Otley 10 – Race report by Mad Max McMurdo

This weekend brought two races, one either day. Saturday was the Otley 10 mile open time trial on the V212, not a course renowned for fast times. But it’s pretty local so it would’ve been rude not to ride.
I woke up Saturday morning to some rather grey skies and low temperatures, and a forecast that looked like worse was yet to come.
On the half hour drive there I encountered rain, hail and sunshine. We parked up signed on and I went to get changed. Pinning numbers on now is a thing of the past with my Nopinz skinsuit, so I’ve now got more time to “get in the zone”
My dad, (team hero) had got my bikes out and turbo. Ready for me to start my warmup. I’d slapped on some deep heat on my legs to try and give myself a chance of keeping warm.
I got on the turbo turned on my Garmin plugged my headphones on and got pedalling. 200 watts… 300 watts… 400 watts… 500!! Today was gonna be a good day!
I took a gel and rode to the start line, getting there 5 mins before to relax for a few seconds.
30 seconds to go I clipped in, 20 seconds to go I tightened my shoes, 10 seconds to go I started my Garmin. 3…2…1… Off I went straight into a 20 mph tailwind, I was off!
I started off with a measured effort with that headwind 5.5 mile return leg clear in my mind. I got to the turn at the roundabout in about 8 mins having averaged over 55 kmh.
I got myself into an uncomfortable but sustainable rhythm. Looks like I was in for a right hard time to the finish. There are quite a few drags on the way back and these weren’t half exaggerated with the force of the wind battering away. I could see more dark clouds closing in and all of a sudden pitter patter on my helmet. It was rain…
Thankfully I was in the final run in with about 2 miles to go. I saw my teammate and 3rd place overall pass me on the other side of the road, I didn’t envy him one bit!
I got to the end shaking, not just because of the cold but because of the effort! I’d gone pretty hard and I’d forgotten how hard these Time trials can be!
My dad was there at the finish to congratulate me, make sure I was ok, and what was most important to me right then was get warm! I got back to the car quickly put on my trackies and jumped in the car.
I was happy with my performance. I felt good, but I wasn’t expecting too much in the overall results in what I considered a strong field. I looked through the times and I was 4th! One place behind my teammate Jon wears. 1st and 2nd were Phillip Graves and Stephen Burke.
Grinning like a Cheshire Cat, we drove home and I went into recovery mode for tomorrow’s road race.

Danum Trophy, a big Elite race in the calendar. 60 miles (10 laps of a 6 mile circuit) and hilly ones at that. A strong field on the start list with riders from Raleigh, Madison Genesis, Neon Velo, VCUK just naming a few.
I got on the start line and was first wheel behind the car, I thought I’d give myself every advantage as I could. The flag dropped and it was carnage! As expected! I hadn’t seen the climb prior to the race so I was expecting the worst. We flew up it the first few times. Big ringing up a 10+% climb covered with potholes wasn’t easy.
I’ve heard from a few mates that a 10 before a road race is a good warmup. I felt strong and was really enjoying myself. I was loving the circuit, even if it was rather too hilly for me to really figure.
I was popping gels and eating as much as I could, to keep me going up that climb over and over each lap.
A break went and I tried to go with it up the climb but unfortunately couldn’t get on the back of the group and ended up rolling round in the group for the remainder of the laps. I put in a dig going over the long drag up to the finish with 1 lap to go in an attempt to close the gap or even bridge solo to the break. It was to no prevail. I accepted the fact that I would be sprinting for minor placings. I downed the rest of my bottle, slot into the main group and went with a couple of last minute digs all of which were brought back within seconds. I gave it everything in the sprint and finished towards head of what was the second group on the road. I was very pleased with that for a hilly (4000+ft of climbing) road race.
I’m happy with my form and loving racing!
Bring on next weekend at Rutland.

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