Thursday, 24 September 2009

Report From Circuit of Kent

A report from Kevin Mitchell

Circuit Of Kent Sportive - Sevenoaks, 13th September 2009.

I awoke prior to my 6am alarm call and the nerves began to jangle. I contemplated my first Sportive which at 140kms would be the furthest I’d ever ridden in one ride.

With two routes to choose from, a challenging 140 kms, or a slightly less arduous 80 kms there seemed to be a good mix of riders preparing themselves in the event car park at Sevenoaks Prep School.

However, I did notice quite a number of rather serious looking road bikes, attended to by Lyrca clad whippets. I had to remind myself it was a challenge and not a race!

Once I had collected my timing chip from the registration tent and completed the last minute ‘fiddling’ with my bike I waited for the start with the other 14 Thronton riders.

Just after 9am we were off, hurtling down Carters Hill, only 140 kms to go. However, what goes down must go up, and inevitably the road began to climb, sharply at times for what seemed to be quite a distance. I really regretting the can of Red Bull I’d had before the start; the gas made me feel like I was about to burst. I slowly began to lose contact with the Thornton riders. By the time we reached Teston the Red made an unwelcome second appearance! I slowed up completely and lost contact with all of the Thornton riders except for Matthew Morris, who fortunately paced me up Teston Hill and on to the first feed station.

After the feed stop, I had recovered and started to really enjoy the fantastic ride through the rolling Kent countryside. It was a perfect day for riding, dry, warm and only a light breeze. We passed quite a few riders and eventually found ourselves on fairly open roads travelling at a good pace.

The roads were relatively car free; apart from the occasional motoring moron who presumably couldn’t see the roads were full of cyclists! Maybe it was TV chef and all round tosser James Martin?... Read Here

We mainly rode with other smaller groups of riders who were cheerful and happy for us to ride with them as long as we did a bit of the work. After the second food stop we fell in with a couple of guys from Ashford Wheelers and another from Medway Velo who we rode with at a decent pace until the finish.

Reasonably flat and fast, the second half of the route went more quickly than I expected. Before long the 5 kilometers to go sign appeared, and I began to think of the final climb just before the finish.

It was even nastier than most people had described with a cheeky flat section midway up which fools you into thinking it’s over long before it actually is. Sadly I had to stop briefly, before making it over the top and down hill to the finish line.

The post event spread of soup, rolls and cakes was superb as was the rest of the event organisation. I thoughly enjoyed (most) of my first sportive as did the rest of the Thornton riders.

Looking forward to doing it all again next year.

Kevin Mitchell

Times

Thornton RC Results

140 kms

Time

Eric

Bates

05:01:47

Stephen

Bunn

04:05:48

Richard

Foster

04:21:44

Danny

Frost

04:03:54

Don

Houghton

05:08:26

Kevin

Mitchell

04:21:36

Matthew

Morris

04:18:00

Michael

Pumphrey

04:03:51

Jim

Reeves

04:09:43

Lee

Smith

04:21:19

Bob

Saunders

04:04:09

Roy

White

06:31:40

Jane

White

06:34:41

80 kms

Luke

Klugman

03:02:20