North Road RC 25

19 Aug

Today was the first weekend without a road race for some time, mainly because there wasn’t much local, and also as it looked like it might be my only chance to do a 25 this year, an added bonus was that it was part of our club TT series, and being the fastest Wheeler in this TT would net me the trophy for this year, annoyingly it fell on the same day as our club ten where I would have won the trophy for that had I ridden, but I prioritized.

The event was on the Bentley H25/8 course where I had done a ten a few weeks back and took the win, and where last year I attempted a 25 on my roadbike only to flat at the 16 mile point. Bizarely despite having done a fair few TT’s this year, I’d not really done anything like this, I’d done a 30 mile sporting course, and also an 18 mile sporting course, but the way you ride those is rather different to a dual carriageway style event. I knew that from my efforts in 10’s what my power should roughly be. Only issues were that I’d had two days fully off the bike, and that the wind was blowing a gale Not ideal!

Got down there and predictably there were lots of DNS, sadly a few of the faster guys had pulled out, James Gilfillan, Stephen Walkling namely, shame as I’d liked to have seen how I stacked up against them. Still, there was plenty of competition to be had, James Walsby who I have raced with a lot this year, he has come on a long way, and is looking like a good prospect for TT’s, Richard Prebble who as ever is always someone who goes well. I felt confident that I would go fastest, but it was a question of how fast, I had in my head that I’d like to do a 51 at least, but on the face of it conditions looked like they might put paid to that…

Had a little warm up and almost binned it at 15 mph when a crosswind gust caught me by surprise while I was warming up, good start. Got down to the start-line and surprisingly it was still dry despite HEAVY rain being forecast. I got off to a start and had to mentally tell myself to keep it in check, I was aiming for a certain wattage into the headwind sections knowing it would be hard to get the power down the other way. I got to the first turn and it was like suddenly I was riding without a brake engaged, I hit the tailwind section and that was it, flying time! Suddenly it was 35mph at all times, and getting to the point where 53-11 was showing its limitation, I did that 7 miles at over 32 mph hitting 40 at times, I would have loved a 55-11 for that. After a blast into the headwind back I had kept the average over 28 MPH, it was looking good – I was also still dry! Back into the huge wind once more and it was full gas time, I was really motoring, I saw 49 tick by, and had distance hopes of a 50, but then 50 ticked by, and the finish never seemed to come, I did almost 33 mph for that return leg with the last 5 mins at full power and over 36 mph, I stopped the clock on 51.40 – to be honest I was pretty pleased with that as a first attempt on a tough day. Predictably my power was not quite where it should have been, I put this down to the overly positive TSB, but it wasn’t a million miles away and importantly I went quickly for that power.

I trundled back up to the HQ where once I had been a cub scout, and waited for the times to come in, I was feeling positive, James was the next in and he did a very impressive 52.08, having looked at his position if he can increase his power he will go bloody fast as he looks super aero (and he went onto win a road race the next day with a 25 mile solo break, solid ride), so it was a case of waiting for Richard to finish, he came in and said he’d done a short 53, so that was confirmation of the win, which was a good feeling. And by some margin.

Photo courtesy of Chris Mison
<img src="Chris Mison Photography: NHRC Open 25 mile TT Sept 2013 &emdash; ” alt=”” />

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