Well its been a very hectic few weeks for me, and there is no end in sight looking at the race calendar!
Straight off the back of the National Team Time Trial Silver medal it was back to Plymouth for the National 50 the weekend after. As is well documented this was on an extremely tough hilly course up and down the A38 – not one to suit a big diesel like me! Overall I ended up 7th and won my age group, as good as could have been hoped for against some really quality competition of Bussell, Perry, Davies, Clinton etc…
Anyway since then I have been juggling mid week ’10’s’ with prep for the National 100 next weekend (10th July).
I raced the famous E2/10 course in the East Mids VTTA event well organised & hosted by Pnut… the course is ‘famous’ for a certain Mr Alex Dowsett’s Competition record of 17:20!
I was off early at 7:10, due to work commitments and made it to all 4 events, despite the long travel distances. Unfortunately for us all none were blessed with great weather – in fact I think I got wet at them all, and almost every race this season…… Does my bike know about it with the groans and creaks coming form various bearings!
I managed to win each event in times of 18:19 / 18:39 and a joint 18:37 with Matt Smith from Team Bottrill. The final event coming after a manic day for me workwise which saw me hit the start line with 2 mins to spare – great timing!
In between I had 2 weekends off racing due to a Family wedding and a concious decision to ‘get the miles in’ ahead of the National 100.
This lead me into Sat 3rd June, the main event – another chance at a ‘fast 25’ in the Belper 25, run as the Mark Storey memorial event in which his parents kindly put up a winners trophy and medals for the top finishers. As SSLL racing team we had a great team riding in Joel Wainman, my self and Jon Surtees… all hoping for a good time.
Weather forecast was windy and showers – oh did we get those! On my drive up the A14 was a car park due to accident and then torrential rain… was going to be fun.
I arrived about 3.15pm to what appeared dry and fine conditions, albeit windy. WU went well, until getting stopped at the level crossing in Hilton and only just making it back to the car……. then it rained! Oh did it rain! I arrived at the line as Mark Holton made the sensible decision not to ride – TBH I was in 2 minds it was that wet and cold, and tha is unlike me – I normally start anything. I then remembered back to the Walsall event the previous year, I was 2nd last seed (as here) and just as I started I got a soaking – and the PB’d – sod it lets go!
The start was treacherous, I literally crawled first onto the A-road then round the roundabout up to the DC. then the wind HITS and did it hit. its interesting how the esteemed TT forum is adamant the ‘late starts got the best conditions’ (or was that all those who felt they had a sub standard ride and need yet another excuse?) … ok then, if 8 degrees, p*** wet through and a power to the turn, greater than the ’10’ I rode on Thurs night – for my slowest time EVER to the turn in that event, then fine, but I think not. It was hard and it suited powerful riders as I found it a fight almost every pedal stroke, crawling round roundabouts for fear of wet and traffic .
Coming back was fast, no doubting – but still that was me pushing over 380W in my best aero tuck, *which we all know isn’t very aero but hey!
So I shot down the finish ramp onto the finish approach and managed a HUGE 1 sec PB! TBH I was amazed and pleased. I do not care what anyone says I gave 150% and put out a ride up with my very best in regards power, race planning and execution and time.
So overall it was 2nd for me, just 9 secs behind Steve Irwin who rode a phenomenal ride to return at an average of >56kph!
So overall happy with the result, and the benefits of ‘being old’ – 1st Vet >40 = more prize money!
We were wrongly told SSLL racing team had not won the team prize, on 2nd counting we think we have – so well done team mates!
Many thanks to the organisers, marshalls and the family of Mark for putting the event on… National 100 now next week!