THE weekend saw an action-packed racing programme for members of the Lewes Wanderers Cycling Club.
A crisp early Saturday morning greeted the riders as they nervously lined up to start the ten-mile time trial, which runs from East Hoathly to the Boship roundabout and back to East Hoathly. The early morning cold start precluded the possibility of fast rides. with most competitors being a minute or so below their target times. The Scientific explanation for slow times in cold conditions is that the air is denser on such days, which makes it harder for the riders to slice through the air efficiently. An early season ten event is something of a shock to the system. Regardless of how much training and preparation riders have invested, nothing can quite prepare them for the brutal assault on body and soul inflicted by this explosive examination.
Winner on the day was ex-Wanderer legend Felix English. Felix is now a full time professional rider with the Rapha Condor Sharp team – and he certainly revealed his class with a superb ride, covering the 10-mile stretch in 20:42. Meanwhile, Lewes star Nick Dwyer had a storming ride to come home in second spot in a time of 21:6, which was also fast enough for him to win the Vets’ award. The surprise package of the day was Duncan Fuller who claimed third spot in a time of 22:5. Duncan is definitely a name to watch out for this season and will be keeping the premier Lewes boys on their toes in forthcoming battles. Duncan and Nick, along with Tom Glandfield (22:9), pulled off a splendid team victory for the fastest team of three riders.
Natasha Fuller added to her ever-growing list of awards by finishing second equal lady for the event in a time of 25:41. The fastest Junior award went to Lewes rider Dan Gardner (24:05) with Callum Middleton claiming second spot in a time of 25:16.
There was little time for recuperation for many of the Lewes riders as they hauled reluctant aching bodies from their beds to compete in Sunday’s 25-mile event. The 25-mile ride starts near Maresfield and traces a circular route turning at the Boship roundabout. Conditions were good on the day with little wind to disturb the riders, though early starters had to contend with low temperatures. First past the post in a fast time of 54:29 was In Gear rider Richard Gifford, closely followed by Nick Dwyer (2nd Vet) in a time of 54:38. The Lewes lads picked up the team prize with Nick being joined by Rob Pelham (57:07) and Tom Glandfield (58:13). Young Dan Gardner was a shoe in for the Junior prize until he disastrously went off course, causing him to lose a considerable slice of time before he regained his bearings. If it is any consolation to Dan there was probably not one rider on the starting list who at some time has not taken a wrong turning in a race!
The Wanderers had a large contingent riding and it was pleasing to see many setting Personal Best times on the day.
Your correspondent sliced 20 seconds off his previous best to finish in 1:02:11, and the fast improving Sam Ramsey 1:03:18, Tom Benjamin (1:05:18) and Kaye Dwyer (1:13:53) completing the PB honours board. Next week sees the Wanderers heading out to the fast Broadbridge Heath course to take part in the Addiscombe 25, which has attracted a large and quality field of 120 riders. Expect some fast times to be posted.
More details of all these events and club activities can be found at www.leweswandereres.co.uk