Simon Berogna has been bowled over by the bumper entry for Saturday’s time trial on the Perfs Pedal’s Portsdown Hill circuit (11am).
Berogna has organised the event, which is included in the South District Sporting Time Trial Series, on behalf of VC St Raphael.
Chris McNamara obviously rode the Perfs, so he has got five laps headstart on everyone else!Simon Berogna
He had expected around 30 or 40 riders to sign up for the early-season test but was stunned by the response to his small poster campaign.
Berogna said: ‘It was meant to be pretty low key but we have got 88 riders!
‘I did a poster locally to encourage people to enter.
‘I didn’t expect many because it is so early in the season and time triallists don’t usually turn up until the sun comes out!
‘So to have 88 entries is great. We were never looking at those kind of numbers, so I’m very pleased and hopefully it all goes well.
‘They do forecast some rain but hopefully we will miss it.’
Racing will begin with a road-bike category, which has attracted 34 entries, before the full time trial kit is unleashed.
All the riders will set off at one-minute intervals.
Berogna expects an exciting battle, with Chris McNamara, who was 10th in last weekend’s Perfs Pedal for the Nuun Sigma Sport team, off last at 12.30pm.
‘We have some good riders in both categories, so the field is very strong,’ he added.
‘Chris McNamara obviously rode the Perfs, so he has got five laps headstart on everyone else!
‘It should be quite close between some of the locals.
‘You have James Copeland and Gary Chambers from Fareham Wheelers in there and then we (VC St Raphael) have a few riders, too. I’m really looking forward to it.’
Like the Perfs Pedal, the event is based at the D-Day Memorial Hall in Southwick.