Last night was the first of 3 ‘inter club’ TT races featuring Bristol South CC. This time being a challenge between the South, Gloucester City CC & Dursley Road Club. Myself & Ed entered, both riding for the BSCC collective, it was the first time Ed rode wearing the infamous BSCC jersey, I am still waiting for one for myself.
The course this week was a 10 miles ‘there and back’ in Dursley, a ‘simple’ race against the clock down a relatively straight road, round a mid sized roundabout & back again. This was only my 3rd race of the year, and the first time I’d even been to the Dursley course. What worried me more was the fact that I was running a new 94 gear inch, and I’d found out there are 3 or 4 small hills on course. I put in 20 miles in the afternoon leading up to the race, on my new gear, all on my newly built team issue Dolan, a night of first times.
Each week we have an average Mph goal, stick at this speed & you’ll get a good time, simple. This week Ed had set his sights on a 26mph race which would give him a time of sub 23 minutes. Being one step behind Ed I aimed for a 24mph, which seemed impossible but would get me a time of 25 minutes over the 10 miles. Start time came & I set off 1 minute before Ed, a tactic he enjoys as it means he can chase me down, but something I make the most of by chasing him down once he’s inevitably overtaken me.
I got overtaken as expected, but this just spurred me on the pedal harder than I ever have done, keeping an eye on my average speed the whole time & trying to keep it above the magical 24mph. This task sounded impossible pre race, but after a drop in speed at the halfway roundabout my average crept up & up, untill I was sat at the 23.7mph mark for a while. I pushed & pushed harder than I ever thought I could, the hills feeling harder on the way back, and I crossed the line with an average of 23.9mph. Unbelievable. I felt like crying, whether it was due to the pain in my legs, the joy of nearly hitting the 25 minute mark, or the disappointment that I ended up 7 seconds off my target with a 25:07. Either way, I should be super happy with my time, and although I didn’t make the top 10 I put in my best & hardest performance so far. Next time I have target to smash that’s for sure.
Ed put in another blistering performance but closely missed out in his 23 minute goal by bagging himself a 23:12. We’re both super happy with our results, but next time in the Dursley course we’ll be aiming to break these times that’s for sure. This post could have been called ‘so close but yet so far’ but I’m expecting this to happen later on in the season, so we’ll save that for another day.