It was the 18 mile Sporting TT on Sunday where near perfect conditions meant Paceline RT rider Rob Sharland smashed Wouter Sybrandy’s course record by 42 seconds claiming the Crusader Cup for the first time. The 29-year-old rider went one better than in 2014, where he was second, to claim victory on the 18-mile course in Surrey in 38.34. And RCC's Matt Peel started this season where he left off the last recording the club's fastet time of 44:11.
This is a lovely sporting course that starts just West of Dorking in Westcott, heading West on the A25 into the Surrey Hills taking in Abinger Hammer, before heading South toward Holmbury St. Mary, then Forest Green, Ockley and a fast finish on the A24.
The result represents a great start to the season for Sharland on the back of his second-place finish at the Kinston Wheelers 14 event last weekend.
“I am happy with how it went,” Sharland said. “It was a fairly mixed course, quite rolling with one main hill and a closing stretch on the dual carriageway.”
“It will have been warmer today than it was when the course record was set, which probably helped me,” he added.
Sharland highlighted the event as an early season target and he did not disappoint, stopping the clock one minute faster than his nearest rival, team-mate Pat Wright.
Jamie Pine (Nuun-Sigma Sport RT) completed the top three, finishing with a time of 41.15.
Joscelin Lowden (Lewes Wanderers) was the fastest woman on the day, completing the course in a time of 46.30. That gave her the win ahead of Alice Lethbridge (Drag2zero) who was 32 seconds off the pace, continuing the form which gave her victory in last week’s Kingston Wheelers time trial.
In the quest for the Peter Appleyard Trophy, Redhill had 8 intrepid testers going for glory. It was 2016 TT beast Matt Peel who came out on top with an impressive 44:11 on his standard road bike set up. Matthew Ferguson was next up for Redhill with a 47:31 showing some great climbing legs early in the season. Chris Stone did a 51:04 and then Steve Dewis 53:04, Graham Brash 54:11 and John McMullen 54:40 came in quick succession and then only 1 place separated the three from Chairman, and TT newbie Peter Farnfield 55:17. 81-year-old Jim McKeller who had the honour of starting at the head of the field completed in a time of 1:32:57 to take the Lantern Rouge. Well done all.
Many thanks to all of the marshalls, volunteers and timekeepers. If it wasn’t for you we could not run these events.
CLICK HERE to see the full spreadsheet of results.
Many thanks also to RCC's Roger Hopkins for the photos. If we make a full gallery we will post the link here.