What a difference a day makes, Monday was very wet and misty ,which shows the value of the small window of time trialing as we had good conditions on the day.
In essence with a long race route the format of many staggered starts provided the usual race for what was the 74th running of this twice a year classic. There were no obvious mishaps although it was unfortunate that despite careful parking the local farmer couldn't get into the field by the old Barn.
The Patton’s managed to win the team race with Kirsty running really well and Oli took first place and the trophy despite taking the 'easier', but longer route round the bottom of Dean hill and up via the cabin, losing time, against Pete who took the rough direct route.
Route variations is what Race Planner Pete Gorvett had hoped for, when at least 4 options appear to have been taken back from Blackden.
The inclusion of the ponds under Ringing Roger allowed us all to take new lines not experienced before and route choice to go round or down in Blackden.
Next June it will be the 75th running of the race, it's amazing to think when we set off up the hill back in 1984 some of us would still be be doing such tom foolery (apologies to Westgate and Saville).What will the coming race and indeed year bring, the original blast or a devilish option.
Not as many routes visible since Strava changed the default so that flyby visibility is disabled, but the leaders enabled it for me and I managed to look at a few others. Generally it seems the more direct routes were best; I thought more might be tempted to choose longer path routes. Oli was steadily pulling away from Pete until leg 6 back across Blackden, where he was a minute and a half slower going down to the bottom wall. On leg 1 it didn't seem to matter whether you left the main track on the land rover track or stayed on for longer, leg 2 seems faster getting up to the wall early, despite the tempting grassy shelf contouring out of the quarry, leg 4 to the ponds was much faster direct (I went up to the edge), and I think Andy B's route round the edge above Blackden was marginally slower for leg 5.
The comment column includes the time adjusted by the Eric Mitchell Trophy handicap formula and Eric Mitchell position. Congratulations to Oli for taking the Eric Mitchell for 2020; it will be interesting to see what event he chooses to defend it.
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