The two lap, 18 mile course offers a range of technical and physical challenges, not least the the climb in to St Paul's Walden and the series of sharp ascents to the east of Whitwell.
After the first lap Simon Doyle and James Gomm were battling for top spot with Doyle managing to make the descents count in his favour. Simon eventually caught Gomm on the second lap straight heading northwards to Hitchin.
Gomm took eight minutes out of his 2011 time and Doyle, in his first ride around this course, shaved 18 seconds off last year's winning time. (Ed - who writes this stuff?)
James Spence suffered a puncture on the first lap turn from the Codicote road towards St Paul's. Dave Rossall also hit technical difficulties, having been afflicted by a damaged spoke.
Tim Wallis rode consistently to record a sub-hour ride on fixed gear but was beaten for third spot by Nick Senechal who went under the hour mark to record a "short 58". Dave Summerell was fifth.
|The Knebworth Cyclosaur|
Quote of the day fell to James Gomm who made reference to the Knebworth Park fibre-glass dinosaurs which overlook the course.
"If you get to the dinosaurs and don't feel like losing the will to live, you simply aren't trying hard enough."
Simon Doyle – 51:09
James Gomm – 52:44
Nick Senechal – 58:07
Tim Wallis – 59:21 (fixed gear)
David Summerell – 1:01:11
David Rossall – 1:09:04 (mechanical)
James Spence – DNF (puncture)
|Top L-R, Senechal, Wallis, Doyle. Bottom L-R, Rossall, Gomm, Summerell.|
Pictures courtesy of Clive Collins.
Thanks to Frank Turner for timekeeping and Nicky Ollier for officiating. Without them there would have been no event.