Reporter: James McPherson
On a cold and drizzly October morning 10 riders turned up for the Nigel Wilson challenge. A murmur of excitement went round during sign-on, when it was realised Nigel had sacrificed the opportunity to defend his title and would instead help out marshalling and timekeeping. This was an event that could now be won.
The sense that anything was possible was dampened somewhat when Mark Desborough turned up without his luggage rack, and Nick Morgan rolled into view with talk of this being a warm up for an open even later today and a 2-up with James Cornell tomorrow.
Chris Corney and Chris Brabrook arrived shaken but uninjured having met an out of control MX5 sliding on their side of the road, whilst riding down to the start. Luckily no-one was hurt, but a mental note was made by all to take it easy on the greasy roads.
Despite this, very respectful times were achieved on this hilly course, with Nick Morgan posting an excellent sub-50 mins time. Mark Desborough came second, missing a 49 by just 5 secs. James McPherson was not far behind with a long 50.
Afterwards a warming coffee was had at Vanstone Park garden Centre, where as usual a number of claims were made. To attempt to preserve the truth, these have subsequently been fully investigated by the authorities.
1. Ross Thompson claim
“I won the non aero bike race”
Results of Investigation
BMC responded to the claim regarding the bike Thompson had chosen to ride that day: “Our ‘state-of-the-art, aero bike’ with deep section rim wheels, combines maximal aerodynamics, integration and stiffness – we didn’t just enter the aero category, we re-created it”.
However a number of riders did confirm that Thompson did ride his bike whilst in a near vertical position for most of the race “like a policeman”, providing drag advantage for anyone within half a mile of him, despite his aero Nomads top and “maximal” aero bike.
In the final judgement, the claim was rejected as James Bainbridge was riding a single speed and beat Thompson by nearly 2 minutes.
2. Nick Senechal claim
“I was only 3 seconds behind James McPherson and would have probably beaten him if I had not decided to turn my light on when I saw Nick Hickman’s light on ahead”.
Results of Investigation
Senechal was only behind Hickman on the first lap, and the splits show that Senechal went faster on his first lap, hence the claim was swiftly rejected (by James McPherson).
3. David Summerell claim
“I have only just returned from Cyprus and was freezing!”
It was confirmed that Summerell was wearing 4 tops and was still shivering, compared to a full aero onesie for Nick Morgan and James McPherson. Claim accepted.
A huge thanks from all the riders to Chris Tribe, Nigel Wilson and Hannah Wilson for time-keeping, marshalling and providing excellent encouragement.