Drop in temperature is biggest Perfs threat

Perfs Pedal race organiser Mick Waite. Picture: Eamonn Deane/localriderslocalraces.co.uk
Perfs Pedal race organiser Mick Waite. Picture: Eamonn Deane/localriderslocalraces.co.uk
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Ice is the only major threat to the 52nd Perfs Pedal.

Weather forecasts for Sunday’s race have temperatures hovering just above freezing.

With no rain expected until next week, only a drop in those figures would put the 74km battle in jeopardy.

Race organiser Mick Waite said: ‘All the time we have this thick cloud, it won’t freeze.

‘They give snow showers on Saturday but all the while it stops above freezing we should be okay.

‘There are still a few puddles around but they don’t give any more rain, so that’s good news.

‘We have a duty of care to the riders but provided it is not awful, we are prepared to do what is required. We’re well used to it now.

‘We’ve had days at Perfs when you could have your coat off but they have been few and far between.

‘As for the wind, it looks like they will get blown up the hill and then turn out of Swivelton Lane into a headwind.

‘That will be tough. It could bail everybody out!’

After more than 130 riders entered, Waite is excited by the final 85-strong field.

He is particularly pleased with the presence of some very promising youngsters, including Junior Tour of Wales winner Fred Wright and British junior road race champion Jacob Vaughan

Waite said: ‘I’m very happy with the field.

‘The juniors will come out better bike riders, although Fred and Jacob are already at that standard.

‘I can’t see past the BIKE Channel Canyon boys for the win, though.’

The Perfs Pedal is based at the D-Day Memorial Hall in Southwick.

With rolling road closures in place, the peloton will set out towards Wickham at 11am and embark on five laps of Portsdown Hill.

After exiting the neutralised zone before the left turn to Boarhunt, they will climb Swivelton Lane and head on to James Callaghan Drive.

At the summit, the riders will turn left and descend back to Southwick.

After five laps, the race will be on to the finish at Hundred Acres Road via Shoot Hill.