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VTTA 25, LWCC GP de Gentlemen and London Cross League Rd 4

A trio of Lewes Wanderers lined up for the Veteran Time Trials Association Surrey/Sussex Group run 25 mile event along the A22 near Uckfield.  In cycling terms veteran status begins at the age of 40, so while none of the entrants could be considered youngsters, they were in no way over the hill just yet either.  There were only three females among the 48 finishers, but you can only beat what you’re up against which Clare Parkholm did, albeit by just 3 seconds, but in a new personal best of 1 hour 5 minutes and 17 seconds. Nick Dwyer was 3rd overall in 54 minutes and 49 seconds while Michael Valks was 25th in 1:01:26.

Peter Fox and Gina Wolf by Emma Gearing

The last of Lewes Wanderers' 2017 programme of time-trials was held on the wet and blowy morning of the first day in October.  No doubt in part to the conditions only 19 of the 25 pairs who had- pre-entered the Grand Prix de Gentlemen made it to the start line, of which four-and-a half were representing the host club.  The event's name is partially a misnomer as it in no way limited to men only, indeed there were generous cash prizes available to the fastest all female team among others; the lone qualifying criteria actually being that the rider being timed must be a 'veteran', that is over 40 years of age at the date of the event.  Fastest overall by just one second were that odd 'half-team' which comprised former Wanderer Pete Morris (ASL) who paced Nick Dwyer around the 17.2 mile course until the final 200 yards when Nick pulled out of his slipstream, as the rules allow, to power across the finish line and stop the timekeeper's stopwatch at 39 minutes and 36 seconds.  The competition for the fastest Family Team was dominated by the home side who bagged the top three places out of the five entrants.  Brett Davis towed his wife Lisa around to a time of 42:46 and 5th overall.  In 10th overall were the daughter and father combo of Kate and John Mankelow (48:37) while in 13th were event organiser Dom Lowden and his wife Christine in a time of 50:57.  Gina Wolf slid off at the first hairpin turn, but remounted and thanks to her partner Peter Fox recorded a time of 49:35 for 11th overall.

If the tarmac roads were slippery then the playing fields and small amount of woodland forming Happy Valley Park in Woodingdean were decidedly slick for Round 4 of the Kinesis London Cross League, incorporating Round 2 of the Sussex League and promoted by Preston Park Youth CC.  Thankfully the rain didn't fall on the Lewes Wanderers quartet competing in the lunchtime race for those aged 40 to 49.  Despite a couple of minor offs Rob Pelham fared best of the foursome as he managed to finish on the same lap as the leader.  Paget Cohen fluffed his start as he failed to clip in and fell to near the back of the 90 strong field, but he passed clubmate Jon Collett early on the second lap and overhauled Darren Haynes on the penultimate circuit.  Stephen Burgess and Chris Hough participating in the afternoon race for over 50s and Patrick Hough in the under 40s were far less lucky as the morning's rain returned to turn sections of an already cut up course into a mudbath.  Sadly Patrick crashed and was unfortunate enough to fracture his lower leg.

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