Hounslow & District Wheelers 25 mile Time Trial
Sunday 20th September

Steve Dennis (East Grinstead CC) won the HDW open 25 mile time trial last Sunday in decisive style with a margin over his nearest rival of 2 minutes 33 seconds.

Steve Dennis

The event should have been run on the usual Farnham - Alton course, but because of unfinished road works it was necessary to use a variation which involved climbing the long gradient up to the village of Four Marks (about 600 feet above sea level), descending to the turn, and then going up the same hill again to return to the finish. This caused some distress among the riders who had entered expecting a relatively flat road, but there were a few who seemed unaffected by the difficulty.

Second placed Graeme Stirzaker's (A3crg) time of 55 minutes 58 seconds certainly looked impressive until Dennis's 53.25 went up on the result board.

Forty six year old Dennis has followed a cycling career path similar to many other top time triallists - he was for many years a dedicated road man*. Starting his racing in 1982 he gradually worked his way up to holding a first category racing licence (this was before the introduction of the ‘Elite’ category). However since 2005 he has turned his attention to time trials, with devastating effect - this was his fourteenth victory of the year!**

For once, the club's own riders did not achieve great distinction in their own event, although in the tandem section Mark Silver and Trystan Macdonald came second to former BBAR Glenn Longland and his partner Neville Stroude (Antelope RT). The times here were 56.50 for the Antelope pairing and 58.52 for the Hounslow men - a respectably small deficit against riders of such high quality.

On the subject of tandems, it should be added that last Saturday (12th September) Paul Holdsworth partnered by Hounslow's most promising young rider, David Brown, won the hotly contested Andover Wheelers tandem 10 with the fast time of 19 minutes exactly. Their nearest rivals were Andy Paige & Dean Lubin (PCI Ciclos Unos) with 19.35.

* The term ‘road man’ in bike racing parlance means a rider whose main interest is massed start racing where the competitors all start together and ride in a bunch - as seen on TV in the Tour de France. This can lead to confusion since time trials are normally held on the road.

** Steve Dennis has asked me to point out that he has always ridden time trials, but that it was not until 2005 he went 'aero'. Previously he had used a standard road bike without tribars.

Chris Lovibond