Richmond Park TT

25 Jun

Yesterday was the first of this years two events in Richmond Park, the event remains unchanged since its inception 4 or so years ago, and covers 10.4 miles around the park between 6-7am (to minimize upset to the locals/cars etc). The event is quite unique in terms of the setting and the terrain to an extent.

I’ll let you look at the strava link below to get an idea of the circuit, but essentially its an almost traffic free TT over undulating roads in the best park in London (that is opinion of course) – what isn’t to like! Over the last couple of years I have taken part on a road bike, and last year on a TT bike, and won in both categories. The event also differs drastically to a regular time trial in that entry is first come first served, rather than being merit based as many CTT events are. The good thing about this is that it opens the sport up to many people who would not normally do a TT as the CTT system can be a bit daunting, and many people do not want to ride the sorts of roads many CTT events are held on. And obviously the park is within 30 mins ride for probably about 5 million people, which is far better than sitting in the traffic on the m25 on your way to Hull/Wales/Derby etc.

The only drawback I would say to this style of entry is that sometimes the field is not as strong as the event deserves, though this is less of an issue as most people enter quick, or can get a late space as many people drop out, and previous years the event has seen many very good local/national level riders take part, Hutch and Wouter Sybrandy have both ridden the event in the past.

This years field was perhaps lacking in known time trialing talent from the area, but certainly had plenty of strong riders in attendance, Stu Spies of Dynamo and James Stratton also of Dynamo were clearly the men to beat this time round. Given I won last year I was actually the last rider off this year, which meant I got a relative lye in vs earlier years with my 7am off time. Though the flipside was that by this time there are plenty of other riders and cars already in the park.

I perhaps stupidly woke up about an hour before my start time, drank some energy drink to wake up, and just used the 10 minute ride to the start line as a warm up, which is very out of keeping with my recent warm ups on the turbo for 30-40 mins before a race.

Anyway, I watched as the two Dynamo’s went off up the road before it was my turn, I tried to keep it steady at first, but straight away the lack of any proper warm up was apparent and my legs felt totally dead! Not ideal, they slowly started coming round by about Richmond Gate. I knew it was a quick day in there as by the time I got down to Kingston Gate for the dead turn I was averaging over 26 mph.

On the way back I made sure not to stack it on the mini rdbt like last year, and then drilled it down the hill, the headwind was apparent, I hit nearly 45 mph down there last year, but barely nudged 40 this time. I could see James ahead, and estimated I had taken around 20 seconds out of him by the time we were at Roehampton Gate, I never got sight of Stu though. On the last climb I gave it a bit of extra effort and wasn’t a million miles away from catching James, and was probably around 5 seconds back. I stopped the clock on 23.18 which was much quicker than the year before.

The seemingly endless wait by the board for results showed soon enough that my time was enough to win by around 18 seconds, with Stu 2nd, and James a further 6 seconds back. 3 years in a row that I’ve won a category there! Spooky, but I’ve done the exact same watts every time I’ve ridden it with my TT bike!

Photo courtesy of Aaron Olszweski

Kingston Gate

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