CYCLING, February 25, 1959
De Laune Does It Again!
Alan Rowe The
Castelnau Surprise Man
TIME: 8.18 a.m.
last Sunday morning. Scene: the finish south·west of London of the
Castelnau C.C. 72-in. gear "25" (by default of the Balham this year's
southern season-opener), the event 1hr. 18min. in progress, a small
group round the as yet almost virgin result board. Sixty odd riders to
Enter a clubman,
fresh from home. Bike suitably garaged in the ditch, he approaches the
“Cor! A' two '."
Momentary pause. Eyebrows right up. ”Cor! Two' twos'!"
The big surprise
that surprised him and almost everyone else? It wasn't John "Kav"
Kavanagh, De Laune C.C., the first of those "two," off No. 10, home in
1·2-44, although it might well have been. Remember last year? With
almost 100 men home the event was "won" by Scotsman Hislop Dickson and
lost by trying-for-a-hat-trick Ron Sefton. Then came Kavanagh, No. 101,
and the only man to beat 64min. It was a surprise that in a different
way, by improving 55scc. to set a scorching "beat that" early best, he
well nigh repeated on Sunday.
But it wasn't the
surprise that kept eyebrows high and whistles low round the result
board-the surprise that surprised Kavanagh.
Off five minutes
after the determinedly defending "De Launer" went a 20 - year - old
clubmate called Alan Rowe. Kavanagh knew that last year at Herne Hill in
his first 4,000-metre pursuit ride Rowe had done 5min. 19sec.; that he'd
won a couple of second-class events; that he'd twice beaten the hour on
this course, his favourite; that the mild, damp conditions were to his
liking. Kavanagh also knew, however, that Rowe was riding his first
medium-gear event; that he lacks experience. And, indeed, among their
clubmates at the finish, it was names like Keith Butler and Reading Wh.
Peter Woodburn that aroused most trepidation on Kavanagh's account.
Shock number one
came, therefore, for Kavanagh at the turn, where he found himself 15sec.
down on a comfortably flying Rowe. Shock number two, more drastic, came
at the finish, where Rowe arrived in superb style, without a sign of
having been about to wilt, in 1·2·1
"He's done some
fine rides," said Kav., "and he's going to be good. But I didn't think
he was anywhere near so fit!"
The 60 men who
went and came back after him, proved just how fit Rowe is. Only one
could get within seconds of him-Woodburn, No 80, the Reading man, a
superb stylist, gave Rowe a long, nervous wait and then let him off by
doing 1-2-30. Others who ought to have been nearer that mark but
weren't, included Len Jackson, new star of late 1958, one of whose
cotter-pins fell out soon after starting; and Keith Butler, who was "all
right" after losing six minutes getting rid of his breakfast (" He's had
a 'morning’!" said father Stan, who knows).
One man who might
have been a lot nearer but for misfortune was soldier John Hockley, who
fell at the second of the three roundabouts on the way out, suffering
arm, hip and ankle abrasions. What seemed to annoy him most was that a
chap in front went round faster and stayed upright!
Woodburn and Kavanagh, Weybridge Wh. D. J. Hiley improved from eighth
last year to push Charlotteville's Bill Lawrance from out of 1958's
fourth place. Team honours went emphatically to De Laune over
Entries were down
from last year's full card to 83, of whom, as against 40 last year and
50 per cent of the field in 1957, 13 failed to start, presumably because
it rained slightly up to No. 1 off,
A. G. Rowe, De Laune C.C.
1 2 1
P. J. Woodburn, Reading Wh.
1 2 30
J. Kavanagh, De Laune C.C.
1 2 44
D. J. Hiley. Weybridge Wh.
1 4 22
W. Lawrance. Charlotteville
1 4 33
J. D. McKeown, Middx. Clarion
1 4 50
T. C. McGavin, Charlotteville
1 4 52
D. G. Hardson, Feltham R.C.
1 4 59
G. F. Anerbury. Worthing Excel.
1 5 1
J. Hockley. Army C.U.
1 5 26
R. Kay. Army C.U.
1 5 32
W. J. Fisher, Norwood Paragon
1 5 50
Team: De Laune
C.C. (Rowe, Kavanagh, M. R. Dongworth, 1-6-42), 3-11-27, 1;
Charlotteville C.C., 2.