Thirty Wanderers take on the Circuit of Danehill

Peter Baker - Circuit of Danehill 13.04.14 by Lawrence Watts
Peter Baker - Circuit of Danehill 13.04.14 by Lawrence Watts

Thirty riders signed on to compete in Lewes Wanderers “Circuit of Danehill”, the second event in the club’s circuit series. A pleasant still spring day set the backdrop to a thrilling contest with the final result settled by the slimmest margin possible.

The course is a heady mixture of nerve tingling descents coupled with grim grinding climbs. The start sees riders hurtle through to Sheffield Park to be followed by a roller coaster section through Newick before turning at Maresfield. The pain level is turned up a level as riders start the long climb through Nutley up to the seemingly never ending drag to the top of the forest. At the crest of the climb riders are dangerously close to “red lining”, a point where maximum heart rates are pushed to their limits. The final stretch, favoured by a helpful tailwind, saw riders touching forty miles per hour as they reached the welcome sanctuary of the finishing line.

There were some interesting individual battles within the race, none more so than the thrilling one for first place between Duncan Fuller and Matt Coombs. The powerhouse rider Matt gained a minute on Duncan, passing him just before Maresfield; however Duncan did not panic and used his climbing prowess to good effect to re pass Matt to eat into the one minute gap. Matt dug in deep to hang on to claim the title by a mere one second in a time of 45:58, which also earned third place on Standard. Callum Middleton had a fine ride to finish in third place (47:07) a time fast enough to secure second in the Handicap competition. John Miller (51:27) won the Handicap award with Darren Brockhurst, whose time of 49:29 clipped an incredible seven minutes off his time of last year, claiming third spot.

In the Vets competition Peter Baker was the clear winner as he rolled back the years to finish fifth overall in a time of 47:46. Alan Lloyd finished second VET, somewhat handicapped with gear problems which forced him to plough round on the highest gear, with third place going to the evergreen David Beale. Special thanks should be extended to Oliver Tuckley and his band of willing helpers for organising such a splendid event.

James Ryan and Rob Rollings elected to ride in the Sussex CA two up event around a rolling course centred near Partridge Green. The boys had a splendid outing and were the first club team home posting a fast time of 1:03:34. Four Wanderers headed out to Broadbridge Heath to compete in the Southern Counties 25. Michael Valks finished in 1:01:03, whilst Mark Paton clocked up a useful time of 1:01:18. Tamar Vanderhaas continues to build on her promising start in the Lewes colours to claim victory in the women’s competition in a fine time of 1:05:58.

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