It's finally HOME!
After 9 years in the barren wastelands of the A25/2, Team Sherwood rode to a comfortable victory and turned round its fortunes.
In tough conditions, the riders produced the following results of which the first 5 fastest counted.
Thomas Foreman 56:00 PB by 2 minutes
Giles White 59:09
Jez Willows 59:59 PB by 2 minutes 39 seconds
Chris Draper 1:00:04
Paul Jones 1:02:51
Gary Kondor 1:04:48
Roger Widdowson 1:06:29 PB by 2 minutes 22 seconds
Paul Ward 1:11:11
Howard Clark DNF
I think it's fair to say given some of the comments that Mapperley have been known to pass over recent years that we gave them just deserts. Some would argue perhaps that they didn't have their main man in the event. Despite this, we still took 4:58:03 to cover the aggregate 125 miles compared to their effort of 5:02:40 some 4 minutes 37 seconds in arrears.
Whichever way you look at it, we were going to win today and Tom's ride, in particular, was nothing short of astounding being only 29 seconds behind Neal Parkin!
Truly an incredible ride but this takes a team effort and everyone in the winning mix has remained focussed despite the season having finished 4 weeks ago.
Also, Paul Jones damaged his knee at work last week. I damaged my knee in Derbyshire 4 weeks ago.
Analysing the information, if Garry Lee (their slowest rider) had DNF'd and Pete Phillips (their overall slowest) had have taken a place in their team and Tom Foreman had DNF'd and Gary Kondor taken 5th place, only then would we have lost by 4 seconds.
Rather than me surmising about theoretical whys and wherefores, here's their times so you have revel, sorry I mean, do your own analysis of what could have been.
The losing teams times:-
Steve Barrell - 57:49
Mat Stonley - 58:09
Stephen Long - 1:00:08
Michael Westwell - 1:03:01
Garry Lee - 1:03:33
Pete Phillips - 1:07:40
Hopefully something good will come of this win.
Organisation wise it sadly lacked. One of the Mapperley riders took my number and I collared the rider on the start line. It was only Stephen Long. I told him to go and get his number changed which in hindsight I shouldn't have done and he may well have been DQ'd for taking the wrong number.
Mapperley seem to be going through a 'transient' period. We're not quite sure what's going on. The organiser wasn't actually there so it was left to Paul Arnold and Stephen Plester to do their best and in the circumstances they didn't do too bad. If it was left to Paul Arnold, it would have been run with military precision.
There were two signing on - signing off sheets.
Historically, Sherwood first won the trophy in 1953 and then again in 1955 and then not until 2003 where we had a spate of consecutive wins under Nigel White's command if you like.
ALL HAIL KING TOM!