Stewart Ward journeyed to the Isle of Man for the Gran Fondo there. He’s sent in this frustrating and humorous report –
I lost the plot at the top of the first hill and had a Thibault Pinot style breakdown when my saddle fell off when I was doing OK. Saddle then came loose again 5 mins later and my chain fell off so I was going to sack it off. It was a head wind the whole way out and it is fair to say the New Forest doesn’t really prepare you for hills like they have on the Island.
After about 50K I saw some joker wearing full team kit stopped by the side of the road. He even had a BMC and Enve wheels just like his idol. Turned out it it was actually Cav with a double wheel puncture, who had entered whilst back home on the island. After his repairs he soon caught me and the little group I was with going into a short Stadre Bianchi section. It was quite something to watch as he jumped through the group and shot up off the road. Soon saw him again at the food stop at the end of the section and thrashed him in the grabbing a handful of jelly babies and setting off again competition. He soon came past again and disappeared out of sight on a downhill. Passed him again at the bottom when he had yet another puncture and I think he packed up shortly after that. I did try and offer him an inner tube but alas my valves were too short as he needed 80mm ones.
After that the fun was pretty much over and it was a grovel back up to Ramsey. Should have been a tail wind but the hills cancelled that out. The route took us back over the mountain (40mph cross winds at the top were fun) and to the Bungalow (for those that know anything of the TT course). From there is was a quick descent and then some fast flat roads to the finish.
I was 33rd in the end my.race|result : : Gran Fondo Isle of Man, 21/07/2019 on what was a pretty tough day out (hills and wind) I was hoping to go a bit better, but considering the roads and hills and wind, but fair to say I definitely underestimated quite how hard the event was! And I got to overtake Cav 3 times so not many people can say that.
It wasn’t super expensive to enter (although getting to the island isnt cheap), so given the amount of closed roads, definitely an event to consider.
Thanks for the report Stewart!
Bob Jolliffe rode the R25/3H in a time of 1:08:09. I’m not sure whether he’ll be pleased with that, having beaten it more locally last week. It was a windy weekend though, which may well have factored in the result. I think TTers across the country were happy that at least it didn’t rain for most events.
Stuart Peckham rode the Southdown Velo event on the P901/50. The course is quite technical with a few roundabouts and a nice hill! Stuart said that traffic wasn’t good either, but the weather was. He just missed going under 2 hours with 2.0.12, but that resulted in a good placing. Official result still to be confirmed.
Antony Green rode the Cambridge E2/50. After a disappointing result 6 weeks ago, a bit more effort was required, the wind on the return leg not helping. However he managed a new V55 and club overall record of 1.45.15, official result to be confirmed.
Any other results please let me know – email@example.com
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