I'm after a road bike up to approx £1000 for commuting (26 miles on road / sustrans), winter training, and some sportive events. I'd like something more race orientated than most winter/audax bikes, but with the ability to fit proper mudguards, and possibly a rack in the future.
The Giant Defy range seems to fit the bill and looks good value. I think a medium compact frame with effective seatube 50cm and effective toptube 54.5 should be right for me at 5'10. I'm not sure whether to go for the Shimano 105 equiped Defy 1 or or Tiagra equiped Defy 2 though. Both are a similar weight at around 19 lbs. Also not sure on double or triple gearing. I'll mainly be riding around the Sussex Downs so plenty of hills in there. I have a good level of bike fitness riding 4-5 times a week.
Any help and suggestions from those with darkside knowledge much appreciated!