THE extended Bank Holiday weekend gave Lewes Wanderers Cycling Club members a multitude of opportunities to test themselves over a variety of different courses and events. The weekend’s races started with
Father and Son duo Peter and Tom Baker were riding at the Army CU 10 based around Liss in Hampshire. The Baker boys made light of the blustery conditions and completed the course in a time of 20:20, slicing 14 seconds off their existing club record.
Tom and Peter were among a strong contingent of Lewes racers racing the following day. Peter Moon and Ann Human had organised a splendid celebratory double header to mark the 65th anniversary of the East Sussex Cycling Association.
The simultaneously-run events consisted of a short 34.6 km circuit and a longer 65 km route, a distance of particular significance to celebrate the anniversary. The devised routes reflected time trailing in East Sussex. Parts of the course were fast dual carriageway sprints interspersed with twisty technical sections through remoter backwaters around areas such as Wartling.
To add a sporting flavour a testing hill climb was included at Boreham Hill, which provided a cruel twist for the already lactic deficient riders. The testing nature of the course coupled with a strong wind made this a race to remember. The 65 km event was won by East Grinstead’s Steve Dennis in a fast time of 1:30:17. Hard in pursuit were a pack of Lewes riders, led by runner-up Rob Pelham (1:32:19), and Nick Dwyer (1:33:13), with Pete Morris and Tom Glandfield continuing their friendly inter house rivalry, setting times of 1:36:14 and 1:36:37 respectively.
Several other Lewes riders performed well, particularly Micky Turner who continues his individual march forward, recording an impressive time of 1:46:47. The hill prime was won by Pete Morris who seemingly rewrote the universal laws of gravity in completing the climb in a stunning time of 1:45.9.
The shorter 34.6 km event saw a welcome return to racing from Mark Winton. Mark elected to go round the course on an ordinary road bike as opposed to a specialised time trial machine, so his fifth spot in a time of 56:25 reflected a tremendous effort which, it is hoped, will inspire him to make a determined comeback to the time trailing scene.
The event was won by Christian Yates of East Grinstead cycling club in a time of 52:36. Kaye Dwyer, representing the Lewes team, was the first lady home in a time of 1:08:43.
Bank Holiday Monday saw most of the Lewes squad elect for traditional Bank Holiday diversions, but a few hardy riders spurned the opportunity of mowing the lawn or visiting garden centres to subject their bodies to more torture in Robin Johnson’s Bank Holiday Bonanza of racing. Some of the events are devised so that riders are limited to the gears they are able to employ on their rides. First off in the Medium Gear event was Hugh Proctor who crossed the line in a time of 28:09.
The more traditional event came next with the fast guys taking part in the “flat bling ten”. The pre-race favourites, In Gear’s Pete Tadros and Lewes star Nick Dwyer, both had epic rides, with Pete edging Nick into second place with times of 20:43 and 20:54 respectively. Considering that Nick had given his body a severe battering on the previous day’s ESCA 65, this was a splendid effort. Kaye Dwyer put in an equally stoic performance to finish third in the ladies event with a time of 30:03.
In the road bike event, a race run without the usual time trial accruements of time trail bars and the like, Sam Ramsey was the sole Lewes rider and just missed out on a top three place with a time of 25:56.
Three brave Wanderers took part in the final event of the day to ride in the legendary hilly ten. Riders are lulled into a false sense of security in the opening traditional flat eight miles of the circuit, but their security blankets are abruptly snatched away from them as they turn to see the ominous Stennying Bostal looming above them.
This brutal climb is steep enough to merit its inclusion into the hill-climbing calendar, so to include it in a ten mile time trial reflects a sadistic streak in the organiser’s nature!
However three Wanderers responded magnificently to the challenge and managed to scoop the team prize in this most prestigious of events. The three gallant Wanderers were Tom Glandfield (26:45), Mark Frost (27:19) and Duncan Fuller (28:27). Natasha Fuller completed the heroics by becoming the first lady home in a fast time of 31:23.
The Wanderers are promoting their Evening Criterium Series consisting of three 50km road races, starting yesterday (Thursday, June 2).
Known as the Lewes Crits, the race is based at the Roebuck Inn pub in Laughton and start at 7.15pm.
The event consists of five laps of a circuit up Shortgate Lane, left and down the Broyle to Ringmer, then tight left at Kennel corner and back up to Laughton to complete the lap.
Along with the competition for overall glory there is a sprint race point prime competition on each lap on Shortage Lane.
For the fifth consecutive year the Tri Store in Eastbourne are providing generous sponsorship of the prize fund.
Event promoter, Chris Hough, is delighted to report he has a full field for the series with more than 50 riders signing on to ride and the scene is set for some thrilling racing over the coming weeks