Downton 2016

Posted on 28th Oct 2016To finish off the racing year Graham Lenton, Stewart Ward, Stuart Peckham, Stephen Skinner and myself represented the NFCC at the 2 day annual Downton classic which attracts many of the areas top cyclists. The weather wasnt great and Stuart Ward and I were both suffering from man flu :) but battled through. First up was the 2.4km hill climb won by Oscar Hutchings in 3:58 seconds. I was fastest of the 11 man B category and fastest of the NFCC riders in 4:41 with Graham Lenton only a second behind. Success in the prologue meant a stiff handicap in the road road for Graham and myself and we found the pace fast and the gap too wide to bridge. The more experienced Stuart Peckham and Stewart Ward went off in the 2nd group and faired better, Stewart finishing in 01:18:50 and Stuart in 01:21:40. Stewart apparently did a Froome after puncturing on the finishing climb. The road race was won by rising young star Ed Hatfield beating prologue winner Hutchings. Sunday morning provided sunny but cold conditions for the 24km lumpy TT won by Mike Ford in 31.56 which was also fast enough to give him the overall win. Matt Downie, another superb looking young rider, nudged overnight leader Hutchings into 3rd. All the NFCC riders performed respectfully in the TT. Stewart Ward posted the fastest NFCC time of (37:24) with Graham (38:12) and Stuart Peckham (38:16 & 3rd "B") a minute behind. I was a minute behind them (39:22) and Stephen was a couple of minutes behind me (43:06). Primera TeamJobs won the team award with Stewart Ward who was the best placed NFCC rider overall (21), going up to recieve the NFCCs 10th place team prize in the new club colours. The weather wasnt great and in fairness we didnt set the racing scene on fire but big kudos to all the guys for getting out there to represent the club and between us achieving respectable placings considering the high quality young riders on show. It will be interesting to see how far Ed Hatfield (Primera) and Matt Downie (Eden Veranda RT) progress.