Saturday, 26 March 2011

BURGESS HILL SPRINGTIME CLASSIC


This year five members of Thornton RC took part in this years Burgess Hill Springtime Classic, with four of us riding together Bob Sanders, Andy Wickens, Nick Wood and Danny Frost. For those that have not ridden this sportive, this is an extremely well organised event with cheap food and drink with the proceeds going to a local charity. The route is challenging and always feels harder than the Hell of Ashdown.

We left Folkestone in near-on freezing temperatures for an 8:30am start in Burgess Hill. The pace was fast early on with Andy resuming duties from last weeks Thornton 50. The first part of the course resulted in climbing the Wall (again) and Groombridge. All was well at the feed stage at Hever; with the second half beckoning which is notably harder!. 

The pace continued well and we formed part of a fast moving group, up and till we hit Forrest Row at which point Andy lost his phone which resulted in a short break. On we went to the really steep climb known as Cobbs Hill which Andy approached in the Big Gear which resulted in a track start. 

With the major climbs out the way the push for home was on; unfortunately Andy was starting to cramp, a product of riding the course in top gear for 90% of the time! However, a mini roundabout put a split in the pack but Andy re-appeared to pull back around 300m, so it was all together at the Red Kite.

Meanwhile Nick decided to go for glory, obviously feeling good from last weeks exploits, but what he didnt realise was that we were all just sitting behind him! With the town centre to negotiate it was every man for himself, it was he who takes the best route wins!

I followed Bob but Andy took the wrong line and became stuck in traffic. Nick shot of the front to get a 10m lead on the final corner with the finishing line beckoning, who was that coming round the corner to catch Nick on the line, not Stephen Roache but Bob Sanders, we will call this one a dead heat or experience over age, the rest of us followed a few seconds later.


The weather, the route and the organisation resulted in an excellent day, whether me and Nick are now ready for Fanders only time will tell?


The times are below for Thornton RC, hope to see more of us there next year?



599
Nicholas Wood
Thornton RC
M29
04:14:06
Gold
13
Robert Sanders
Thornton RC
M52
04:14:14
Gold
16
Danny Frost
Thornton RC
M47
04:14:21
Gold
600
Andrew Wickens
Thornton RC
M45
04:15:03
Gold
478
Nigel Fox
Thornton RC
M37
05:10:43
Bronze


Danny