Simon McNamara proved fastest in the Sussex CA 30-mile time trial near Ashington, West Sussex, on Sunday morning.
The 45-year-old Huntbikewheels.com rider from Henfield clocked 1-03-32 to take the win by 39 seconds from Matthew Smith (Team TMC), but was around a minute shy of Colin Ward’s two-year-old course record.
It was a promising morning with only a light breeze stirring at 6am, but the wind increased as the morning went on.
While riders were grateful for a dry and sunny morning, steady rain for three hours on Saturday afternoon led to four riders puncturing including Norwood Paragon CC’s Andy Critchlow who reached the final roundabout in an impressive 58 minutes before the deflation less than two miles from the finish.
McNamara last rode this course in 2018 but finished second behind Colin Ward as he set a new course record which still stands.
His first open ride of the 2020 season, McNamara will be hoping to add further victories and top the five wins he secured in 2019. He is next in action on Saturday in the South Eastern Road Club 10 at North Holmwood.
“I really enjoyed that,” said McNamara. “Since lockdown I’ve not done any training apart from the last week. I’ve been out riding and commuting, but no specific TT stuff, so I didn’t know how it would go.
“My power meter wasn’t working so I tried to pace my effort smoothly and not go too deep in the first 10-15 miles. I think I paced it well and never felt like I went into the red.
“The course was a bit greasy in some corners so I took it carefully and came off the aero bars to be safe.
“It’s great to get a win, but I feel sorry for Andy Critchlow, as I think he was about 20 seconds up on my when he punctured.”
The G30/91 course starts near Washington with riders completing an anti-clockwise loop to Steyning and up through Ashurst, Partridge Green and West Grinstead. They then head south towards the Shoreham bypass before finishing on the Washington Road to the north of Steyning.
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1. Simon McNamara (Huntbikewheels.com) 1-03-32
2. Matthew Smith (Team TMC) 1-04-11
3. Steve Kane (Team TMC) 1-05-09
4. Neil Harrigan (Gemini BC) 1-05-16
5. Oliver Stockwell (Flamme Rouge CT) 1-05-30
6. Andrew Meilak (VeloRefined Rule 5) 1-06-09
=7. Chris Jones (Bynea CC) 1-08-04
=7. Alex Pearson (Woolwich CC) 1-08-04
9. Nik Allen (Worthing Excelsior CC) 1-08-51
10. Peter Madarasz (Brighton Triathlon) 1-10-48
Team: Team TMC (Matthew Smith, Steve Kane, Martin Gibbs) 3-21-54
Juniors: Oliver Stockwell
Trike: Mark Vowells (CC Bexley) 1-22-22
Tandems: Mark Emsley & Sarah Phelps (Team TMC) 1-24-08