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ERCC 10s and Reg Porter Rd 3

Eastbourne Rovers CC staged a couple of early season 10 mile time-trials on the East Hoathly/A22 course and a couple of Lewes Wanderers were involved.  On the sunny, but cold morning Sunday 17th February twenty-two riders turned up to test their form. Ninth among these was Richard Burchett who managed to duck a couple of seconds under the 25 minute barrier.  A week later and on a similarly pleasant morning Michael Valks went one second quicker, but finished a place further back when eighteen competitors took to the start line.

The winner of Lewes Wanderers’ Reg Porter Trophy was more-or-less decided before the third-and-final event began on the morning of Sunday 3rd March.  Going into the speed-judging contest Rob Pelham held a five point lead over Paget Cohen, but the strong winds and steady rain that Storm Freya provided meant that only half-a-dozen riders ventured to the starting point at the junction of Neaves Lane with Potato Lane near Ringmer.  Thus at worst Rob only needed to finish in order to enjoy a share of the trophy.

Just as twelve months previously the challenge was to ride two laps at as near to the designated speed as possible, crucially without the aid of a handlebar mounted cycle-computer of any kind which were required to be temporarily removed. First a fairly flat loop of 2.34 miles at an average 14.5mph followed immediately by a 4.19 mile circuit to be ridden at 11.5mph, but with the added complexity that the route sent riders up towards the wind turbine and then plunging down the steep hill past Glyndebourne Opera House, making assessments as to average speed something of a lottery.

Ian McGuckin and Rob Pelham by Neil Gearing

The gusting wind made speed-judging even trickier than usual as all of the competitors were slow on each lap and nobody got within 30 seconds on either, but at his first attempt Nigel Woods won the event. Nigel was 44 seconds slow on the first lap and 39 seconds slow over the second loop for a total of 1 minute and 23 seconds.  Rob Pelham was 2nd with a total of 1:45 and thereby regained the overall trophy he last won in 2017. Graham Faultless was just behind with 1:54 while Ian McGuckin claimed 4th with 2:15 ahead of Paget Cohen (3:08) in 5th, but Paget held on to second overall. Dan Street brought up the rear with a total time differential of 4 minutes and 17 seconds.

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