May/June Update!

16 Jun

I’ve been a bit slack this last couple of weeks with updates but wanted to quickly mention a couple of events.

I did the Hillingdon GP last week, a National A rated crit that took in around 45 miles of Hillingdon. Which FYI is a LOT of laps!

There were a fair few decent riders present from Pedalheaven notably, it was always going to be a fast race, the weather was decent and hot from the Tour series, Alex Patton and Gruff Lewis were clearly going to be going very well! And they were!

I was unsure of my form for these sorts of races having had a bit of time away from slightly longer intense stuff. I decided to make a day of it and rode up to the circuit, a quick warm up and we were away. The pace was quick, but Hillingdon being pretty flat it never felt too difficult staying near the front of the bunch. I felt pretty good and was keen to try and be active and see if I could make it into one of the moves. A few laps passed and Jamie Pine put in a dig, I decided to go with and we got a gap, I was kind of hoping a couple of people would come over, but it wasn’t to be and we gradually got reeled back in. The race carried on being up and down and eventually a small group got clear that seemed to stay away for some time but Tony Gibbs CSE team rode it down with the help of a few others eventually.

By now I was feeling a bit knackered and again Paton I think attacked and took a couple with him, this ended up being the winning move. I was going to try and sprint for the rest of the places up for grabs but on the run in there was some very erratic stuff, and for 7th place I couldn’t be doing with risking a fall. Good race, nice to see I’ve not lost too much from the time off.

I’ve also been doing a lot of time trials recently, not least because there has been a fair gap in the road racing calendar for local stuff, and I am not so keen to drive the length of the UK for races. So in the last 4 or 5 weeks I’ve done 4 time trials. Two on the H10/8 course in Bentley, the first of which attracted a fairly decent field, Wouter Sybrandy making a comeback and along with local Richard Prebble and also Russell Hampton. I was seeded as almost last man, but I knew that Russ was likely the man to beat. I felt I did a good ride, half decent power, and clocked 20.06 which was a course PB by about 12 seconds, I’d beaten everyone but Hampton who smashed it and did a 19.22 – classy rider. Maybe his mate Dowsett has been giving him a few tips eh?

The second was another crack on this course, similar field with the addition of Stephen Walkling who I knew was a quick rider and had been doing some quick times. This time I felt like it was a tougher day, but I went a bit quicker and did a 20.02, so close to the 19 I would love to do on that course. But will have to wait for another day! But it was enough to get the win from Walkling who did a 20.27.

Next up was this weekend just gone, my legs felt a bit trashed as I had done a bit more crappy commuting than I should have, but Saturdays event was the Kingston Phoenix 10 on our club 10 course, it didn’t look like it was going to be a fast day so hopes of beating my course PB were put to bed when I saw it was a north wind, but with Steve Kane and Steve Irwin riding I was keen to see how I would do. I felt like I rode a pretty poor race, power was down and I never felt like my legs woke up, I managed to clock 20.47 which was 13 seconds ahead of Steve Kane who beat me last year, and a further 20 or so seconds to Steve Irwin who I think did 21.29, so I took the win, and we took the team prize.

Sunday (yesterday) was probably an admin error, an 8.10 start 45 miles away the morning after an 11pm england game…As it happened I made it through to the end of the fast half and was knackered and fell asleep. Sadly I got just about the worst nights sleep ever and woke up with that horrid strained eye feel of when you know you’ve barely rested. I almost stayed in bed, but decided I’d made plans and was going to stick to them. It was the Team Axiom (who host the Tour of the Milburys I won in 2013) 25 on the quick P885/25 Course on the Petersfield stretch of the A3. Again a fairly decent field of 120 riders, Irwin, Walkling, Seb Ader were noteable riders and all seeded, I don’t think Whitewick started.

I was off fairly early and the start of the course is a 40mph downhill towards Petersfield, I was held up by a lorry on the very first roundabout, I thought it was not going to be my day. From there I rode hard and my legs felt OK considering how trashed they felt after the 10 the previous day. I had downed a 500ml can of Relentless just before starting my warm up on the turbo, and its fair to say it id give me a shot in the arm. I was riding at not a million miles from my 10 power, I kept a lid on it for the first half and got to the final turn at a bit under 29 average so knew a 49 was not on the cards today, a bit too early/cold probably. But in the second half I was able to lift the power and rode a few watts shy of my 10 power for the last 25-30 mins to stop the clock in 51.11 which was a pb by 30 seconds. I knew it was a tough day, that was the best power I’ve done for a 25, so thought I stood a chance of being right up there, and all of the main guys had also ridden a 10 the previous days so I wasn’t really at any disadvantage.

I got back to the club house and was milling about when I saw Seb, I asked him what he had done and he said a mid 50, I knew I was beat, so rather than hang around for 90 mins I drove over to my mums. It was only a bit later when I got a tweet from Steve Irwin to say that I had won, and in fact Walkling was 2nd about 15 seconds back, then Irwin, then Ader, turns out Seb had got his times mixed up on his Garmin or similar. I was well pleased with that result. Steve had told me that 40 mins later start time on that course provided a large advantage with warmth and traffic, so I was pleased to hold on to it despite the main guys going off later.

So pleased with how its been going, 3 wins of the last 4 time trials with some good riders in attendance. All rides on Strava as usual! I have the first of the two Richmond Park TT’s next weekend, and then a couple of races at Crystal Palace in attempt to get back into the racing side of things as I’ve missed a fair chunk this season.

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