Today marked my first race of the season. I’d decided that this year I was going to target courses that I haven’t ridden before with today’s ridiculously hilly V810 in Addingham being one of them.
Unfortunately I didn’t have time to ride the course beforehand therefore I had to ride it ‘blind’. That said, team mate Simon Beldon had given an excellent description of the course which consisted of a couple of words, namely ‘‘it’s horrendous’’. I can confirm the profile of the course is a little bit like this….. /\/\/\/\/\/\/\…
With international triathlete Phil Graves on the startsheet as well as former National Hill Climb Champion, Dan Evans, I knew the win was unlikely but it would be a good test of my early season form.
It was a lovely day to be riding a bike and we were pretty lucky with the weather. It was 4 degrees, the sun was shining and there was a gentle breeze. Knowing that the first 2 miles to the first roundabout were mainly uphill I tried to set off conservatively and save some energy for the fast finish that I had been told about.
My minute man didn’t start but I caught my 2 minute man after a couple of miles and all seemed to be going well, although there was a nagging head wind up all of the main climbs. It was good to see team mate Simon Beldon out in support at the top of one of the climbs hurling words of encouragement.
The miles were ticking by nicely but the relentless nature of the course was starting to tell with my legs giving me a regular reminder that trying to push 400w on the climbs was out of the question.
At 6 miles you take a final left hander for the run in to the finish. I was hoping it would be more down hill than up but I was sadly mistaken, save for the last 1.5 miles which were supersonic.
I stopped the Garmin in 24:07 which was 12 seconds shy of Tejvan Pettinger’s course record. I knew I had ridden fairly well for my first race of the season but looking at the results board I was soundly beaten by Phil Graves who set a new course record of 23:39 and Dan Evans who wasn’t far behind with 23:52.
Last season I would have been disappointed with my ride and proceeded to spend the rest of the week reflecting on my ride. However, knowing this was my first time on the course, where there is lots of time to be gained by knowing the climbs, then I can’t be too disappointed. I also think having a child puts things into perspective. Gone are the days when I could do 14 hours a week training. 7 hours is about as good as it gets these days. I now try and enjoy the time I get on the bike because it’s becoming more and more infrequent. I wouldn’t change it for the world though. There’s no better feeling than coming home to a gleaming 7 month old child. Win or lose, she doesn’t care!
It would be unprofessional of me not to mention our superb sponsors, not least because I know how much it annoys Matt Sinclair! Big thanks to the men at Selectrical Services Leeds Limited, Blake Pond @ No Pinz and the nutrition guys at OTE.
Big thanks to Paul English for giving up his breakfast in bed and coming out to take some photos.