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Lighthouse trophy Winners again 2015

It’s Mapperley’s Lighthouse Again! 4 in a row

The morning of Sunday September 13th saw a whole host of Club members assembling in the Vale of Belvoir to once again help run, and compete in, the ANDCC Lighthouse 25 Mile Time Trial. As current holders of the trophy, we are obliged to run the event, and as for the previous two years, the Club and it’s members rose to the occasion magnificently.
The late summer weather gods smiled on us for once, and the sun shone whilst there was nothing more than a gentle breeze – at the start line at least! Similarly, despite a bit of a scare the day before, we were not cursed by roadworks as we had been last year, so our local Vale of Belvoir branch members duly signed the full 25 mile route ready for the early morning start.
Traditionally, the host Club will supply the first man off, and that ‘honour’ fell to Jason Varnam, riding his first Twenty Five for a couple of years. With only a couple of the last Evening Tens a month ago as a re-introduction to the sport, his expression at the start was a mix of concentration, trepidation, determination and I suspect a little regret……..
At precisely 9:01 Jason was sent on his way, and so the defence of our title began. Over the next 55 minutes the rest of the field followed on, with only four non-starters out of a field of 56, which is a pretty good proportion considering the perceived difficulty of the course.

Jason, first MCC rider off, flashes past the finish. Photo courtesy of Tim Long

Mick Stojanovic and myself shared the ‘pushing off’ duties, and then returned to the HQ to help Steve Plester, who was running the show whilst Shaun (a vital part of the defending team) competed, to get the incoming results onto the laptop and projected on the wall so that first handful of riders, that were by now waiting nervously, could check their times.

Mike Adams waits for his start with Pusher Off Mick Stojanovic. Photo courtesy of Phil Collier

First man to come in under the magic hour – considered quite an achievement on this course – was number 2, Andrew Thompson of Sherwood CC, who were predicted to be our likely rivals for the Lighthouse Trophy. The next man in to achieve this was our very own Mike Adams, going under for the first time on this course. Neal Parkin of North Notts Olympic was the next to beat the sixty minute mark, but unfortunately a lack of counting riders meant that his Club, winners on more than one occasion in the recent past, would not be in the hunt for the cup!
The next Mapperley rider to finish was to be Russell Jelly, who put in a mighty effort to come home fastest so far, in a  time of 55:15, giving him almost a 3 minute lead over his nearest rival at that time. Russ would hold on to his position at the top of the podium until almost the end of the race, only being beaten eventually by two other riders.

Russell Jelly – Fastest Individual ANDCC Rider. Photo courtesy of Tim Long

Garry Lee was our next man in, putting in a strong performance to take a handful of minutes from his previous course best, followed not too long later by Shaun Eden, who escaped  his duties as Event Secretary long enough to put in a typicaly strong ride of 57:41 – good enough to put him in second place overall for the moment. In the meantime there were sub-hour rides from Richard Yates of Witham Wheelers, Edward Walters of Derby Mercury and Colin Parkinson, also of the Mercury.

Garry ‘The General’ Lee in action. Photo courtesy of Tim Long

Shaun Eden finishing. Photo courtesy of Tim Long

Once Jason Swann completed his ride (riding with a puncture for the last 1.5 miles), a mere 12 seconds slower than Shaun in 57:53, Mapperley riders now occupied the first three places, and it was looking as if the expected challenge from Sherwood CC and Nottingham Clarion was beginning to fade.

Jason Swann in full flight.
Photo courtesy Mike Westwell

Widely expected to be the fastest of our riders, Ian Guilor was our next finisher with a storming ride of 55:46, on this occasion not quite enough to take top slot, but a magnificent effort to jump straight into second place behind his younger Club mate.

Ian Guilor rounds the final bend. Photo courtesy of Tim Long

The two Under 18 entrants, riding only four minutes apart, both had very strong rides, with Oliver Peckover of Sherwood Pines showing tremendous potential with a 56:02 to win the Fastest U18 prize and Myles Foskett, of Welland Valley, only just missing out on a top ten finish with 58:22. The title of fastest lady went to Louise Allen of the new Vale of Belvoir CC, a very enthusiastic bunch who have won their first prize in their debut at the event, only missing out on having a qualifying team due to one non-starter. I’m sure they’ll be back again next year with an even stronger representation!
There were now only two Mapperley riders left to complete the course, and the two main contenders for the overall title. Kristian Warhurst, Mapperley’s jet-setting International Triathlete, pushed himself to a very creditable 1:01:55 – not bad at all after more than two months without riding a bike in anger.

Cap’n Warhurst of the SS Tahiti. Photo courtesy of Tim Long

Phil Hunt, who had the unenviable task of being ‘scratch man’ Dan Barnett’s ‘minute man’, continued in the strong form he has shown all season, just missing being our third 57 minute by a mere four seconds, but finishing in a strong eighth overall and as our fifth counter for the Team event.

Phil Hunt powers past. Photo Courtesy Mike Westwell

The battle for the overall crown, between Scott Walker of MG Decor Carbon Bike Solutions and Dan Barnett of Drag2zero, ended up a reversal of the previous two years, where Scott beat Dan by around thirty seconds on both occasions over the shortened course. This time, over the full ’25’, Scott’s incredible 53:31 was beaten by over a minute, Dan doing an awesome ride to record a time of 52:44!!

Dan Barnett cheered on by Marshal Coleman.
Photo courtesy Mike Westwell

This turned out, once again, to be a great event – particularly considering it nearly had to be cancelled through an initial lack of entries ( a mistake on the CTT website meant some of Shaun’s contact details were missing). All of our riders did the Club proud, enabling us to once again retain the Lighthouse Team Trophy, for the fourth consecutive year, with five finishers inside the top ten, and also win the individual ANDCC trophy for the first time since Shaun Eden did so back in 2010. Now, of course, we have to do it all again, though rumour has it we’re a long way off beating the record for the most consecutive wins – thought to possibly be sixteen!

The 2015 Lighthouse Winners L-R: Russ Jelly, Jason Swann, Phil Hunt, Shaun Eden and Ian Guilor. .Photo courtesy of Tim Long

It just remains to thank all of the riders that enabled the event to carry on, and all of the volunteers, Club Members or not, who turned up to help run it – be it marshalling, running the canteen, sorting the results, putting up and taking down the signs, or indeed being the Event Secretary and assistant. And last but not least, of course the Timekeepers, Bill Stanley and Steve Custance.
Full Results available here:  Mapperley Lighthouse Results 2015
Report by Phil Collier