Stephen Nunn (Arctic RT) and Robert Moore (London Phoenix) proved victorious in their respective races in the Surrey League Parham Kermesse, staged by Southdowns Bikes in the beautiful surroundings of the park nestled in West Sussex.
The first race was for third cat riders, and although the race started under heavy skies it was dry until after the first neutralised lap when the heavens opened and it continued to rain throughout the length of the race.
Punctures were the order of the day as the gravel inside the park played havoc with the riders, there were even three punctures before the race got underway.
The race was scheduled for 13 laps of a 3.1 miles course but with the bad weather and a dwindling field the race was shortened to nine racing laps by the commissaries. As each lap was completed the field which started as 40 was soon down to a third of this.
The first couple of laps were run at a sedate pace as riders dropped by the wayside with flats and there was an incident where riders were caught out by the wet conditions and they were brought down at the back of the course.
As what turned out to be half distance, first Ian Leeding (Norwood Paragon) eased out a couple of seconds lead, but on the next lap it was his team mate Austyn Tusler who was doing the charging and he was in the lead by about ten seconds but he punctured and that was his race over.
The race was now down to seven riders on the same lap and all together.
There was still time in the race for more punctures as Mike Hawkins (Norwood Paragon) succumbed but he got a spare wheel ,changed it and while using the race convoy cars got back into the leading group of seven.
Once through the line and the bell ringing the rain got heavier. Around the back of the course on the road section Stephen set himself up for the win by being the first to enter the park. He opened a gap and led all the way to the line, leaving the others to first for second. At the head of the sprint was puncture victim Mike Hawkins leading the sprint to the line.
Emma Craddock from the promoting club also was a victim of the conditions having two punctures very close together but still coming in as first woman.
Category 2/3 Race
After lunch the second race was started on the same course but this race would complete all thirteen laps scheduled.
So after the first neutralised lap the first lap was taken at a steady pace. Unlike the morning race this one was run in the dry, but it still suffered the problem of punctures with riders falling by the wayside on each lap.
Soon there were a couple of attacks with first Marcus Brueton (Norwood Paragon) and John Phillips (Brighton Mitre) pulling a handful of seconds out of the bunch. On the next lap it was Marcus and Robert Moore (London Phoenix) now leading the race.
With nine laps to go the leaders start to work together and they extend their lead to 23 secs with Marc Clothier (Southdowns Bikes) and Jonathan Lewis (Charlotteville CC) eight second ahead of two more charging riders.
The leaders manage to extend their lead to the chasing group of now five riders. The chasers are unable to make inroads into the leaders time and it stays around 1min 15secs. On the next lap the chasers are reduced by one, however catching them fast were Steve Calland (Southdowns Bikes) and Rob Shoreland (Kingston Wheelers) now with the chasing group in view.
So with four laps to go Marcus punctures leaving Robert out on his own and his lead is 1min 25secs. Marcus get a wheel and manages to stay out of the reaches of the chasers who are now 2mis 11secs behind the leader. The group led by Steve Calland was now 2 min 53 behind the leader but more importantly gaining time on each lap over the chasers.
So at the bell Robert has a lead of 1min 40secs over Marcus who has four riders behind him 26secs back, and Steve now on a charge is only 22secs down on them.
On the last lap Steve puts in a hard attack, catches the group of four passes them and rides up the hill to take third place. Having won the event for the previous two years he was not going to miss out on another podium spot.
1 Stephen Nunn Arctic RT 1:09:00
2 Mike Hawkins Norwood Paragon @14sec
3 Steve Atkinson Southdowns Bikes @15sec
4 Nick Gassan 34 Nomads @ same time
5 Leon Fielding Velosport @ same time
6 Cliff Steele Brixton Cycles
7 Mark Workman Festival RC
8 Gavin Mitchell Twickenham CC
9 Joseph Saville Brighton Mitre
10 Emma Craddock Southdowns Bikes
2/3 Category Race:
1st Robert Moore London Phoenix 1:23:00
2nd Marcus Brueton Norwood Paragon @ 1:56
3rd Steve Calland Southdowns Bikes @ 2:18
4th Rob Sharland Kingston Wheelers
5th Dean Corney VC Meudon
6th Roger Smith Southdowns Bikes
7th Marc Clothier Southdowns Bikes
8th David Webborn London Dynamo
9th Clinton Casteller I-team
10th Paul Flynn Brighton Mitre
First Woman: Ciara Horne For Viored
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.