with only the slightest hint of a breeze to trouble the riders.
Lewes riders had a mixed day, falling into two camps: those who capitalised on the favourable conditions, and those who looked slightly jaded and performed below par, no doubt a reflection of the long season behind them.
Saturday’s Ten had attracted a high quality field with the In-Gear team looking to be the strongest on paper. The form book went pretty much as expected with Pete Tadros claiming top spot with a fast time of 20:02. Lewes top rider Nick Dwyer pushed Pete all the way and was only 13 seconds behind, a time fast enough to secure a magnificent second spot on the day.
The In Gear team were worthy winners of the team competition with their top three riders posting fast times.
From a Lewes perspective the big news of the day was the stunning ride of Ladies’ event winner Natasha Fuller. Natasha’s time of 24:58 was fast enough to smash the club’s longstanding 10-mile record of 25:20, set by Heather Wimble in 1995. Natasha was thrilled with her ride and it is a reflection of the hard work and dedication she has shown over the season.
Another Lewes winner on the day was young Callum Middleton, whose time of 24:55 was fast enough for him to claim the junior award.
The Ten, although being the shortest of the recognised time trialling distances is a deceptively tough race to ride. Basically competitors have to ride as hard as they can for ten miles, whereas in longer events riders can hold back a little and maintain an even pace. The only consolation is that the pain is fleeting, but nonetheless intense for that.
A tough weekend continued with the running of the 25 on Sunday. Conditions on the day were less favourable than Saturday’s, but thankfully the threatened high winds and rain stayed away. Adding to the complications of the race, contractors helpfully decided to erect temporary traffic lights on the course midway through the event, resulting in several of the later riders losing valuable time. The 25 was largely a mirror of the Ten, with Pete Tadros completing a magnificent double in a time of 52:24, which saw him form part of the three-man In Gear team victory. Lewes had to satisfy themselves with runner up spot on the day with Nick Dwyer 53:17 (fourth overall and third Vet), with Pete Morris (56:50) and Rob Pelham (57:13) forming the team of three.
In the handicap event Lewes captured the top three positions with Mark Frost (58:16) finishing first ahead of second placed Duncan Fuller (1:01:13), with Natasha Fuller (1:06:13) completing the podium. Natasha was also the second fastest Lady rider on the day.
In the combined events, Nick was second overall and first vet, with Natasha claiming the Ladies’ prize in this category. Callum Middleton looked set to claim the junior award when he unluckily punctured midway through his 25 ride.
On Saturday, 15-year-old Dan Gardner headed out to Seagrave, some seven miles north of Leicester, to compete in the National GHS ten final. Dan had pre-qualified for the final by winning his qualifying round back in June.
The field for this prestigious event is made up of the most talented young riders from around the country.
Young Dan had the experience of a lifetime, and his fine time of 25:59 is reward for the hard work he’s put in over the season.
Talented rider Germain Burton, of Team de Ver, was the clear winner on the day. His stunning time of 21:15 is amazing for a 16-year-old, and his is certainly a name to watch out for in the future.