“Southdowns Bikes have put on a race over the last 3 years at Parham House in Sussex which go through the grounds and loop on the main road, similar to Belgian style Kermesse where you go around the block sometimes over farm roads.
I entered the race last year and although enjoyed it i was caught out with a puncture on the penultimate lap, easy to do as the back road is strwen with alot of gravel which is especially problematic if it rains.
I wasn’t sure of my form having come back for the end of the season from resting during July but i was determined to get a good result. After a nervous Neutralised and first lap people were not comfortable with the corners, i didn’t find it that bad as it is very similar to crystal palace which is local to me. On the second lap a strong rider Marcus from Norwood Paragon slid off the front and got a good gap, the following lap the group was fracturing up to try and chase him down, seeing as they were not succeeding straight away i decided to attack and get up to him. Once i did this i was surprised that no-one else especially the Southdowns guys had bridged across. We then worked together and after a couple of laps had a sizeable lead of 40 seconds. We kept the pressure on and the gap kept opening, unfortunately with 4 laps to go Marcus succumbed to a puncture even though he was clearing his wheels every lap. With him gone i had to concentrate on keeping the lead and on the final 4 laps i felt stronger and stronger pulling more and more of a lead. I was happy to do this focusing on my own pace after a lot of time trial training this year and would do anything to win.
By the final lap i had 2+ minutes which in my mind was unbelievable, i don’t win races very often so winning this was very special for me and I finally got to win on my own which is something I’ve been looking to do now for a long time. The prizes from Southdowns Bikes promoters were very generous, I’d like to say another thank you to Southdowns bikes and to all the volunteers to turned up and helped out. This event is almost unique in the UK especially on the amateur scene and I hope it can continue for years to come.”
Report from Rob Moore with full results here.
We are a group of London-based cyclists, who get together for races and training rides. We have a website forum as our virtual clubhouse, and instead of regular weekly club rides from a set place we arrange to meet up for mountain bike, road or cyclocross rides, races and time trials from a variety of venues. We also meet up socially every month.