A FULL racing programme over the Easter weekend for Lewes Wanderers Cycling club saw three club members competing in Saturday’s Brighton Mitre promoted Hilly Ten event.
The course is set in the picturesque byways surrounding Petworth, though it was doubtful if competitors had time to fully appreciate the stunning scenery as they inched their way up the long 10 per cent climb at Fox Hill.
The three Wanderers all posted splendid times on the challenging circuit. First Lewes man home was young climbing specialist Patrick Hough who clocked a fantastic time of 26:26 to finish well up the field. Neil Midgley was pleased with his time of 27:33, whilst Patrick’s dad, Chris, had to be content to follow in his son’s wake with a time of 30:57. Defending champion Peter Tadros retained his title with an incredibly fast time of 21.46. Sunday saw the running of the SCA 2-up event, which included a strong representation of Lewes Wanderers.
Riders arrived at the headquarters against a backdrop of persistent drizzle, making the roads on this technical and twisty circuit greasy. which led to a few twitchy moments as riders navigated around the course. The two-lap circuit is an eclectic mixture of features which include rolling sections around Partridge Green and faster drags along the busy A24.
The dream ticket of Rob Pelham and Nick Dwyer proved an irresistible force and combined their individual talents to deservedly retain their title for the second year running, recording a fast time of 1:04:02. Mark Frost teamed up with Steve Kane of Brighton Excel to come home as the fourth fastest pairing with a time of 1:07:07. A place behind were the talented Lewes duo of Dominic Lowden and Duncan Fuller, who covered the course in 1:08:03. Chris Martin and Natasha Fuller narrowly missed out in the mixed team awards, but nevertheless had a very solid ride in a time of 1:16:57.
For the second week running your correspondent had to ride the two-up event as a solo entrant as team mate James Ryan had to withdraw due to illness, and I managed to complete the ride in a time of 1:13:38, finishing in 10th spot out of a field of 34. Featured on the card was a junior race, which was run over a shorter course distance of 12.8 miles. Young Dan Gardener teamed up with powerful Callum Middleton and stormed round the circuit in an astonishing time of 30.24, and in the process of this winning ride, managed to knock an impressive six minutes off the course record. These two boys are definitely names to keep an eye out for in the future and will soon be challenging for honours in open events.
Putting aside customary Easter Monday Bank Holiday activities, four Wanderers opted to ride in the Brighton Mitre Hilly 25 event which starts and ends near the infamous Devil’s Dyke. Slippy roads required riders to exercise caution as they threaded their way through twisty country lanes and fast descents.
The sting in the tail of this ride lies in the last mile where riders have to ascend the long 13 per cent climb to finish near the Waterhole Golf course. This hilly course, which includes 1,304 feet of climbing, is certainly one of the most challenging on the time trail calendar in Sussex. Michael Turner (1:13:00), Dominic Lowden (1:14:08) and Neil Midgley (1:15:20) were rewarded for their efforts with the second team prize.
Oliver Tuckley put in a solid ride to come home in a time of 1.17.48. Pete Tadros rounded of his successful Easter with a second win in a magnificent time of 59.07. Next week sees the running of the LWCC club event around the tough Danehill circuit. More on club events and activities at leweswanderers.co.uk