A bitingly sharp north-easterly wind cut through gossamer skin suits as members of the Lewes Wanderers Cycling Club lined up, somewhat like reluctant schoolboys, to start the first club time trail of the season.
The eagerly anticipated event, the Circuit of Laughton, was splendidly organised by Martyn Crawford and his team of helpers. The course is a relatively flat one based at Laughton.
After the push-off, riders had a short blast up Shortgate Lane to turn left and head down The Broyle. Competitors were grateful for the following wind as it pushed them on at breakneck speeds over 30mph as they approached Kennel Corner.
The turn back up to Laughton was into a nagging headwind to be followed by the climb up Shortgate Hill, before a painful last lap saw them cross the finishing line, all but spent after 30 minutes or so of eyeball-popping effort.
In what proved to be a superbly-fought contest, Tom Glandfield won the event with a magnificent time of 28:05, with Nick Dwyer hard on his heels a mere two seconds behind, which also earned Nick the Second Vet Award.
Peter Morris, fighting the after effects of what is sometimes uncharitably labelled ‘Man Flu’ did well to grab the third podium spot in a time of 28:44.
First Vet on the day went to Bob Evans whose fast time of 31:54 saw him also claim first on handicap. Second handicap went to Yuriy Tymchenco in a time of 30:37, with third handicap going to the fast-improving Martin Komen, whose time of 32:49 was an astounding four minutes better than his previous year’s time. The last winner of the day was Alan Lloyd (your correspondent), who finished third Vet in a time of 31:22.
It was encouraging to see so many riders obliterating their PBs in blustery conditions not suited to fast times, and puts down some very encouraging markers for individual and team performances for the season ahead.
This Sunday sees the opening East Sussex Cycling Association (ESCA) Hardriders time trial, which has attracted a strong field of 80, 17 of whom are Lewes members. The 15.6-mile super tough course is based at Bodle Street Green with the first rider starting at 10am. It promises to be a hard fought contest and the Wanderers are going flat out to win the coveted team trophy in this prestigious event.
For more on Lewes Wanderers see the club website and Forum: www.leweswanderers.co.uk