Perfect conditions made a long overdue appearance at the Gorrick/Gill 100 on Sunday when riders took to a real boneshaker of a course, completing up to seven laps.
Warm conditions at the end of the week carried though until race day and ensured the singletrack was fast and flowing, recovery straights were bone dry for high speed chases and let’s not forget those granny ring grinding climbs that Swinley forest is famed for.
First off around the ten mile course were the seven lappers and they didn’t hang around either, putting in laps consistently below the hour mark. Jamie Newall (Evans Cycles) made it look all too easy as he remained the champion for the second consecutive year, completing his target to get a sub-six-hour
time. Adam Broyad (Downlands Cycles) made sure of second ahead of Rob English (Wellington Trek).
The five lap race saw an opportunist start by none other than your race correspondent, squeezing up the inside and grabbing the lead up the first hill only to throw it all away at the top by leading other racers on a wild goose chase in the complete opposite direction by taking a wrong turn! After this distraction it was Steve Hambling (Activ) who held on to beat Nick Collins into top spot. Steve Dennis (East Grinstead CC) wasn’t far off the pace in third.
The three lap field was the biggest of the day by far, with 155 riders raring to go off the line. Mark Hockridge pulled out clear air from second placed Matthew Wex (Army CU) and Gorrick regular Brent Collyer had to settle for third.
Paul Gerrish (Bush Wackers) won the two lap event ahead of youth rider Billy Joe Whenman (Team Darenth) and in the one lap sprint Ben Clark beat Chris Clark by a matter of seconds.
Unfortunately neither of the seven lap women could complete all of their laps, but Caroline Goward (Evans Cycles) put in a fantastic effort to complete six laps ahead of Tillie Louise Hackett (Monkey Spanners). Gemma Carter (Activ) was the only woman to complete the required five laps in a time that would have put some of the men to shame.
The three lap event was won convincingly by Lydia Gould (Hargroves) with Jackie Roberts (Beyond Mountain Bikes) in second and Claire Paginton (Evans Cycles) getting a well deserved third. The two lap race was won by Georgina
Suto, with the one lap taken by Carol Yarrow (Berks On Bikes).
Record numbers, fantastic organisation and of course the best weather in a long while all contributed to make the Gorrick/Gill 100 a great success. Technical support from First Gear Cycles and of course sponsors Gill all helped to make the event run smoothly – although arguably Attuned Body had the most sought after service – a well deserved post-race massage.