Tour of Sussex with The 5th FloorCorrespondence Friends Sports Cycling
The 5th Floor recently took part in the Tour Of Sussex - a 5 stage team race across the stunning (but hilly) Sussex countryside. Kicking off with a team time trial followed by a crit, then a road race and solo time trial on the same day, ending with a deciding 100km road race around Beachy Head. This was going to be tough.
The team of four consisted of George, Reece, Alex and Luke - here’s how they felt it went...
Tour of Sussex was... an eye opening experience that not only tested my fitness but my ability to hold on for 5 stages day after day.
My favourite stage was… Stage 2 which witnessed team 5th Floor putting in some valid moves from the front all the while pushing the pace.
I'd like to forget the moment when… at the top of the climb of the individual time trial I stopped to re-fasten my shoes which were never tied properly. My advice is to get to your start time on time!
The best moment was... racking up towards the end of stage 2 in the lead out to the finish. Only to realise the finish was actually 2km further up (I mean up!) the road.
The funniest moment... goes without saying and should really be kept secret. Our pathetic attempt at stage 1's team time trial. Blowing up from the word go and then spending the next 13.5km trying to patch ourselves back together. The 14km TTT was an example of how not to cycle a bike. A far cry from a more recent team pursuit on the velodrome where we held our lines and distance perfectly. We really showed people how not to do it.
I wish I had more... depth in my legs to last in the longer stages. It seems that after about 90km my legs just can't cope.
Stage 5 was... short (for me)!
Next time... I'll bide my time. The excitement of racing gets the better of me to easily. I'll often seek enjoyment over results. That's my excuse anyway!
Tour of Sussex was... windy, so much wind.
My favourite stage was... Stage 2 was good fun it being a short road race. I gave it my all on the last lap of the circuit getting a good gap. A few riders bridged and we worked together well only to be caught 200m before the line. Tough race to stay away but I’m happy with the efforts.
I'd like to forget the moment when… I forgot it already.
The best moment was... probably after the ITT. It was our first time round Beachy Head and none of us were looking forward to it having ridden a tough road race in the morning. Turns out we all loved it and had a great fun doing it.
I wish I had more… I’m going to change that to LESS and I’m going to say weight. Following the junior whippets up big climbs was not fun.
Stage 5 was... Brilliant, I popped but happy to have made the final selection and I felt I read the race well up until that point.
Next time... scout the stage finishes. We cocked up the PERFECT lead out by not realising there was a bastard of a climb to the finish.Reece Wood
Tour of Sussex was… so much fun to take part in a stage race event. It was clear that the competition was going to be brutal from the get go.
My favourite stage was... Stage 2; after a really shaky first stage, it was reassuring to settle into a crit length race stage and have some fun in the peloton!
The best moment was... fast descending in a group in stage 3 was so much fun (apart from when people grab the brakes in front of you)
I wish I had more… fitness, strength and sleep.
Stage 5 was... the course wasn't too bad, the problem was the pace that the younger riders were climbing at, brutal!
Next time... be fitter and lighter.Luke Clark
Tour of Sussex was… my first multi stage race. Tough work but an awesome few days.
My favourite stage was... the individual time trial surprisingly. After a road race in the morning, the last thing we wanted to do at 7pm was a hilly time trial into a gale force headwind - but it turned out to be pretty fun!
I'd like to forget the moment when… my Dad came to watch the last stage, only to see me drop off the back.
The best moment was... having Alex in the break on Stage 2 with George expertly controlling the pace of the peloton.
The funniest moment was… when we got our lead out all wrong. The finish to Stage 3 was off the main circuit and we hadn't recced it. We had the perfect lead out train for Alex only to realise there was still 5km left and a massive climb
I wish I had more… attempts to get into a break.
Stage 5 was... brutal. I held onto the main group for 3 laps then got dropped on the climb as the junior teams started to put in attacks up the climb. I managed to fight back on, only for the same to happen the next lap.
Next time... I’ll do more training (but probably won’t).
All photos courtesy of InPhota.com