THE end of the time trialling season sees the running of various hill-climbing competitions. These events are brutally simple; riders have to climb a designated hill in the fastest time possible.
There is no place to hide. These events favour the svelte profile and are somewhat specialized in nature.
A comparatively small field was brave enough to face the challenge offered by the Sussex CA Hill climb, based on the fearsome Steyning Bostal.
The ascent subjects the body to an immediate hit of pain; in an instant maximum heart rates are reached with riders tormenting themselves with five or so minutes of purgatory.
The ascent of the Bostal is so unrelenting that it not unknown for some riders to quit before the top, their bodies simply unable to cope with the anaerobic demands required.
Five brave Lewes Wanderers took on the challenge and all had incredible rides on an unseasonably blistering October afternoon. Duncan Fuller was the leading Wanderer with a brilliant time of 5:00.8, closely followed by 16-year-old Dan Gardner, whose stunning time of 5:19.4 gives us an indication of the tremendous potential that this Junior rider has. Father Doug could only watch on it admiration as he completed his own personal odyssey in a very creditable time of 6:46.5.
Natasha Fuller pulled off yet another amazing ride and agonisingly missed first lady’s spot by just half a second. Her time of 5:35.8 was a significant improvement on her previous PB for this event. Mark Paton completed the Lewes line-up with a very good ride in a time of 5:26.2. The event was won by climbing maestro Pete Tadros, who gave a masterclass in the art of hill climbing, gliding to the summit in an incredible time of 4:05:00.
Sunday saw the running of the traditional end of season event, the exotically named Grand Prix des Gentlemen sponsored by Lewes Wanderers Cycling Club and splendidly organised by Graham Jeffs.
The rules of the event dictate that a designated rider must ‘tow’ another rider around the course, the second rider only being allowed to overtake his partner in the final 200 yards of the course.
Age factors are entered into the computations, and it is the team of two who post the fastest standard time who are the eventual winners. The key to this event is that the pairing of riders must not be too similar in ability. The lead rider should ideally be two to three minutes quicker than his partner, as the second rider will benefit greatly from taking shelter from the lead rider.
The glorious weather provided a perfect backdrop to the day and set the scene for some fast rides. The eventual winners were Dave Shepherd and Ben Fielden of GS Stella with a plus standard time of 18.20.
On actual time, the fastest around the course were Conall and Christian Yates, whose time of 38:11 was one second quicker than Lewes riders Nick Dwyer and Mark Frost.
In the mixed event, Mike Levett and Helen Millier scooped the top spot, putting in a very strong ride to complete the challenging course in a fast time of 45.07. Steve Owles paced 77-year-old Horry Hemsley round for sixth place on standard and the final cash prize of £10.
More at the club’s website at www.leweswanderers.co.uk