Chris McNamara convincingly won the VC St Raphael 16.5-mile time trial on Saturday – a week after finishing 10th at the Perfs Pedal on the same course.
The Worthing-based rider clocked 38min 10sec for the two-lap test on the Portsdown Hill circuit.
It was dodgy on the downhills, absolutely rapid across the top, crosswinds on the descent and the exposed section on the steep part was lethalGary Chambers
That earned him a 30-second winning margin over Fareham Wheelers talent Gary Chambers, with NOPINZ rider Dean Robson a further 35 seconds adrift in third place.
McNamara said: ‘It is a fantastic course. Obviously I know it well from the Perfs.
‘The wind was the biggest factor on Saturday and I am so glad I did not use super deep front wheels.
‘It was incredibly sketchy on the main road downhill, you had to come off the tri bars and try to stay upright.
‘I felt pretty confident. The plan was to ride a negative split but I didn’t quite manage it.’
Second-placed Chambers was joined in the top four by his Fareham Wheelers team-mate James Copeland, who finished the course in 39.29.
Organiser Simon Berogna was fifth in 40.10 for hosts VC St Raphael.
Chambers said: ‘The first race of the season is always a nervous one.
‘I was pretty nervous on Saturday morning because you never know how you are going.
‘It was windy and that was the main thing. It was dodgy on the downhills, absolutely rapid across the top, crosswinds on the descent and the exposed section on the steep part was lethal.
‘You were unable to pedal really, so I was just trying to keep my position and get down.
‘I live locally, so I ride the course quite a lot in training. I did a lap the other week on my training wheels and I knew I was going pretty well compared to that.
‘I am happy with the result. I wanted top three. You always want to win but I know Chris is top rider.’
A large field of 88 riders faced the timekeeper in drizzling rain for the early-season race, which forms part of the new South District Sporting TT Series.
In the road bike event, Kim Little recorded 41.22 to finish more than a minute clear of Ross Phelps (42.25), with Sotonia rider James Peckham third in 43.05.
Little said: ‘It was good – the hills suited me. I went hard on the first lap, the tailwind on the top section made it fast.
‘I rode with a power meter but it was hard to keep to a number with the hills. I enjoyed it, though.
‘It was an excellent event and I think there should be more hill time trials.’
Andrew Langdown and Paul Helyer, both of Blazing Saddles, placed fifth and sixth in times of 43.35 and 43.53.
Meanwhile, Portsmouth North End’s Nick Andrews clocked 44.31, which was enough to see him finish ninth.
The A3crg 10 takes place next Saturday at Liphook. Another bumper field of 110 riders, twice last year’s number, will get to try out the course being used for the National 10-mile Championships in August.
Time trial (top 10): 1 Chris McNamara (Nuun Sigma Sport) 38.10; 2 Gary Chambers (Fareham Wheelers) 38.40; 3 Dean Robson (NOPINZ) 39.15; 4 James Copeland (Fareham Wheelers) 39.29; 5 Simon Berogna (VC St Raphael) 40.10; 6 Charles Mitchell (A3crg) 40.15; 7 Dave Dent (Offshore) 40.46; 8 Thomas Key (Southampton University) 40.59; 9 William Flemming (VC Venta) 41.00; 10 Simon Healy (Andover Wheelers) 41.01
Road bikes (top 10): 1 Kim Little (Gillingham & District Wheelers) 41.22; 2 Ross Phelps (Royal Leamington Spa) 42.25; 3 James Peckham (Sotonia) 43.05; 4 Bob Richardson (Bournemouth Jubilee Wheelers) 43.15; 5 Andrew Langdown (Blazing Saddles) 43.35; 6 Paul Helyer (Blazing Saddles) 43.53; 7 Sebastian Ader (A3crg) 44.06; 8 Tim Wallis (Southampton University) 44.23; 9 Nick Andrews (Portsmouth North End) 44.31; 10 Ed Slot (Southampton University) 44.37