Cycling legend Glenn Longland knows the passion of cycle racing first hand. Glenn is a vintage rock star to the world of cycling & always puts on a good event!
This weekend saw the Glenn Longland Downton 2 day race in the stunning New Forest. Saturday started with a nice hill climb. Wet roads did give some riders a few hairy moments when wheels started spinning on the bends, nearly taking out a Marshall at one point! On the first bend was race organiser Glenn, giving riders lots of encouragement his face was alight with the joy of seeing so many people loving the climb. This testing climb, with a record which had stood for over 20 years and with a few classy riders present the record was under threat. Fastest boys going off towards the back & they looked quick. Looking like he meant business, Oscar Hutchings flew past the half way point with a look of determination and Bang the record had gone & Oscar was the only rider to dip under the 4 minute mark.
After taking the times and applying them to the board, the handicapped road race groups were named and the race started. The scratch group went off last containing the likes of Oscar, Edward Hatfield, Matt Downie, Mike Ford, James Horton plus many more who can win a road race on the right day. The race eventually came together, but not until the end of the day. Faces changed to a more serious look as the last few miles ticked away and the finish was looming. The final hill was going to be a tough end and the big guns started kicking. Oscar Hutchings looked to be getting clear when all of a sudden young Edward Hatfield started to work his way past, just getting clear he punched the air with excitement. Job done and the confident young man was overjoyed. This win meant a lot to Ed as he wants to make it as a pro rider and loves to put a show on.
Sunday was Time Trial day! Not everyone can time trial so things can change after a race of around 32 minutes for the quick guys. Oscar can race with the best. Matt Downie was on a borrowed TT bike and Mike Ford is super strong and can never be written off. Young Sam Wadsley has had a great season against the clock and is definitely one to watch in the near future, what could he do? At the half way point Oscar looked to be slightly up on the rest of the field but it was still early in the race. Once all riders had finished, at HQ Glenn was putting the times on the board. Matt Downie was buzzing and knew he had done a great time. The crowd was gathering round the board and tension was mounting. Matts time went up and Oscar realized that he had probably been beaten but one more time was remaining, Mike Ford. Matt joked "okay the time of truth" as the numbers were being written! Mark had produced the fastest time of the day and took the TT win & the overall victory.
What a fantastic weekend of racing! Thank you Glenn for not only putting on a great race, but also for giving our young riders the chance to learn race craft and a chance to shine. We support the youngsters so when they get the chance to race locally it really is appreciated.
Looking forward to next year!