After being hit by a van and ending up in Chesterfield Royal Infirmary for a week last year, I was more than a little apprehensive about immersing myself back into the world of time trialling. But, as Dave Brailsford would say, taking part in the Yorkshire VTTA 10 on Saturday was just ‘Part of the process’ of reacquainting myself with my sport.
Following the deaths that have occurred in time trialling since my accident, including that of Karl Austin, I had been seriously questioning whether I still had the heart for it. I came to the conclusion that I would carry on, but cut down the amount of dual carriageway bashing I’d done in the past and just use those type of events as a means to an end i.e. to get qualifying times for the nationals or go for records with my teammates in the revitalised www.drag2zero.com team.
The main reason behind Saturday’s foray over to Yorkshire and the V718 was the former. I’d not completed a 10 since 2009 due to an injury curtailed 2010 and the aforementioned mishap. So, I desperately needed a time that would get me into the National 10 this year, which I’m pleased to say I got with my 20:01.
After going over the line and realising I’d not broken 20 minutes I was a little disappointed, my teammate Jeff Jones had done an amazing 18:09 on there the previous weekend and I was well off that pace. I can’t remember recently when an event on that course was won without recording a 19, so I trundled back to the HQ telling myself’ I’d achieved what I’d gone there for and not to worry about the overall…. but some instincts die hard!
As I was getting changed somebody popped out of the HQ and informed me I’d done the fastest time. I was a little surprised, I’d found it very tough on the return leg into the headwind, with the only respite coming in the last mile as the course turned and I was convinced I’d come in about 5th or something, but that wasn’t the case. I’d pipped Gabriel Martinez of VC Meudon by 6 seconds with Ged Millward of Ikley CC doing a 20:49 for 3rd.
In hindsight the times recorded were no reflection on the quality of the field, but more the conditions. The start had been delayed due to heavy rain and there was a very strong and cold northerly blowing, which pushed through some sleety showers, fortunately none of these occured until after we’d all finished. Unfortunately I was out on my cool down ride with my friend Mike when they did and we got very cold and wet!
So I was pleased because as ‘Part of the process’ I’d achieved what I wanted. There were many things I wasn’t happy with, but that gives me a lot to work on and hopefully significant room for improvement as the season progresses.
Thanks must go to Mike Williams and all the volunteers for organising a really great event.
See you out there and ride safe
1st Charles McCulloch www.drag2zero.com. 20:01
2nd Gabriel Martinez VC Meudon. 20:07
3rd Ged Millward Ilkley CC 20:49
1st Rachel Mellor Holme Valley Wheelers 23:29