Archive | July, 2013

London Dynamo Summer RR E12

29 Jul

Today was the annual London Dynamo Summer Road Race – its an e123 race that is run on a different course each year (from what I can tell?). This year they decided on my favorite…The Milland Hill Course, if you look back you can see I’ve raced two or 3 times on this circuit now. The long and short of this one is that its fairly flat for most of the 7.2 mile circuit, but there is a short, very steep (25% peak) hill running up to the finish, followed by a bit of a drag. Because the circuit is quite short we were to do the climb 10 times, to make a race distance of around 75 miles. Its not a circuit that suits me all that much really, the hill is so steep that it doesn’t favor my usual approach of brute power to get my up it faster than others, as power/weight is key up here, and also traction is an issue, the more you stamp the pedals the more likely you are to get wheel slip. So I wanted to just ride hard and stick with the main guys and see what happened.

There were a few teams that had numbers, Felt, Pedalheaven namely, but Dynamo had 4 or so too, so it was always going to be an interesting one to see who marked who, and how PH with 9 guys played their hand. Being a lone rider in these situations is sometimes good as you can just go with the moves you think look good. We got started and right away the pace was high as per usual. The first time up the hill was actually perhaps one of the worst; the previous night had seen heavy rain and some of the circuit is very covered by trees and this meant that much of the circuit was damp making the hill almost impossible. As soon as you started to get out of the saddle wheels were slipping everywhere, this meant that it had to be done seated, which is no easy feat. But I was pleased to get up it in fairly good shape.

On the second lap Chris McNamara and a felt rider got away, which saw the rest of the PH guys mark most of the subsequent moves for the ext few laps. It was clear that the hill was putting people in trouble, and every time up it people would get gaped, and then up the drag onto the main road wheels would be lost and that would be that. I will have to check the results when they come out, but I would say certainly 5-10 people were getting dropped per lap. I followed the wheels and tried to get into a few moves, but nothing much was doing, and with a lap or so to go I was starting to really feel the hill. Into the last lap a few people slipped away, I was in no position to be going with that move so tried to make sure going up the hill the last time I was near the front, which I was, but as soon as it started ramping up and people started romping away it was clear my legs were not going to allow that, so I kept going the best I could and had my own tussle with Martin Smith of AW cycles for 20th or so place haha!

Pedal Heaven won with Dante, and also placed 2nd (possibly Chris?) so a successful day out for those guys, later some people felt they strangled the race with numbers, which I suppose is one way of looking at it, but if the races at this level allow teams to enter 8-9 guys then that is what they will do, they made it work, I’ve seen other clubs with those kinds of numbers in races and they have failed to get anyone in the top ten in some cases! So its not a given.

Will check the results when they come out, but I would estimate that maybe a 3rd of the field finished, lots of good riders didn’t make it round, so I was pleased that I had the legs to get round without ever REALLY being in trouble, and it bodes well for a slightly more suitable circuit, of which I think there are a couple I’ve got in the diary.

Just over 3 hours with a NP of 340w paints the picture and goes some way to explaining why my legs ached a bit on the single speed into work today!

Ride here –

Two races!

21 Jul

Bletchingley 2/3

Last weekend saw a return to racing after the disappointment of not winning the Tour Of Sussex. It was back to Bletchingley for Dulwich’s 2/3 race. As I am sure you may know, I’ve raced the circuit around 3 times in the last year with varying success. However today was the first time in a year or so that the full circuit has been open, so it had the usual drag finish hill and also a steep 12% job down the bottom of the circuit.

The long and short of this race was that I was going to try and set it up for Gareth as its a finish that didn’t really suit me all that well. I had been to a mates BBQ the night before and got steaming drunk, which I don’t think helped matters!

We rolled round in the blistering heat, a few splits occurring, as much on the fast downhill as anywhere else. One meudon chap managed to get away and won solo, which is a great ride! It got down to the last lap and Gareth said it would be useful if I could string it out and reel in any late breaks – I did just that, 4-5 mins at high pace and I strung the bunch out and reeled in 4 people that tried to get away. Gareth flew off up the hill when I peeled off and bagged 7th. He went a bit early but showed he has good legs for this kind of circuit. Confident next time out he will know how to pace the last hill for a win.

Seale 2/3

Been a hectic week or so. Some good news in that I managed a pb both time and power on our club ten, so was looking in ok shape. I’ve also recently bought a Genesis Flyer single speed for work duties and its great fun. Though dropping people up the hills in the park only for them to fly by you on the downhill as you’re spinning out is irritating! A good week of riding and a good hard threshold workout with Gareth in the park on Friday was just what I needed.

This weekend I was moving house into our first purchase, so to be honest I was feeling a bit guilty racing, but much work was done on the Saturday, so much so I had no time for a pre race spin and my whole body ached this morning after lugging heavy furniture about all day.

Today I was quite keen to get those 16 points needed to get the first cat license in the bag. It was a short circuit at around 4 miles, plenty of corners to sprint from and a couple of hills to split things up a bit. A fairly small 50 man field for today’s race, which was hosted by Wyndymilla. As we arrived the women’s race was just finishing, great news to hear Maryka of KW had done the business in the women’s race to take the win. With 6 of us in the men’s we should have been able to do something.

The race got off to a bad start when a meudon rider hit the deck quite hard in the neutral section, but we were soon underway. My legs felt pretty decent despite the hard labour yesterday. So I was keen to make them count. The first couple of laps were a find your feet situation, and with 14 laps to do it was welcome!

A few laps gone and I was keen to test the water I romped away up one of the hills but was shut down (and kind of gave up as it wasn’t going far) but it did confirm the ‘good sensations’ in the legs. A few more times I tried with various people to get away and the best we did was about half a lap away. At this point Lawrence of AW cycles who has shown he can race at Prem Cal level got away with a GS Avanti rider, I think I was a bit blocked in as I didn’t see it go. They built up a good gap. And at the half way point of the race a around 30 miles they had over a minute on the bunch. Which wasn’t too bothered about chasing unless someone tried to get away that is!

I dropped back and saw Gareth was biding his time at the back, I said that I felt good and that I fancied myself in a sprint up the final hill, he said he would try and get away and let me mop up the rest if so. I said that we could probably both get away if we went hard enough, he agreed and a lap or so later we decided on the point to do so. I followed his wheel as we went up the outside of the bunch. People saw what we were doing but we did it anyway. Gareth went off the front and I came through and kept it quick up to a horrid left hand turn, I was taking the turns faster than Gareth who had been having confidence issues about throwing it into the bend. It wasn’t such an issue though. We went hard up up the hill and were joined by Charlotteville and Dynamo, they sat on until I asked one to come through, which he did, we lost the dynamo, and as we went through the lap board which I think showed 3 or 4 to go I pushed hard and we dropped the other guy too. Just Gareth and I again, which was good as I knew he would commit and his turns would be strong. We quickly established a gap, and every time I looked back I saw nobody, this was good. We we getting shouted time gaps, and with one lap to go my mum said 30 secs to front two and 50 secs to chasers, which was a lap out of date so we were closing fast on Lawrence and co and moving away from the bunch. On the last half of the last lap we got Lawrence in sight, I thought it was going to be perfect and I’d sprint past them to the line, sadly as I hit the last corner and left Gareth as he said he wouldn’t be able to take it as quick and would take the 4th I could see the other two just crossing the line, which was a shame, I rolled over for 3rd with Gareth just behind. And then a fair gap back to our brief break companions and then the bunch.

Over 35 mine we had closed a 2-2.30 gap down to around 8 seconds, which was a hell of an effort, not quite enough for the win but a solid ride I feel. I bagged enough points to get to 1st cat and Gareth took another strong placing after beating pedal heavens finest in a handicap midweek for another victory in a great season for him. He’s fast making a name for himself and if he wanted to u don’t doubt could get join me as another KW 1st cat.

A great way to finish the weekend, only to be brought back down to earth by moving two bengals into the new house, not a good experience for the soft flesh or ears!!

A great season so far, accomplished many goals including winning a race, I’ve won 2 road races and a couple of stages along with a few TT’s I make it around 20 months since that first outing as a 4th cat at Hillingdon to today, learnt a hell of a lot and have got a bit fitter too!

Got a few interesting road races lined up and I might try and free up some time for another shot at the club 10/25 record if I get a good day on the right course – position is better, power is higher so if I can get the right day I should be able to get close to the high benchmark Steve has set this year.

As such with the new house I’ve not got Internet just yet so Strava will have to wait for a day or so 😦

Tour of Sussex Stage Race

8 Jul

Finally this race was upon us! I had been looking forward to this for some time, not least because I’d been in good form, but also as I really enjoyed my forays into multiday racing earlier in the year with the Toachim GP and obviously the Tour Of The Milburys.

This was a 3 stage affair run over the course of a weekend, 50 mile flat road stage, 2.5 mile TT, and then 50 mile hilly road stage. Time bonuses of 30 secs for winners of road stages down to 10 secs for 3rd place. With all this in mind it was set to be a good race. I had a very strong set of guys with me, Damien Breen, Andy Lack, Seamus Kelly (guess where he’s from?) and Gareth Thomas who had been lighting it up so far this season. We did have Nathan also on the start sheet but he took a tumble a couple of weeks prior so sat this one out sadly. I was staying down in Eastbourne along with a couple of others, I’d dragged my partner Lucy along for the fun and games too!

Stage 1

This was pan flat, a nice circuit which was fast and had a slightly uphill sprint. The idea for this one was to cover the breaks, perhaps send a couple of guys up the road early to test the water and if that didn’t work try to set it up for a sprint for me.


We got off to a start down in Lewes after the Mayor gave us a wave off, and the pace was quick when we did hit the circuit, but perfectly manageable given the lack of elevation! Early on we got Andy up the road and he stayed away for a time. All the while I was just sitting in trying to conserve energy. Eventually Andy came back mainly due to the arrow straight Roman Road down one side of the course, would take around 2-3 mins to get out of sight there. A few things tried to go, but nothing of note, a few shouting matches between some of the riders and before we knew it the lap board came out and showed 3 laps to go (I think). It was around this point that Stu Spies of Dynamo and Mike Lancaster of Dynamo chipped off, they went off hard, and started to pull time. It was looking ominous, they got out to a minute which is a fair gap on a circuit like that. Soon this danger was noted by the KW team, and what ensued was a textbook display of a team working as one, everyone took turns to bring this back, Gareth was putting in some big old turns, and slowly we reeled them in, Lewes boys took a turn or two and before we knew it they were almost caught. I moved to do a turn as I felt a bit guilty just sitting in, but Gareth told me to get back and save myself, so I duly obeyed πŸ˜‰

Into the last lap it was all together, I said to Gareth and Damien that they would be best off saving their legs to try to stretch it out near the end to make it less chaotic. As we stormed down the Roman Road I was jostling for position, and out of the dead turn about 1 mile from the finish Gareth put in a monster dig, so big that he flew off the front with one in tow, I got over and looked back, the bunch was in a straight line, possibly a bit early, but it was good, he kept going, I could feel his pain, and he put in ANOTHER dig to keep it fast, at this point we maybe had 500m to go and I could see the flags in the distance. Soon the bunch had swarmed, and I said to Gareth to move left a bit so I could get through, to this day I have no idea how I got a line, numerous people have said that they planned to get my wheel but thought I’d be boxed in. The pace hotted up and Alex from Dulwich opened it up and got a couple of bike lengths with around 100m to go, I thought I couldn’t let the guys do all that work and not win! I started sprinting (in the hoods like a chopper, but it was uphill πŸ˜‰ ) and soon gained on him, went past him, and then if the pics are anything to go by won by a bike length or two.

I turned round and thanked all the guys who all did a great amount of work for me to win this stage, Gareth was delighted as I don’t think it was possible to see who had won from behind. So stage 1 down and 30 sec bonus in hand we were looking good. A yellow jersey presentation followed before we went to the pub for ten pints! Not really, just a chat about how we may play the stages going forward – but before all that, an uphill TT needed to be done, the words that strike fear into a man the wrong side of 75kg πŸ˜‰


Photo here near the finish line from Pauline Unwin of Meudon


Stage One 6th July – Lewes – Laughton – 51 Miles Road Race
1. Rob Sharland Kingston Wheelers 2 2:04:10 (30sec bonus)
2. Alex Ioannides Dulwich Paragon CC 2 ST (20sec bonus)
3. Richard Unwin VC Meudon 2V ST (10sec bonus)
4. James Walsby Catford CC 3 ST
5. Mark McCullagh Dulwich Paragon CC 2V ST
6. James Local London Dynamo 2 ST
7. Michael Williams Dulwich Paragon CC ST
8. Gavin Morton VC Meudon 2 ST
9. Luke Farren Brighton Mitre 2V ST
10. Marc Townsend Neon-Velo 3 ST

Stage 2

After we had eaten and checked in to the hotel I had about an hour to get ready before my start time which was the last of the day thanks to the win earlier on. I’d been told it was 3.2 miles with a flat bit, then a hilly bit, then a flattish drag, so in my mind it was TT bike territory. Little did I know it was not quite that long, or flat, it was around 2.3 miles with a little bit of flat either side of a fairly tasty climb. But knowing I can get the power out in the TT position I wasn’t too put off by this news. Though Gareth was a bit annoyed as he was saving a bit for the mile that never came.

I was hearing that quick times were near 7 mins, and Mike from VC Meudon had done a 7.06 which seemed quick given till I was up our team had not got below 7.30. I set off and it was hard work, still well into the 20’s I was quickly sweating like a dog! I wanted to try to ride to my powermeter for the first couple of mins as I knew what I’d done for 10 mins in the past (around 410w) so had in my mind around 440w or so would probably be about right for the duration. I set off hard and kept it there, staying seated most of the time, I got to the top of the hill and sprinted out of the saddle up the steep left kick and could see the line in the distance, it was quickly clear I wasn’t getting near Mike’s time, but I wouldn’t be a million miles away, I stopped the clock on 7.21 (and managed 450w which was a surprise) which when back at the HQ was good enough for 5th place, so not bad at all, and it didn’t put us in a bad position for the last stage. I was still leading with Mike as my nearest competitor 15 secs back.

Stage Two 6th July – Eastbourne – Beachy Head – 2.5mile Hill Climb TT
1. Mike Lancaster VC Meudon 2 0:07:06
2. Andrew Feather Exeter Wheelers 3 0:07:08 @ 0:00:02
3. James Lowden Lewes Wanderers 2 0:07:15 @ 0:00:09
4. James Local London Dynamo 2 0:07:15 @ 0:00:09
5. Rob Sharland Kingston Wheelers 2 0:07:21 @ 0:00:15
6. Michael Coyle Brighton Mitre 2V 0:07:22 @ 0:00:16
7. Stuart Spies London Dynamo 2 0:07:23 @ 0:00:17
8. Mark Smith Crawley Wheelers 3V 0:07:25 @ 0:00:19
9. James Walsby Catford CC 3 0:07:29 @ 0:00:23
10. Jamie Francis London Dynamo 3J 0:07:31 @ 0:00:25


Stage 3

This was always going to be the decider to be honest, the course wasn’t long at 47 miles, but it was hard. It started down on the sea front which meant we had to go up the hill climb route before we even got onto the circuit. Once on the circuit it was a mix of rolling roads, fast descents and a long long drag into a headwind that was around 1.5 miles long. All this in a featureless landscape atop Beachy Head in 29 deg! Still, I wasn’t moaning (at first) as it was stunning and totally different from the usual courses in Surrey/Kent etc.

We rolled out and it was clear that people were up for this, and as we hit the early slopes of the hill Andrew Feather of Exeter and a chap from Lewes CC battered it off the front and smashed the race to bits, these two boys were flying. I was quick to get into a small group behind them as people began falling out the back straight away. We got onto the circuit and a group of 8 had got away with a few strong men in the mix. Gareth and Damien had made it to this group with me, but sadly Andy and Seamus had not managed to make the bridge, so we were down to 3. Gareth and Damien wasted little time in getting on the front the drag it back, and that is what they did, a fantastic job, the first of many times I’d been amazed at the effort put in for the KW win. With it all back together the guys slipped back to get a rest, I was in the wheels just covering anything that happened ahead of me. With 4 laps left to go a move went, a Dynamo and Crawley rider went, Damien chased down, but quickly found himself in no mans land, so carried on to get over to them. They rode together quite strongly and pulled out a sizeable gap, I wasn’t too concerned with this, it gave us a break and prompted Meudon to chase, which they soon did, and slowly it all came back together. But before we did make the junction James Walsby of Catford who I’ve raced with quite a few times chipped off the front. To be honest, I wasn’t concerned, I knew James was a bit of a nutter and liked to suffer and was of the opinion he would suffer like a dog in the wind and rule himself out. However, he got up to the leading 3 and rode past them. Once we got up to those 3 James was visible up the road, maybe had 20 secs or so. I was still not too worried. I don’t think Damien was too happy with his judgement in hindsight, but I don’t think it had a negative effect.

We rode on and with 2 laps to go James had 30 odd seconds, it was with maybe 1.5 laps to go that Gareth hit the front again, he hit it hard, I was concerned it was a bit early so tried to call him back so we could go hard on the hill, either way the pace hotted up as we followed Gareth. He dug in hard, and once back round to the hill things were getting desperate, we had only a few miles left and James was still up ahead maintaining a decent gap. Gareth hit the front again and I was finding it tough to hold his pace but I wasn’t the only one and his pulls split the bunch, he was spent, told me it was my time, which I knew it was, but I was so hot and legs aching I had very little give over the top of the hill. Or so I thought, two attacks came, first from Lewes I think, I responded, it hurt. Then after the bunch had fractured, Mick Coyle from Brighton came through hard with Keith Lea in two, I knew I had to respond to this or it would be curtains, I dug in again and we got clear with about 7 others, this was the selection made, sadly Gareth was done, and no wonder, he buried himself all day (weekend) and it was down to me.

Gareth doing the business

We got working eventually over the top to try to cut back James lead, conscious that he would be as quick as the bunch down the hill into the finish, I led the group down the hill, got held up by NEG on one corner, but fairly clear otherwise, I HAD to win the sprint to be in with a shot of retaining the lead. The sprint was downhill so a fast one, I could see the line in the distance and nobody was coming through as I sat on the front, I knew I was going to have to lead it out. Enough was enough and with around 200m to go I opened it up and took the win. We then had a two-hour wait to find out who had won, it was going to be close. I personally thought James had it by a few secs despite what others had said.

After a fish and chips I sauntered into the hall to the presentation, lots of prizes were awarded, last rider, points Jersey (which I won), stage winner of hill climb etc, I was just concerned with one thing, the GC. They read it out in reverse order, 3rd Andrew Feather of Exeter who did a great ride, and is also now a 1st cat I think, and then the moment of truth….

I’d not managed it and was 2nd to James by 12 seconds, be interested to know what it was made up of as James told me he had got 30 secs on us which would have meant he would have won by 2 secs, but one of the marshals mentioned a time bonus for being held up or similar. But all in all it was not important, he had done a storming ride, and certainly surprised me and a few others I think (not least himself, he said he got cold he rode so deep!) so richly deserved and couldn’t have gone to a nicer guy.

The guys were a bit down I think, as was I, but so many positives to take from the weekend, we rode like a unit, and almost delivered on a stage that on paper shouldn’t have had me in the mix at all, let alone winning a bunch kick from a select group. I don’t want to be that boring bloke who keeps yapping on about his team, but I can see why Cav does it, it really is special when you get a few guys working for you and when it comes good its amazing, when it doesn’t its deflating, but they couldn’t have done more. And I’ll surely be able to pay Gareth and co back soon enough. Maybe I could give him my free haircut in Lewes that I won for the points Jersey? πŸ˜‰

1 James Walsby Catford CC 3 7 2:04:50 @ 0:00:00
2 Rob Sharland Kingston Wheelers 2 28 2:05:30 @ 0:00:40
3 Darrell Pembroke VC Meudon 2 51 2:05:30 @ 0:00:40
4 James Lowden Lewes Wanderers 2 30 2:05:30 @ 0:00:40
5 Andrew Feather Exeter Wheelers 3 24 2:05:30 @ 0:00:40
6 Keith Lea Addiscombe CC 2V 1 2:05:30 @ 0:00:40
7 Michael Coyle Brighton Mitre 2V 3 2:05:30 @ 0:00:40
8 Gavin Morton VC Meudon 2 54 2:05:30 @ 0:00:40
9 Alex Ioannides Dulwich Paragon CC 2 22 2:05:30 @ 0:00:40
10 Stuart Spies London Dynamo 2 38 2:05:30 @ 0:00:40

A great weekend nonetheless, 15 points is all I need to get to 1st category which is pleasing with plenty of the season left. Might have a crack at some more fast TT’s now to see if I can trouble Steve’s records again (though the git keeps lowering them).

Rides here – (data dodgy till 45 min point when I calibrated again)

Richmond Park TT / Alton CC 10

1 Jul

A weekend of being a tester was the order of the day(s) for the weekend just gone. Saturday was a 10 on the Bentley course (H10/8 for those in the know), and Sunday was my second bite at the cherry at the second event of 3 in the Richmond Park TT series. I hadn’t told anyone but I wanted to win both and do a half decent time on the Bentley course.

Saturday – Bentley

This was hosted by Alton CC, to be honest given I grew up very close by and went to Alton College, until very recently I didn’t know they had a cycling club, so it was a nice surprise to see the name in the Handbook. My only other time on this course was back last summer where I had attempted a 25 on the road bike. I was going well, until around mile 14 and hit a hole by the Hen & Chicken pub and got a flat. So I took a few mins to drive the course just to spot any big holes before I rode it. Sure enough most of the worst of it was very close to where I’d come a cropper last time – mentally noted.

I’d had a skim over the start-sheet and I only recognised a couple of names, Richard Prebble was riding, so I was looking forward to bench-marking myself against him as he’d beaten me earlier in the year in the Redhill 18. It was a great day of weather, apparently not the fastest day having spoken to people after, but it felt OK to me. Got off to a start and made sure to put a bit more effort in on the outward leg as there was a vague headwind, felt like I was going quite well, got to the turn in good time knowing that the return was quite quick and that there would be an element of tailwind. What was proving tough was how warm I was getting, and also holding the latest position on the bike was making my shoulders and neck ache a bit, but I knew how much narrower I was if I could hold my shoulders together etc, so just put up with it.

Got past the Hen and Chicken on the way back and was feeling OK, speed was looking good, it was about this point where I realised a 19 wasn’t on the cards but a lower 20 was, so I motored on, the last couple of miles are very quick, and I felt like an extra gear would have been nice at times, may look at getting 55/42 but not sure how practical that would be on the road given I use the same powermeter chainset!

Anyway, a final effort for the line and I stopped the garmin at 20.22, felt like I’d had a good ride, legs certainly felt spent (though made worse by saddle being a bit too low). Rolled back up to the HQ and saw Richard outside, he’d done a 20.45, I think, I wandered in and sure enough Richard was quickest to that point, with Phil Ember of KW in 3rd. So a nice way to start the weekend. Thanks to Alton CC for promoting.

Sunday – Richmond Park TT

This was a last minute effort to rectify my awful ride at the first event, where I took a little tumble on one of the roundabouts, which probably cost me a podium. So I was keen to at least get a clean ride on the course to see if I could at least get up there again.

Having scanned the startlist, the competition was not quite as strong as last time as no Martin, and no Steve. However there was Rob Moore who rides for Phoenix, I’ve raced in a few races that Rob has and its clear he has a huge engine, I remember him towing our group back on at my first race at Palace. So being the geek I am I knew Rob was capable of some serious power, so had it in my head that he was the competition for the top step. I was off last and he was off 30 secs ahead of me.

On the day my legs felt ok, but for some reason I could feel the 10 from the previous day in them, and the beer/German sausage overload of the night before surely wasn’t the ideal prep, but I’d rather have done that than a Nat b road race the day before as Rob had… Got myself up there had a quick chat with Gareth who had stormed to victory in the road cat in 25.05, which is nearly 40 secs quicker than my winning time last year and a minute quicker than Aaron’s winning time a couple of weeks back. Rapid.

I trundled down to the start, man of the moment Mike Debney was pusher off, it was sure to be a good battle as Martin said as Rob went off down the road. I got going and settled into a rhythm, I was keen to change a couple of aspects of my ride today, firstly stay on the bike, and secondly ride the hills a bit smarter. So when I got to the first steep ramp I employed Steve’s tactic of smashing up it out of the saddle, not the most elegant, but I was sure it was the quickest way – (as you can see Jason captured the moment perfectly – check out some of his other shots, some good stuff on there).

As I approached the turn at Kingston Gate which is about half way I could see a Phoenix Rider coming the other way, and my first thought was ‘shit’ as I thought it was Rob and if it was he’d taken 30 secs out of me already, it was only when I got very close to the turn that I did see Rob, and I thought I’d maybe gained a few seconds on him, so was feeling positive. Back up the long drag to Richmond and I couldn’t really see him, I took that turn super easy as to not have a repeat of last week and then took the hill at speed. There was a nice wind pushing down there and 40 mph felt easy at times, so I was careful not to push on too much as it would be wasted effort. Into the final turn I caught a glimpse ahead of Rob and really put the hammer down for those last 4 mins (410w apparently) and killed myself up the hill to the finish. I stopped the clock a bit short of Steve’s winning time of 23.31 and was given 23.44 – still a bit of work to do in that respect.

Got back up to the results board and sure enough I’d managed to sneak it from Rob by 11 secs, 3rd was over a minute back with 24.50 I think – kudos to Martin on the seeding as last 3 off got 1,2,3.

So a pleasing ride, and another voucher for Sigma. Went straight home to bed! And then dragged myself out for another couple of hours later in the evening.