Lewes Wanderers ride again with Olympic champ Rowsell

Joanna Rowsell and Netty Glandfield
Joanna Rowsell and Netty Glandfield

The local time trial scene was thrilled to have both a national champion and a 2012 Olympic Gold medallist competing over the weekend – in the SCA 10 and 25 mile events, expertly organised by Mike Anton of the East Grinstead Cycling Club.

Racing kicked off early Saturday morning with a ten-mile blast on the fast course near Stenying. Unseasonal Bank Holiday weather (i.e. warm) set the backdrop for the contest and fast times looked on the cards. Lewes Wanderers’ participants made most of the good conditions and set some blistering times. Lewes front man Nick Dwyer posted a scintillating 20:42 to finish third overall, a time fast enough to scoop the veteran’s award.

Rob Pelham rediscovered his best form to clock an impressive 21:13, and these two – along with powerhouse Tom Glandfield (21:25) – all received winners medals for the fastest team of three. Some other notable Lewes time worthy of note were James Ryan 21:58 and Kaye Dwyer 28:07.

The following day was blessed with warmer weather and a noticeable absence of wind; signs were set for a fast day. Illuminating the start sheet were Olympic superstar Joanna Rowsell (Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling) and National 25 mile champion Michael Hutchinson (In-Gear). Both riders had phenomenal rides, with both the women’s and course records being smashed by Joanna (55:38) and Michael (49:31) respectively.

The longstanding course record had remained stubbornly in the archives for many years, having been set by Tour De France stage winner Sean Yates, an indication of the calibre of Micha

The 25 course starts with a series of nasty climbs along to Partridge Green, following what must be some of the most potholed and scarred roads in the country. A faster section on the A24 to Washington replaces the technical stretch of seven miles, before re-joining the ten-mile course for a fast finishing burst of speed.

Dwyer was first Lewes man home, finishing fourth overall and first on Standard in 54:06. Pelham had a superb outing, posting his fastest time on this course with a splendid time of 54:23. Rob had an extra incentive of trying to catch Rowsell who started a minute ahead of the Lewes flyer, and he had to fight all of the way to pass the Olympian on the final leg of the course. Other Lewes times were: Pete Morris 55:42, Phil Allen 56:41, Duncan Fuller 58:37, Mark Frost 58:40, Mark Patton 59:32, Sam Ramsey 1:00:37, Alan Lloyd 1:02:05, Michael Turner 1:03:24, Tony Sinnett 1:04:08 (PB) and Stephen Gaston 1:05:22.