Junior Amy Monkhouse (Storey Racing) and Chris Holmes (Twickenham CC) were fastest female and male riders at a windswept and challenging East Surrey hardriders 29.9-mile time trial promoted by Dorking CC on Sunday.
The 55th running of the hardriders event, the event lived up to its name this year with riders who started later on having to deal with winds gusting up to 50mph, while some of those who competed in the earlier road bike event having to climb over a large tree that had fallen across the course.
Although the tree was soon cleared by a local farmer, conditions were forecast to deteriorate further so organisers took the difficult decision not to start the final 18 riders.
43-year-old Holmes clocked 1-08-24 to win by just 26 seconds from Crawley Wheelers’ Mark Smith, while Dan Pullen (N+1 Lindfield Coffee Works) was third, another 2-16 off the pace.
Monkhouse, the 17-year-old from Carnforth in Lancashire, clocked 1-17-11 to finish 13th overall. An original startlist contained several other female riders including multiple national champion and record holder Alice Lethbridge, but most pulled out because of the conditions.
Starting near Dawes Green, the GS/491 course takes riders up to the edges of Reigate before heading east along the A25 to Dorking, where it joins the A24 and goes south through North and South Holmwood, Beare Green and Kingsfold.
From there riders turn west just before Horsham and then back north through Rusper and Newdigate to the finish.
For Holmes, it is win number two of the season, having taken victory in the Farnborough and Camberley CC 10-mile event the weekend before. He is due to ride the Maidenhead and District CC 15-mile event next Saturday, and has also entered the North Hampshire RC 18.5 on March 30.
Monkhouse is more usually seen in road races and on the track. Last weekend she rode the Lancaster University Spring Crits, while back in January she was seen in action in the National Track Championships at the National Cycling Centre in Manchester.
She is next due to ride in the West Pennine RC hilly 14-mile event next Saturday.
The road bike category was won by Kingston Wheelers’ Mark Aldred in 1-12-44, giving him victory by almost four minutes from Gareth Thomas (Paceline RT), while Francis Jago (Paceline RT) was third.
Fastest of the women was Rosamund Bradbury (Sigma Sports) in 1-23-17, while Sophie Household (Charlotteville CC) was second fastest female with 1-28-43.
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