Punching above their weight
Matt Greenall, Monday 29th April 2019
This annual event is a 102km Sportive around Sussex, ending with a hilltop finish up Ditchling Beacon.
Thankfully the 45mph winds from the day before had died down. We rode as a team (John Marinko, Richard Nerurkar, Andy Bone & Jim Whitelegg), starting early. Had some early stress of Jim's chip not scanning and, with the clock ticking on the others, Jim had to leg it back to HQ (in cleats/high heals). Fortunately the others waited up the road and, heads down, we got going. We barely saw anyone for the first hour, then as we got to the bottom of a long decent over Ashdown Forest we got swallowed up by a dozen Sussex Revolutionaries, who were all significantly younger with better bikes. So spured on by bike envy we clung to the back of their group for a few miles, avoiding the chance to enjoy a spot of bird watching at the Weir reservoir, until we reached the halfway feed station. Whilst we were enjoying the amazing chocolate brownies the Revolutionaries were off, which was no bad thing as we were on borrowed time with them.
The second half saw Andy “the power” Bone driving us through and we blasted up the Beacon to finish in the fastest time any of us had ever done it in, even with a 2 mile diversion. Then rolled back down the hill to enjoy pasta and coffee at Ditchling HQ. It’s a lovely route through Sussex, including beautiful vistas across the Ashdown Forest.
Write-up by Jim Whitelegg.