I haven’t made it to many time trials this year, mainly due to having a go at circuit and crit racing.
Today I headed up to the U7B with Dan, for his first 10 mile TT and my second ride on the course this year.
I had no energy and really struggled to get going, I only really got on top of the gear for the last two miles where the course flattens out and with a slight tailwind managed to put extra 0.7mph onto my average speed.
This gave me a 22.30 I wasn’t that pleased, as felt I could of got a pb, but just didn’t have the energy!
Last year with numerous rides, I only went under 23 minutes once on the U7B, so with two rides this year both well under 23 minutes I can’t be too disappointed!
Dan picked up a puncture warming up, then the valve came off his spare tube. I found this out as I rolled in after racing, we ran to the car with my spare tube got it fitted and he was off to the start.
Although Dan missed his start time by a couple of minutes, he went off as last rider and posted a 24.06, pretty good for first try with a double puncture on the warm up!
There were Trikes time trialling today, they look amazing and are easy to track stand. There were also some lovely Lopro bikes, including Dans awesome Casati.
Tuesday the 28th saw the first in a series of criterium races at the new Odd Down Cycle Circuit.
I headed over with Ady, we arrived 10 minutes before the start and managed to sign on and get changed just in time.
With no warm up we were off!
The pace was fairly high with riders dropping off regularly the bunch was down to about 15. I was feeling it after an amazing weekend of very hilly riding.
With about 2 laps to go a solo break went with another pair breaking off. I didn’t want to be in a bunch sprinting for 4th place so bridged across to the pair taking Ady with me. As we entered the next lap I moved to the rear of the bunch to take a rest ready for the following final lap. As we entered the last corner before the start finish straight there was a huge sprint where usually the pace slowed. This caught me totally unaware, turns out this was the final lap and that sprint was for the finish line!
I learnt that 30 minutes plus 2 laps, doesn’t mean 2 laps after the bell is rung, total rookie error right there.
Ady absolutely smashed it in his first ever road bike race with a solid 6th place, it looks like BMX and Track experience are pretty transferable skills!
Tom also picked up 10th place in the E123 for BSCC.
It was a great race and well done to Bath Cycling Club for organising.
Saturday saw the Bristol South Open 10. There was a large amount of BSCC riders on the start sheet, I’m sure this was due to the amazing cake at the HQ.
I was first rider off, I later found out it’s tradition for the hosting club to do this, incase a Marshall is missing, you have to get off and direct!
Not My Final Placing.
After shouting, THIS IS F&@KING RIDICULOUS, I finally found the HQ, I’d been there before, but this time I used Apple Maps.
My aim was to go under 23 minutes, I’d only done this once before on a total float day and got a 22.13.
During the first two miles I wanted to give up time trialling, I hadn’t ridden my TT bike for 3.5 weeks and riding so hard was, so hard! It was only once I reached the last two miles that I realised I was on for a decent time. I crossed the line with a 22.20, I was pretty pleased with this. Not quite a pb, but close! I also had a congratulations on my time from Gerry, the winner of the V60 category, this was pretty cool!
Bristol South took the team prize for the day, with the combined time of PJ, Dan and me, being the fastest of three riders from the same club!
This weekend was the first Bristol South CC open event of the year. A 25 mile time trial held on the U17.
With sunshine and warm temperatures, this was a huge contrast from just over a month ago for the Severn RC 25, where it was snowing.
I was aiming for as close to an hour as I could get. I rode a 1.03.43 in Febuary, so had some work to do, but was aiming to at least better that time. With temperatures above zero I was in with a chance.
After a painful ride with some adjustment needed to my saddle angle, I’d managed a 1.01.06 I was really pleased with this. With PJs super fast time and Dan Kempe a few seconds behind me, we had got the team prize for Bristol South! I was 11th of 54, nearly a top ten in an open! Dan B was riding his first ever TT and put in strong time on a spinny 90 gear inch.
Last night was the 15th & final circuit race in the Castle Combe Summer Series. Being the last race, and being a sunny one, we knew it was going to be fast & everyone would be aiming for high placing & a few vital BC points. I rode along side BSCC team mates Christian, Kieran & Tom, I don’t have anything major to report on my own part, but Tom got 2nd place with a sprint finish & pushed himself up to Cat 2 in his first year of road racing! An outstanding result in a fast race with large number of riders. He admitted he rarely gets in the drops, but even he used them at the end of this race, and it all paid off! Ed was also in attendance to take some snazzy photos.
Christian had decided we were going to go hard from the off, I wasn’t so keen as I’m never strong enough to keep up with his pace, but I had a go anyway, and for the first couple of laps Christian & Tom rode the front of the pack, with myself just behind. My personal goal for this race was to stay towards the front of the bunch as much as I could, and to make sure I was in some sort of position to try & get a good place on the final bunch sprint.
I managed to stick to my goal for pretty much the entire race, doing whatever I could to keep high up in what was the fastest race I’ve taken part in (average speed of 27.4mph!), there were a couple of times I felt I had nothing left in my legs, but I kept it going until the last lap.
When that bell rings for the final lap the mood instantly changes amongst the riders, and you can sense that every rider steps it up a gear with the intention of placing high. I knew that if I had any chance of getting a top 10 finish I would need to stay towards the front & push harder than ever whilst the rest of the riders did the same.
I slowly weaved my way through the snaking pack through the chicanes, and into the final corners I was up in around 7th place, with Tom smashing it in the top 3. I stuck to the right of the pack for the final ‘descent’ into the finishing straight, and put the power down hard, only to be over taken by a number of riders down the left hand side. I went for some sort of sprint finish but this only gained me a couple of places, bringing me within the top 25 I’d say, but it’s hard to judge in such a big race. BSCC got some glory though in the fact that Tom’s solo finish bagged him 2nd place & those all important points. Christian brought up the rear with a puncture gained on the final lap, just 4 days after his best ever result. You win some, you loose some.
I have been slacking with race reports on here of late. For example the fantastic Etape De La Defonce deserves a write up for the quality of the race (try PJ’s instead). I managed to bag points in the TTT, 2nd Road Stage & the GC, tipping me over to 3rd Cat. Maybe I have been spending too much time stretching instead of blogging after riding.
Anyway on to the Okehampton CC Brentor Road Race. This was a 3/4 Cat race on the same course as I had ridden a 2/3/4 stage race earlier in the year (click here and scroll down a bit). Knowing whats around the corners helps so much thats for sure. 4 other members of The South where in attendance (all had ridden the 2/3/4 as well), along with about 46 others from various clubs.
There was a dire forecast, Kierans twitter doom mongering was there to remind us of this. Luckily the weather pretty much held, yes the ground was damp and there was some puddles about but aside from one shower it actually held. Bonus.
Lots of things seemed to accidentally happened. I neglected to check my tire pressure but it was bob on for the conditions, I got in an accidental solo break for a large portion of the race.
Now I say it was accidental but we were firing riders off left right and centre in the early laps. Tom, Kieran and Me all had a go but it kept coming back together for the group to diddle up the climb.
It was accidentally good timing when I finally got away though. The lap after the final prime (lap 5) following the downhill drag I pushed through the rolling kick and got a gap. With no reaction from the bunch I pushed it on a little bit more and rode threshold up the climb. Next time I looked back they were out of sight.
Scenarios start to run through you head, psychologically and tactically it is a big thing to be out of sight. Even better then that when the Commi’s put a car between me and the bunch I knew it was pretty good . I decided to manage my effort as worst case I would get brought back and one of the others could attack. I knew the bunch had been slacking on the downs and going relatively slow up the climb. I rode the climb in the low 90′s of my max HR and most of the rest just below 90. The first time I have properly used my HR monitor in a race, knew it would come in useful at some point….
I crossed the finish line in the lead again on the next lap. At this point I realised the move could actually stick as the rest of the riders where still out of sight. I went to take on my last gel and dropped it, hoping this wasn’t a sign for potential fading energy! A couple of cars snuck onto the course in front of me despite the best efforts of the marshalls as well, I wasted a tiny bit of energy shouting at the drivers, they were moved on rapidly by the lead cars though.
I was joined just after the beginning of the last lap by Andrew Feather, who I knew was a strong rider. He had smoked a lot of people at The Only Way Is Up Road Race so I knew he would do me on the final climb here. When he joined I had a quick word to suggest we share the load which he was receptive to. In reality it was quite even but I did bigger turns on the downhill sections where he was slowing, my interest was in ensuring that this move stayed out. There was a sketchy moment on the final corner where we both nearly went down in a patch of gravel. True to my predictions he rode me of his wheel on the climb, a quick look behind showed I had plenty of a gap to take 2nd!
With a big solo effort involved I was well happy. My results have just kept improving through the season and the rest of the boys commented I had been due a good result. It’s nice to know others had faith in me where I may have been doubting myself slightly.
Lots of things conspired together in this race that meant I got the breaks. It was short race distance, only 37 miles in the end! I had a lot of rest in the week (I was nervous this would hinder me before the weekend, I know long term its not a good plan). I for some reason was given the rope to open up a gap. Tom, Kieran, & Mark patroling the bunch and makign a nusiance of themselves. The team work of Bristol South has been exemplary the season and it’s a real privilege riding with such a good bunch of guys.
To cap it off Tom had come in 8th, chipping away at the points to make 2nd cat. Mark was 11th, knocking on the door of points just again. Kieran came in just behind after a lot of early work, extremely selfless!
I really like the way that as a team we (almost) always look to shape a race rather then waiting for it to take shape. The same happened in the Etape where joining in attacks or creating attacks really worked out for us. Its awesome to see red and gold up the road in races.
Unlike the 2/3/4 race here I was not struggling at the back of the group but riding alone off the front of it, this is testament to how far I have come this season even though it was a lower category race. My personal lap split times where on the whole higher then that race. While 2nd cat is going to be out of touch this year it is definitely something I will aim for next year, I just need to start my charge a bit earlier.
I hit pb’s for two of the three, only missing a third pb, by 5 seconds with a gruesome headwind. I was really happy with the weeks racing and felt good on the bigger gear. I need to keep riding it to increase strength though.
All through the week I was wondering how I was feeling so good and not getting tired. It subsequently hit me this Monday morning when I woke up feeling like crap!
I’m hoping to feel better to ride the Inter Club TT tomorrow night.
Even after attending three events I failed to take a single photo.
This series runs through to August and as I know a couple of the guys from VC I thought I’d head up.
Everyone was really friendly and were quite interested in the fact I was on a fixed gear! There were about 20 or so riders, and with most hardened TTers preferring the Severn Road Club TT on the same night, I was actually in with a chance of winning!
After nearly crashing into a kerb twice on the turn I finished with a time of 23.34, this was enough for the win by 1 second!
I’m going to try and get to this a few more times, as I’m still looking to get under 23 minutes!