The ESCA racing calendar ended in a thrilling climax at the traditional end of season hill climb up to Firle Beacon.
Set against a backdrop of lashing rain on Saturday, riders faced a stern examination from the outset as they faced a vicious 20 per cent climb.
If riders push too hard at this stage they are doomed to failure, conversely if they approach this section too conservatively prospects of a fast time will evaporate. The slope levels off slightly, but this brief respite is a mere illusion as the last section unfolds mockingly before the riders eyes as they turn the corner to see the long cruel straight rise towards the summit. Riders faced a stiff Headwind at this point and were desperately weaving across the road with the relentless pounding rain echoing the pounding in oxygen-starved brains as they inched despairingly towards the sanctuary of the chequered flag.
Pre-race drama unfolded as the two top contenders, Lewes youngster Patrick Hough and seasoned event favourite Pete Tadros, both experienced untimely punctures before the start. Tadros was forced to swap bikes whilst Hough grabbed a spare wheel just in the nick of time. Patrick had prepared for the hill climbing season with two weeks training in the Dolomites, and this preparation certainly reaped rich rewards as he stormed to an emphatic victory in a time of 4:09.7, a clear seven seconds ahead of In-Gear’s Pete Tadros. This remarkable victory underlines Patrick’s incredible potential and follows up his stunning performance in last week’s prestigious Catford hill climb event.
There were several other fine Lewes performances on the day with the following times being recorded. Tom Glandfield 5:05.5, Neil Midgley 5:18.6, Rob Pelham 5:19.0, Dominic Lowden 5: 22.4, Peter Kilby 5:41.7, Mark Paton 5:53.7 and a game Darren Brockhurst 6:15.6.
Promoting club Lewes Wanderers would like to extend thanks to all the helpers on the day, particularly Eastbourne Rovers stalwarts Anne Human and Peter Moon. Peter’s ability to erect a Gazebo in near gale conditions was nothing short of miraculous and surely a testimony to his years in the Scouts.
More details on this event and other club activities can be found at www.leweswanderers.co.uk