Strong winds and sunshine for the 2015 edition of Glenn Longland’s Sandie Radford Memorial Road Race yesterday saw four Sotonia riders line up in the field of 60+ riders including local boy Phil Wilks, Rich Stephens, Tim Cooke and Richard Burch.
It was a sporting course based around Nomansland of 35 miles, which may sound short but featured barely any flat and four laps, the last two going up the notoriously steep Pipers Waite climb to the finish.
The race itself had en eventful start with a group of deer leaping across the road taking out Ed Rowe (wearing number 13) in the process. This part of the forest seems to have more than its fair share of road going wildlife (it was cows last year). Luckily there were no real injuries to riders or deer but it did split the bunch and Tim was left to ride alone having checked all were ok.
There was one break of note on lap two of a couple of riders but they soon tired in the strong wind. Phil and Rich Stephens looked comfortable in the main bunch and on the final ascent to the finish, both looked to have secured impressive top 20 positions (13th for Phil). In Rich’s case, a blowout on the climb forced him to ride the last steep section on a flat tyre! Brook Elgie, riding for Rock’n’Road was top club member, finishing a fine 7th.
Ride of the day goes to sixteen year old Charlie Cooper, an accomplished junior cyclocross rider who came second for Eden Veranda in his first ever road race.