By Gerry McManus
The Surrey League Revolutions 5-Day commences on Friday 18th August with a field of 50 riders set for another memorable event sponsored by top cycle shop Sigma Sport. The numbers seem a little reduced from previous years but that's not surprising as it is likely that a number of last year's competitors were not asked back to this invitation only event. Last year saw a large number of riders eliminated after they refused to finish one wet stage but had expected to re-start the following day.
This year's start sheet sees two previous winners line up to contest the 450-mile event with the added incentive of points and mountains competitions. Last year's winner Duncan Urquhart (Army CU) will find a tough challenge from the Irish 2003 winner Paul Griffin who is guest riding alongside compatriot Tim Barry and talented Kieran and Russell Page in the SP/Wightlink RT squad. Barry is no stranger to event competing for a number of years winning a stage and finishing third overall in 2001.
The absence of Recyling.co.uk, DFL and Plowman Craven teams from this year's event leaves the race wide open for those with the strength and therefore ability to play the tactics game. The stages get progressively harder and it's not always the early leader that wins the final yellow jersey.
Sunday's stage features a short morning time trial around the Goodwood motor racing circuit in West Sussex with the field going out to the rolling hills around the horse racing course in afternoon.
Former KOM winner Roger Morgan (VC Meudon) makes a return to the event with only a first category licence following his marriage last year but he has already amassed a few points in local league racing this season and may be coming into some form.
Watch out for Roy Chamberlain (Team Milton Keynes) who always equips himself well in top competition. Agisko-Viner-cycling.tv look the strongest on paper with Rob Enslin, James Williamson, Kevin Dawson, Neil Coleman, Alex Hagman, Alex Biggs and Neil Coleman in the team to beat.
- Day 1 - Friday 18th August, is based on Ewhurst in Surrey. HQ: Ockley Village Hall. Start time: 12:00. Described as classic rolling Surrey countryside.
- Day 2 - Saturday 19th August, is based on Staplefield in West Sussex. HQ: Handcross Sports Pavilion. Start time: 12:00. Long dragging climbs and lots of them. Good road surfaces except in the lanes.
- Day 3 - Sunday 20th August, is based on Goodwood Motor Racing. The day starts with a time trial around Goodwood Motor Racing Circuit. Start time: 11:00. This will be followed by a road race with a slight change from the course used for the last nine years. Two 'new' hills and each have a superb run down. The drop from Harting is seven miles long! Start time: 13:00.
- Day 4 - Monday 21st August, is based at Wivelsfield East Sussex. HQ: Wivelsfield Parish Hall. Start time: 12:00. Nothing steep but continually up and down on roads that are far from fast.
- Day 5 - Tuesday 22nd August, is based at Crowborough and the Ashdown Forest in East Sussex. HQ All Saints Parish Hall, Crowborough. Start time: 12:00. Everything one wants for a great stage - if you are a spectator! If you like long drags, steep hills, fast descents and beautiful scenery this is for you. Not a bit of flat anywhere and your introduction to 'The Wall'.