6 athletes from Mid Sussex Tri Club were up before 5am to get to the start in time for this very well organised event.
There was still the usual frantic pre-race adjustments. Both Steve and Rob decided it was a flat enough course to try racing with disc wheels for the first time ever which meant a bit of cassette and brake adjustment. James had a new set up without a disc wheel, but was the only competitor without a timing chip. Pete decided to throw himself, his bike and a complete stranger's bike onto the floor for no apparent reason, whilst dressing up for a deep midwinter race (it was sunny and 15 degrees!). Luckily common sense took over and he stripped off his thermals, but then also removed his tri-bars (just to give the other old gits a chance). Ant and Dec, sorry, Dave seemed totally organised by comparison.
Ant, Dave and James were off in the second wave with Rob, Pete and Steve 5 minutes behind. The first run was a fairly flat and fast 7.5km and it went largely as expected with James making a flying start. His time of 28.07 was nearly 2 minutes ahead of Pete who was making a cautious start in 29.54, still very quick. Then came Steve and Rob in 30.54 and 31.03 respectively, then Ant (32.29) immediately followed by Dave (32.30).
All 6 did good fast transitions but king of T1 was Dave in 39 seconds but even the slowest was 67 seconds so very little time was wasted.
The bike circuit was an interesting mix of superb Time Trialling roads, and tight turns at junctions, which included one point on each lap requiring a complete stop and foot down before being allowed to continue.
Not surprisingly it was again James who was flying with 64.12 for the 40km. Rob soon caught and passed Steve on his way to a time of 67.51, just a second ahead of Dave 67.52. Ant was about a minute down with 69.00. Steve was surprised to reel in Pete on the bike, until he realised that Pete was not using tri-bars which would have made a huge difference. Steve did 69.49 and Pete 71.30.
T2 was another speedy affair. Even the slowest time was only 57 seconds but king of T2 was Steve in 39 seconds although Dave was again very quick, just a second behind, which makes him overall transition king this time!
The second run was the same as the first, but then the flat run suddenly didn't seem so flat. It was also now quite a lot warmer. Steve was delighted to find that he was the fastest on the second run with 31.23, less than 30 seconds slower than the first run, largely due to seeing Rob ahead and having someone to aim at. As usual he only overtook with 800m to go with Rob struggling with cramp. James' second run was only 3 seconds slower than Steve - 31.26, with Pete slightly behind in 31.33. Rob did 33.18, Ant 34.48 and Dave 35.19.
Overall James was well clear of everyone else, finishing some 8 minutes clear of Steve in the end who was 27 seconds ahead of Rob. Pete finished another minute down, then Dave 2 minutes behind and Ant about a further minute down.
This was a great first race of the season, which was a World Duathlon Championship qualifier. We must now wait to see if any of us have actually qualified.
RESULTS WINNER 1h54m09s
James DEAR 2h05m15s 1st 10pts 9.72% 10th
Steve ALDEN 2h13m33s 2nd 9 16.99 6th
Rob HOODLESS 2h14m00s 3rd 8 17.39 8th
Pete HARRIS 2h14m53s 4th 7 18.16 9th
Dave LASHBROOK 2h16m57s 5th 6 19.97 24th
Ant GREY 2h18m19s 6th 5 21.16 10