Both today's races were held on a circuit using the beautiful grounds of Parham house just to the west of Storrington nestling in the South Down Way. The morning race was for third cats and the afternoon race was for second and third cat riders. Each race was twelve laps of a 3.1 mile circuit, partly on the road and partly within the grounds of the house and park.
The morning's race with 47 starters got underway under bright blue skies and a nice warm temperature. The riders were escorted around the course for one lap so they could ‘get their eye in' on the road as in contained a fair bit of gravel which was to play a part in today's proceedings. There were quite a few punctures throughout the race which kept the neutral service vehicle busy.
The first four competitive laps saw the bunch together rolling along in the lovely conditions with no one wanting to take up the action. Then on lap four Robin Kirk (Kingston Wheelers) opened up a gap of about 10secs which lap on lap for the next five or six laps he extended to at one point his lead was over one minute at the North gate as the race turned onto the main road.
With three laps to go the bunch started to pull Robin back, and it was Robert Cranstone (Royal Navy) the first to attack the race leader. With two laps to go Robin had been caughtand it was James Baily from the promoting club making the pace as the riders climbed towards the finish line to the ringing bell.
We had to wait for about 6 minutes until the bunch passed in front of Parham House and started to climb towards the line. With 300 meters to go it was Chris Beales (LaFuga Sigma Sport) in front of James Baily with Glyn Ostler (Blazing Saddles) in third.
1st Chris Beales La Fuga Sigma Sport
2nd James Oster South Down Bikes
3rd Glyn Ostler Blazing Saddles
4th Robin Parker East Grinstead CC
5th Steven Looby Kingston Wheelers
6th Phillip Glowinski VC Londres
The second race of the day was a little bit of a precession as it did not lived up until three laps to go when there was a sudden heavy shower and the riders looked like they wanted to finish the race before they got too wet.
With no one ready to take the race on we had to wait until the bell before last year's winner Steve Calland (South Down Bikes) attacked the bunch, he managed to get about a 10sec lead as the race rolled along the main road then he looked behind and on one came across so he rode away on his own to solo it to the line to retain his title. The rest of the bunch believing that Steve was a lapped rider started to sprint for the line and it was James Wilson (Banjo Cycles) piping James Pine (London Dynamo) to the line. As James rolled back to the finish line to be greeted by his father he was told by dad that he was second when he thought he had won.
1st Steve Calland South Down Bikes
2nd James Wilson Banjo Cycles
3rd Jamie Pine London Dynamo
4th Sylvian Garde AddiscombeCC
5th James Lowden Lewes Wonderers
6th Daniel Gillow Wyndymilla
British Cycling would like to thank the organising team, officials and everyone else who helped promote this event. Our sport could not exist without the hundreds of people, many of them unpaid volunteers, who put in many hours of hard work running events, activities and clubs.