Anyone who beats the hour on the tough West of Windsor 25 course will feel pleased with themselves. Last Sunday Rob Gilmour had two extra reasons to celebrate: first, his time of 59 minutes 9 seconds won the midsummer cup race and second, that the date was the exact 25th anniversary of his first under the hour 25.

Rob's 1984 ride was slightly quicker (57.48) and was completed on an 82" fixed gear, but since it was done on the fast North Road (F1) course it was possibly less of an athletic achievement than his short 59 this year on a course which no one will ever describe as fast.

Second placed David Brown came within 39 seconds of beating the hour, and this was an exceptionally good ride. Twenty year old David has just finished the second year of his Sports Science degree and recently his academic work has left him with no time to practise his chosen sport, so to produce this effort on the basis of no competitive riding shows promise of great things to come when he has a few current racing miles in his legs.

Another man chasing the hour was Paul Holdsworth who had elected to ride a basic fixed wheel ‘athletes’ bike. This concept, which seeks to discover what a rider can do without modern aids, seems to be gaining some acceptance in the cycling world and it is perhaps an inevitable reaction against the expense and complexity of contemporary practice.

Paul had done 1.02.03 the previous week on this bike and course and was making a determined effort to achieve the magic ‘59’ this Sunday, raising his gear from 86.8" to 93" and doubtless gritting his teeth a little harder. The result was 1.0.48, close, but no cigar; it gave him third place.

Afterwards it was clear that although he looked effortlessly stylish from the roadside, it had not been an easy 25 miles. “I feel like I've just ridden a hard 50” he said, and complained that he had found his position holding the bottom of the old style dropped bars uncomfortable compared with the modern set up with clip ons and arm rests. I have no doubt that with a little tweaking of position and perhaps a slightly better day he will achieve his ‘athletes’ sub hour ride.

By sacrificing his chance of winning Holdsworth certainly added to the interest of this event.

The elite quartet of riders inside one hour one minute was completed by Paul Innes with 1.0.53.

From a field of twenty three there were five ladies and of these the best was Jo Wells with a creditable 1.9.28. The handicap prize also went to one of the ladies, Patsy Howe, who with an allowance of 28 minutes recorded a handicap time of 52.20. Patsy is a relative newcomer to time trialling and what she currently lacks in speed is partly compensated by a naturally smooth style which holds the promise of much quicker performances yet to come.

Mention should be made of Martyn Roach whose work as club racing secretary made this event possible. (Report by Chris Lovibond)

Results of the Midsummer Cup 25 held on 21st June 2009

Pos.RiderTimeH'Cap Time
1.R. Gilmour59:0957:09
2.D. Brown1:00:3855:38
3.P. Holdsworth1:00:481:00:48
4.P. Innes1:00:5356:53
5.B. Skinner1:03:4259:42
6.M. Silver1:04:311:02:01
7.J. Marshall1:04:4958:19
8.N. Holdsworth1:07:5156:51
9.J. Wells (W)1:09:2858:28
10.S. Graham1:10:2754:27
11.N. Ferrelly1:11:5555:55
12.J. Bartlett (W)1:12:0658:06
13.B. McMichael1:12:3556:35
14.J. Shell1:14:081:02:08
15.P. Howe (W)1:20:2052:20
16.A. Ambrosino1:24:4254:42
17.C. Shell (W)1:24:541:04:54
18.G. Mealing1:26:571:00:57
19.J. Fox (W)1:31:5253:52
PrivateD. French1:03:26
PrivateG. James1:05:46
PrivateS. Jarvis1:10:33
PrivateB. French1:11:51
PrivateF. Jacques1:23:43
DNFS. Wroxley
DNSM. Brown
DNSN. Howson

1st Lady

J. Wells,1:09:28

1st on Handicap

P. Howe,52:20

1st on Standard

J. Marshall,+16:28