LAST Saturday three members of the Lewes Wanderers cycling club took part in the Surrey League Cat 2/3-road race.
The route encircled a tough seven-mile loop centred on Barcombe featuring some tough hill climbs along the way.
Riders set off against a backdrop of cold persistent rain, which would have its toll, with 15 non-finishers amongst the 50-plus starters.
Lewes star Pete Morris had a brave outing as he powered to share the lead in the early laps with the eventual winner, Josh Lawless.
During the latter stages of the race, Pete suffered from severe cramping, which forced him to back off slightly, yet he still managed to finish in a commendable 28th position in a bunch sprint dash for the line.
Matt Townsend battled through gamely to finish in 42nd position. James Ryan, despite a brave attempt was among the group of non-finishers on the day. In stark contrast to the gloomy miserable weather on Saturday, riders were pleased to see the sun piercing through early morning mist on Sunday as they prepared for the classic ESCA Hardriders event, splendidly organised by Pete Moon of Eastbourne Rovers.
Roadworks caused a hiatus in well set out plans and might well have caused the abandonment of the race but for Peter’s imaginative solution of stopping riders just before said roadworks and having a one-mile “neutralised” section before setting off on the last section of the course. The technical hilly circuit pushes riders to their limits with its heady mixture of lung-bursting climbs interlaced with twisty technical sections through bucolic lanes.
After a fast start riders reach the five-mile point with a mixture of fear and apprehension as they near the first tough climb of the day up the cruelly but appropriately named Agony Hill.
What follows in a tortuous grovel up to Woods Corner; hereafter the agony of climbing is replaced by more toil as riders inch their way up some deceptively tough inclines to Three Cups corner before heading towards Rushlake Green.
After this section riders are rewarded for their investment of pain as they push on at incredible speeds over the final stretch to reach the welcome sanctuary of the finishing line, all but spent from the severe examination that the course has inflicted on all of the competitors.
Due to the complexity of different timed sections, the final results are yet to be confirmed. Outright winner was In Gear’s Pete Tadros.
Pete Morris, despite his exertions from the previous day, had a fantastic ride and finished as runner-up. Other notable performances from the Wanderers were headlined by Junior rider Dan Gardener, who at the tender age of 16, scorched around the course, taking some impressive scalps of more experienced riders in the process.
Oliver Tuckley put in a brave performance on his comeback trail after injury and was rewarded with a prize for the fastest rider in the 55-60 age group. Kaye Dwyer rounded off an impressive Lewes performance by winning the Lady’s competition. More details of all club activities can be found at the website www.leweswanderers.co.uk