A welcome taste of spring set a welcome backdrop for the second of Lewes Wanderers Cycling Club’s competitions, the Circuit of Danehill.
The route, based at Chelwood Gate, starts with a breathtaking fast downhill section to Sheffield Park, followed by a rolling journey to Newick and beyond. The testing part of the ride starts with a long grinding climb up to Nutley, the difficulty of which is accentuated by scarred road surfaces, which make the Paris Roubaix cobbles appear tame in comparison!
Riders are rewarded for their exertions, with one last glorious burst to the line to reach the sanctuary of the finishing line at Chelwood Gate.
The race itself unfolded into a thrilling contest, with pre-race favourite Pete Morris storming around the course in a magnificent time of 42:33, and in doing so smashing Jim Cheek’s long standing course record by over two minutes.
Second man home was the fast-improving Duncan Fuller (45:19), with Neil Midgley completing the podium places in a time (47:27) which was fast enough to earn him equal third in the Handicap award, a position shared with Tom Benjamin who clocked an impressive 50:22. Next man home was Sam Ramsey, whose storming 48:03 secured first place on handicap and second in the Vets competition.
Your correspondent, Alan Lloyd, won the Vets award in a time of 50:03. The remaining awards went to Clint Allen (2nd Handicap; 56:12), David Beale (3rd Vet; 56:28) and Debbie Evers (1st Lady; 63:50).
The club would like to extend heartfelt thanks to Ollie Tuckley and the band of ever willing helpers for a well-organised and enjoyable event.
Several Wanderers opted to take part in the SCCU 25 on a revised course based around Broadbridge Heath. A southerly wind made for a tough return leg, and in the circumstances some good times were set on the day. Top Wanderer for the 25-mile journey was Nick Dwyer with a time of 55:33, placing him second in a quality field.
Tom Glandfield had a good outing with a time of 56:31 securing him fifth in the overall standings. Other Lewes times were Rob Rollings (59:15) and Michael Valks (1:01:32).
This weekend sees an action-packed feast of riding with the ESCA 10 and 25 run over consecutive days. The battle for team honours looks to be fierce, with Wanderers facing stiff opposition from the In-Gear Team and a team who star is on the ascendancy, Eastbourne Rovers.
More on Danehill and other activities can be found at www.leweswanderers.co.uk