We've just had word from USE/Exposure Lights's Rory Hitchens that Ian Leitch (Independent Fabrications/brightonbigdog.com/Exposure Lights) is on the return leg of an attempt on the South Downs Double record, currently held by Mike Cotty (Cannondale).
Ian set out from Winchester at 3.03am this morning with an ambitious schedule, and blasted his way to the 100mile turning point at Eastbourne in an amazing 8hrs and 7mins. This in itself is the second-fastest known one-way ride, but Ian has his sights firmly set on Winchester and expects to arrive well before pub closing time tonight. It'll be tough going, though - there's a pretty stiff breeze from the west.
As is traditional with SDD attempts, Ian's riding the trail non-assisted, carrying all his food and equipment with only the official SDW water taps to his aid. We will have word from Winchester later and bring you Ian's finishing time. Stay tuned...
Ian finished his run shortly after 9pm, completing the Double in an astonishing 18 hours and three minutes - nearly two hours quicker than the previous record of 19:52. Speaking to BM, he didn't even sound tired but admitted that, "it wasn't exactly a smooth run - pretty much everything that could go wrong did, I had six punctures and a headwind for the last ten hours...".
So that's five riders who've completed the South Downs Double in under 24 hours, and an impressive raising of the bar. Now all eyes will be on Steve Heading (Whyte) who's lining up for a run next Tuesday...
For more info on this personal challenge go to www.southdownsdouble.net.