Just look at the photo... that's JUST RCC riders (and about 10 more joined afterwards), so a huge thank you to everyone who turned out. Universally positive feedback has been flowing into the YMCA from many cycling officianados since Sunday and it now looks like we have the basis for a classic event in the local calendar.
As mentioned in the intro, the drizzle wasn't predicted. Not sure if we have the forecasters to blame but in the end it was just that - drizzle... not hacking rain like 2011. Timing tags were donned and large groups set off in the direction of Colgate, Pease Pottage... the dreaded Ardingly reservoir lumps and then the stunning scenery of Danehill, Black Hill, the Ashdown Forest and onward.
It was the route that attracted so much of the praise... a perfect mixture of challenges, fast flats, swooping descents, lost lanes, villages and surprises: not all of them pleasant. In fact, if we had a £1 for each time a rider mentioned the twist in the tail of Hornecourt Hill in the last five miles we could probably buy a clubhouse!
A special mention need to go to Steve Taylor for two reasons. First, he and his team put up some of the best signage that many riders had ever seen on a sporrtive. A big job done with care and pride, so thanks to Team Taylor for a huge contribution. Second, however, Steve suffered a snapped spoke in the Ashdown Forest and was the only DNF as a result. I think we all know what colour award he would have got!
Special mentions also to some of the brilliant performances on the day - Rupert recorded the only sub 3:30 time of the day but was followed in by a whole host of RCC golds (note: Barry G would have joined Rupert but for a cruel puncture that knocked him all the way back to 3:38!
In the end though, it was not all about times... it was about being in a massive line-up tackling a challenge that had RCC club runs tie-dyed into it all the way.... and all for a great event that raised a lot of money for a superb cause.
Special thank yous go from RCC to:
Lynne Mulholland for masterminding the cakes afterwards
Steve and team as above for giving up Saturday for the signing
Norman for being signer, broom wagon driver and de-signer
Mike Ormerod and Brian for setting such a good course
John Nunney for exposing his precious camera to hours of drizzle to get the pictures (see below)
Ian Burks and Kim at the YMCA for arranging almost everything else including the goodie bags...
And to all of you who turned out.
Results and Photos
The results are now up on the Sport Ident website here: http://results.sportident.co.uk/home/event.html?eventid=dfb49611-ee9d-44...
John's photos (for which we ask you just to make a £2 donation - not £15 like some Sportives) are here:
(note the password to access is in the comments below)