TT’s, Crits & punctures!

8 Jul

Rather than do individual entries for every single little event I think its likely better to roll a few into one!

Redhill RR

Since I did my last update I’ve done a few events, Redhill Road race was the first of those. Sadly the day ended early for me with a puncture, but the race was perhaps notable for the wrong reasons. Drawing pins dumped on the road by a drive near the end of the race! This didn’t effect me, as I got a flat much earlier in the race. A bit of a shame as I felt pretty good, and the chance of a result would have been on the cards given the parcours. After tweeting a photo of a riders tyre full of pins attention from the ‘media’ was drawn. I ended up doing a short bit on BBC Radio Surrey talking about potential risk and public attitude towards racing.


The day following Redhill I trekked down the M3 to Winchester Park and Ride car park, VC Venta have been running events in this large carpark, its a cool place. Plenty of parking, easy access, and 40 second laps mean its very spectator friendly! There were about 30 of us in the E12 race, its basically a big oval, with one very fast corner and one slightly harder to negotiate. It quite quickly split up, and shortly later 3 riders were away, not long after, Rob McCarthy from Pedal Heaven and a VC Raphael rider got away too, I was keen to get into this move, and when I put an effort in the bunch let me go, so I spent the next 7 or so laps soloing over to this break, it was pretty painful! I’d been getting a sore back a lot in races, notably Palace, and it was repeating itself here, I’ll explain what was happening a bit later on that front…

Anyway, I got over and we started working well together and quickly pulled out a big gap, we were shortly joined by 2 others, we kept working together and eventually we lapped the field, but not long after the 3 off the front lapped us! They were flying. Anyway, I was quite confident I could perhaps bag a result from this group, and as we came into the last lap that was to all go out the window. Before the last tricky corner we were all playing cat and house before the VCR rider jumped pre corner and took it at great speed, suddenly I was in a shit position, last into the corner, I was never able to get the momentum back to get anywhere in the sprint. I came last out of the break haha. Not ideal. 8th.


The next thing was back to Palace on the Tuesday, a decent field in place, and this week we were promised the full distance as there was no threat of rain. We got going and initially I felt pretty much fine, and then the back started to really ache, and I do mean really ache. I wasn’t helping my cause by poor cornering, we were going the opposite way round this week, and it was clear I was not as good cornering to the right as I am the left. Each corner I was letting the wheel go slightly, which meant that I was having to sprint hard each lap to latch back on.

With about 40 mins gone and various attempts by Mike Debney and James Walsby among others to get clear, it was still together, by now I was debating pulling out as it was very painful. But I thought I’d ridden this hard, so I might as well finish the job. With about 15 mins left to go, James and Mike got clear, they were the strongest in the race IMO, and they got a good gap, sadly James rolled a tub on the penultimate lap, and Mike had to put a foot down, and as such their winning move was brought back. Into the last lap I felt ok, but I didn’t have the ability to get into the top 5 into the last corner, I was probably 10th into the last corner, I kicked hard out of it and managed to pass a couple of guys but the lead 4 were a good 10 bikes ahead, I got 7th. Shortly after I looked at the bike and tried to figure out what was happening with my back, I put the saddle up around 1cm, as I had a suspicion it was too low, and it was taking a lot of the pressure when I was pushing on. I got home and measured up against my retul fit, and as if by magic my adjustment had brought it bang in line with what it should have been, so I am hoping that I will have no further issues of that nature. I am back at palace tonight rain permitting, so I will know soon!

Belper 25

The rest of that week was meant to be a gradual taper off to get some freshness for my attempt at the 25 mile club record, and to get a place on the ‘all time fastest list’ which requires a sub 50 minute time. The course was a bit of a hike, up near Derby, but I was of the opinion that if I could go up there, do the business and get on the list, then I wouldn’t have to do a long drive to a course for a while.

I got there very early, and warmed up as per usual, the field was very good, inc Matt Bottrill, I had no illusions that I was going to win here, but I was confident I would do a good time all being well… I’d switched to super light tyres,bought new overshoes, and had made sure I had every chance to do it.

I got in a good warm up and trundled down to the start, it was time! I was fairly confident I knew the course, it wasn’t totally straight forward, but I thought it would be fine. I started well, and was holding the sort of power I was expecting, and going pretty quickly off it! I went through the first rbt onto the main road, and it was quick, there was much time above 30mph, over the first rbt, and I was feeling good. I then saw I was approaching the half way point and the next rbt was in sight, I went round it as normal setting off for the return leg… I then did a quick double take and looked back, I couldn’t see a McDonalds, or Little Chef, and I couldn’t se any other riders, AND the Garmin said I was under half way, and given the end was a bit closer than the finish the crushing reality of the situation was apparent (it was crushing after 3 hours in the car!). I’d turned one rbt too early, the actual turn was a further half a mile up the road. I was furious, there was nothing I could do, I debated crossing the main road and jumping over the central reservation, but it would have been too dangerous. As it was, I sat up, and cursed at my own stupidity as I headed back to the car. As if to make matters worse, the very odd and not intuitive signage used to indicate (I also missed the marshall who was at the junction) the junction for Etwall meant I missed the junction on the way back too! I ended up going about 5 miles too far before realising. I got back to the car eventually with 30 miles on the clock .Despite not trying for 20 miles my avg speed was still around 27 mph. It was a fast course.

I left in a massive mood, spoke to nobody. I got back and looked at the splits, it was probably not the best thing to do straight away, but I thought I may as well see how I was looking. Steve Irwin did 49.46, a bit short of his best of 49.20 (which is the club record), and by the time I went wrong I was 23 seconds up on him, having had Xav (coach) look through the numbers, it looks like if I had kept at the power I was doing, which would have been fine as I was going to push harder on the way back then I’d have done a short 49 possible 48. Very irritating to go that far, be on pace, and then mess it all up! Oh well. There is another event there soon, I will be back. Bottrill won with 46.56.

Richmond Park TT

Last update of this one then, it was the second Richmond Park TT of the year, this year there were two events, and as you might have read in the last update I managed to win the first one by around 20 seconds.

The field was different for this one, it was the day after the 25 mile TT I mucked up, but my legs felt ok, Steve from my club was riding, also a few others I recognised. I thought it would be perhaps a slightly easier field than the first event. But you can never tell. And when I got up to head up there it just started to rain. Tight turns, slick tyres, and racing often end badly! Upon getting to Kingston gate, I was just in time to see a rider fall off at the rbt turn due to slippery conditions, not ideal! I gave a few friendly shouts to people I knew riding the road category and I was ready to go.

Annoyingly Steve was starting 30 secs behind me, which I never like, I always prefer to see people ahead. Anyway, I got off to a good start and rode much in the same fashion as I did first time round, the wind was not as good up the hill as it was before, but it still felt quick. I took it VERY slowly round the turns. I got to the half way point and I couldn’t see Steve as I came back up the other side, I estimated at this point he was maybe 30-40 secs behind me, so I was feeling confident! I soon caught Gabriel from Dynamo who was going quickly down the hill, however at each rbt he was catching me again as I was taking them so slowly.

Anyway, I gave it a good effort up the finish hill and did almost the exact same time I did last time (23.19). It was enough to win over Gabriel by just under 40 seconds in the end.

Season probably half way at least now, need to get my act together unless I want to be sent back to 2nd cat!

All rides on Strava!

2 Responses to “TT’s, Crits & punctures!”

  1. Ant August 13, 2014 at 4:40 pm #

    Rob unfortunately you are “request to follow” on Strava so not everyone can see your rides unless you change your preferences.

    • sharland123 August 13, 2014 at 4:41 pm #

      I accept anyone on there anyway generally.

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