Checking the BBC weather forecast before setting off with my North Bucks Road Club team mate Tony, I was a little worried.  While the forecast was for white clouds and light showers, the wind was straight from the north and about 21-22mph.  It should also be evident from the weather icon to the left that the BBC turned out to be rather economical with the truth!As we drove over to Newmarket, Tony and I got increasingly worried about the weather.  The wind was certainly as forecast, the trees and foliage were bending alarmingly.  More bothersome were the heavy showers that were cruising along.  Some of the showers were really very heavy.  Reaching Newmarket, we found the race HQ rather more easily that in the past (cf the API-Metrow event last summer) – it was in a modern and rather swanky leisure centre.  We grabbed our numbers and waited for a particularly heavy shower to pass before going back to the car and driving over to a wide-verged lane near the start.

We sat in the car while more heavy showers came over.  I got ready, but sat in the car.  At some point Tony realised that he’d forgotten a crucial bit of kit – his skin suit!  This gave him a pretty good excuse not to ride in vile conditions…  I waited in the car until the rain eased, then rode over to the start.  So – no warmup! I realised pretty quickly that my GPS unit was on the blink, so I ended up riding with only the timer and heart rate to inform me of my effort.

Down the sliproad and onto the course.  I wished at this point that I knew what speed I was cruising at – it seemed fairly easy (despite pushing a very big gear) and I quickly raised my HR to respectable levels.  The outward leg clearly benefitted from the stiff wind, which was something of a diagonal tailwind.  A map of the E2/25 can be seen in my report on my previous outing on this course, the Lea Valley CC ’25’ on 10th April.  I reached the turn in around 25 minutes, had a bit of interference from traffic at the turn, and set out on the return leg somewhat worried about how tough it would be.

In the event, the return leg was a fair bit easier, with some shelter from the wind provided by the hedgerow, particularly on the later section on the A14.  At places the broken nature of the hedgerow made for very gusty and buffeting conditions.  Overall, though, I didn’t suffer particularly from rain – indeed the far end of the turn seemed bone dry.

As I got closer to the finish, I became increasingly optimistic that I might pull off a decent time.  I was momentarily flummoxed by the cones up the finish sliproad as at first I couldn’t see the timekeeper.  I checked my computer as I crossed the line and figured I’d done 55:29 (confirmed later in the race HQ).  This is 9 seconds faster than I did in the Lea Valley event, and this now becomes my fastest ’25’ since 2004, so my form continues to pick up.

More to the point, what a horrible day it was – not what one would expect from mid-June!

Results

Pos No Rider Club Group Standard TIME +/- std Pos Std
1 120 Peter Balls West Suffolk Wheelers EA 01:07:60 50:12 + 17:47 15
2 15 Mick Hodson St Ives CC EA 01:06:00 51:15 + 14:45 28
3 110 Ian Cammish Planet X EA 01:12:43 51:26 + 21:17 9
4 105 Stuart Walker Walsall RCC 51:36
5 60 Neil Dowie Shorter Rochford RT EA 01:07:30 53:15 + 14:15 29
6 75 André Dyson St Ives CC EA 01:11:07 53:33 + 17:33 18
7 100 Ken Platts Cambridge CC EA 01:15:29 53:47 + 21:41 8
8 45 Tony May North Road CC EA 01:12:11 54:14 + 17:57 14
9 70 Stephen Wilkins Walsall RCC Mids 01:12:43 54:40 + 18:03 13
10 90 Michael Wills Hinkley CRC 54:44
11 61 Ron Keeble 34th Nomads CC Kent 01:18:55 55:10 + 23:44 2
12 111 John Golder Chelmer CC EA 01:14:55 55:12 + 19:42 10
13 30 Robert Saunders North Bucks RC 55:29
14 40 John Iszatt API Metro – Silverhook EA 01:11:39 55:53 + 15:45 24
15 46 Colin Bunnett Kings Lynn CC EA 01:20:41 55:59 + 24:41 1
16 106 Neil Colvin 7 Oaks Tri Kent 01:12:43 56:04 + 16:38 19
17 35 Malcolm Jeffries VC Elan Kent 01:06:30 56:27 + 10:03 38
18 107 Carmelo Luggeri CC Ashwell EA 01:12:43 56:46 + 15:57 22
19 16 Clive Nye San Fairy Ann CC Kent 01:12:43 56:58 + 15:44 25
20 11 Geoff Bunyan Spirit Racing 57:04
21 124 Graham Painter Chelmer CC 57:11
22 5 Tony Boardman Team Swift Man & NW 01:13:16 57:24 + 15:51 23
23 80 Simon Best North Road CC EA 01:07:30 58:05 + 09:24 42
24 31 Christopher York Maldon & District CC 58:17
25 87 Mike Shean Ford CC 58:20
26 41 Ralph Richardson Hinkley CRC Mids 01:08:31 58:33 + 09:57 39
27 56 David Rogers Hemel Hempstead CC L & HC 01:12:11 58:34 + 13:36 31
28 12 Clayton Knight Easterley RC EA 01:10:35 58:52 + 11:43 35
28 126 Peter Thomas West Kent RC 58:52
30 125 Simon Boyle Stowmarket & Dist CC 58:53
31 43 Bill Broadfield Flitch Crono EA 01:21:53 58:54 + 22:58 5
32 67 Andrew Bright Team Sanjan Design EA 01:07:00 59:05 + 07:54 46
33 72 Alan Crane Team Sanjan Design 59:09
34 12 Peter Hardiman Maldon & District CC EA 01:14:55 59:12 + 15:42 26
35 6 Richard Moule Bossard Wheelers CC 59:27
36 1 Jeremy Temple VC Elan 59:28
37 11 Michael Coulter Gravesend CC Kent 01:17:45 59:34 + 18:10 12
38 96 Steve Peck Newmarket Cycling & Tri EA 01:12:11 59:52 + 12:18 34
39 26 Peter Anderson Kingston Wheelers EA 01:16:03 01:00:04 + 15:59 21
40 6 Corinna Francis Chelmer CC 01:00:12
41 17 Peter Walton Herfordshire Wheelers EA 01:13:49 01:00:23 + 13:25 32
42 64 Roger Selmes Wolsey RC EA 01:18:20 01:00:41 + 17:39 17
43 57 Andrew Gibson Gravesend CC 01:00:51
44 58 John Parkes Wolsey RC EA 01:19:30 01:00:58 + 18:31 11
45 113 Brian Martin PCA Ciclos Uno EA 01:17:11 01:01:33 + 15:38 27
46 73 Michael Fry Glendene CC EA 01:10:35 01:01:38 + 08:57 44
47 29 Peter Lock Victoria CC EA 01:07:30 01:01:44 + 05:45 49
48 32 Geoffrey Martin Glendene CC EA 01:13:16 01:01:46 + 11:30 36
49 8 Ann Shuttleworth Chelmer CC EA 01:11:39 01:01:48 + 09:51 40
50 33 Brian Lusk 45 Road Club EA 01:09:02 01:02:00 + 07:01 48
51 77 Stewart Kirk CC Sudbury EA 01:14:55 01:02:05 + 12:49 33
52 53 Dominic Whitehead 29th Wheelers CC EA 01:11:39 01:02:10 + 09:28 41
53 38 David Mellor Chelmer CC 01:02:48
54 2 Keith Dalton Southend Wheelers EA 01:12:11 01:02:55 + 09:15 43
55 102 Merv Player Herfordshire Wheelers EA 01:26:56 01:03:30 + 23:26 3
55 9 John Dupen (T) Godric CC EA 01:20:05 01:03:30 + 16:34 20
57 23 Brian Foran Lampard RC EA 01:11:07 01:03:32 + 07:34 47
58 118 Peter Baumber Cambridge CC EA 01:28:14 01:04:57 + 23:17 4
59 3 Trevor Parrish A5 Rangers CC 01:04:59
60 18 Adrian Perkin (T) Godric CC EA 01:27:35 01:05:37 + 21:58 7
61 7 Angela Nye San Fairy Ann CC Kent 01:16:37 01:05:40 + 10:56 37
62 13 John Baines Yorkshire RC Yorks 01:23:44 01:06:00 + 17:43 16
63 104 Peter Horsnell Chelmer CC EA 01:28:54 01:06:54 + 22:00 6
64 84 Andrew Porter Welwyn Wheelers EA 01:10:04 01:09:09 + 00:54 54
65 36 Karl Read North Norfolk Whlrs CC EA 01:07:30 01:11:51 – 04:21 56
66 9 Jeanette Degiorgio Victoria CC EA 01:17:45 01:12:54 + 04:50 51
67 4 Bob Loader Sydenham Wheelers Kent 01:26:56 01:13:03 + 13:53 30
68 2 Lynda George Maldon & District CC EA 01:19:30 01:14:23 + 05:06 50
69 19 Ray Legg West Suffolk Wheelers EA 01:18:55 01:14:55 + 04:00 52
70 114 Brian Foster Norwich ABC EA 01:24:22 01:15:45 + 08:36 45
71 69 Phil Paffey Chelmer CC EA 01:11:07 01:20:47 – 09:39 55
72 3 Barbara Law CC Sudbury EA 01:25:00 01:21:04 + 03:56 53
59 Chris Hutchinson Redbridge CC EA 01:14:55 DNF
22 Geoff Bores Ford CC EA 01:13:49 DNF