I’ve normally got a win or 2 in the bag by this stage of the season, so glad to finally win a race this year – and a National TT Series Round no less! My first National level win was at this same event in 2008, so it’s great to come back and be successfully again. That race back in 2008 was a good power performance: 1:08:28 @ 347W. This time less so at ~330W, but I went 2mins quicker. More speed, less effort – can’t be bad
This week has been work work work (in fact I even just wrote ‘work’ instead of ‘week’). Nightmare. I’ve squeezed in some cycling out of spite, in fact did all the training I wanted to, but very little sleeping and that’s not sustainable. Missed one nights sleep completely, several late nights, and tonight is gonna be another. But hopefully the end of the work is in sight, and I can now think about some early nights and reducing my caffeine consumption to sub-lethal levels.
So the race. What a beautiful place to race. As normal for a Rudy Round, high quality competition, but not much of it. And that’s a shame, as this course is special. As you drop down into Keswick in the car on the way to the HQ the Lake unfolds below you, surrounded by the most severe dramatic mountains. Stunning. The course laps the Lake, and is half twisting lumpy back road, and half smooth and fast dual carriageway (though not major city commuter belt dual carriageway – relaxed Lake District Dual Carriageway which is altogether more pleasant). 2 laps for senior men, 1 for the rest. Actually a very different race for the 2 sets of riders, as the one lappers get over the lumps and then have a flat out drag race down the dual carriageway to the finsh, whereas the 2 lappers have to try and recover on that DC section so they can do battle on the lumpy… erm… backside of the course again. Then when you hit the DC the second time it just hurts.
Had a good chat to Silas Goldsworthy and Alan Thomson of Sandy Wallace cycles while we were getting ready and warming up. Good lads, down from Scotland, so I told them a bunch of fibs about what’s aero. Expect to see them racing with their skinsuits on inside out and their aero helmets on backwards… Was good to see Keith and Sheila from the CTT too – you know you are at a proper race when the VIPs of the CTT are in attendance.
So, into the race, and I felt a bit like I hadn’t slept in days, which wasn’t far from the truth. There was no adrenaline and endorphin powered effortless cruising, just a heavy and dead feeling in my legs. But the power (if not the pleasure) was there. A small section of traffic lights had appeared the night before on the lumpy section of the course, but the organisational prowess apparent at this race was such that an extra timekeeper and observer were dispatched to the offending area to record the time lost by anyone getting stopped. Unfortunately for him, my 2min man Jack Green got stopped on the first lap and hence I caught him just after the lights, but I then struggled to make gains on him for a while as he got back up to the racing speed (you can see him in the background of the pic).
Following a blast down the DC back past the HQ I was actually starting to feel a bit better on the second lap, and attacked the climbs a bit more aggressively. Got through the sweeping bends on the descents quite well too, in 54:11 so 40mph+. But then it was my turn to get stopped at the lights, and was stationary for about 30minutes. Well that’s what it felt like, more likely 30seconds, but that was the end of the good sensations. Stopping and starting is not something that time triallists respond well to.
Got the power back down and through the remaining technical sections, then it was back onto the DC for the run to the finish. Crossed the line satisfied with the effort – not how I’d want to feel at a National Champs, but a pretty good race none the less.
I eventually made it into the HQ to see my time, and was chuffed to see I’d got the win. Phil Graves, International Triathlete extraordinaire was second, but he’s got different races on his mind this year, big Ironmans. Rumour has it he’d already swum a lap of the Lake that morning in training, and post race was riding back to Yorkshire before going for a jog around Leeds, but I don’t know how true all that is. Especially as I just made it up.
Talking of Triathlons – Simon did his first one today and it sounds like he enjoyed the experience. Hopefully it hasn’t affected his bike handling skills too much Nice one mate.
Anyway, thanks to Doug Hall and everyone involved in organising todays race. Well worth entering next year – make a weekend of it. And hopefully I’ll have more wins to report as the season hots up.
Rudy Project Time Trial Series Round 3 – promoted by North DC
- 1st Mark Holton (www.drag2zero.com) 1:06:19 28.047mph
- 2nd Phillip Graves (Clifton CC) 1:09:29 26.769mph
- 3rd Scott Walker (MG Decor Team Carbon BS) 1:09:57 26.590mph
- 1st Lady Rebecca Slack (London Dynamo/Prologue)
p.s. thanks to Brian Jones for sending me the pic so quickly (he does great wedding pics too btw!)