East Surrey Hardriders

10 Mar

Sunday was the last of the sporting TT’s I intend to take part in this year, the East Surrey Hardriders is a fairly popular event, also staged just down around Dorking over a 27.2 mile course.

I did this two years back, however I’d done the Kingston Wheelers 2/3 road race the day before (and annoyingly came 2nd!) so my legs were not in great shape, I came tenth, not my finest result! I think its the where my cover photo is from actually, so big chunk gloves and arm warmers, nice and slow! It was very cold though.

On the flipside, this years installment of global warming has give us some nice weather, and Sunday was pretty warm, warming up in the sun is a rarity in these early season events, a welcomed one! As with the last few events, the field was quite similar, Chris Mac again was riding who had put me into 2nd spot at Redhill, in my mind he was the one to beat, though other riders were sure to be right up there, last years winner Liam Maybank, Wouter again, John Dewey who was pretty close to me at Redhill, there was a lot of good riders on the sheet.

I started warming up and didn’t feel all that good, I’d spent the previous day battling with my new roadbike and getting it ready for riding, legs felt a bit dead on the turbo. But I got down to the startline and was still optimistic. This course has a fair bit of fast road, which should help me out being quite aero, but there were two fairly significant (for Southern England) ramps to tackle which would certainly suit Chris. I got off to a start and almost straight away I was delayed by an older chap who pulled out on me then proceeded to pull over to the side of the road again, not ideal. A few miles later my next bit of bad luck happened when I had to come to trackstand at a roundabout some 3 miles in!

After that I got into a rhythm, power was OK, but not as good as I’d have hoped, at the half way point I I was thinking today wouldn’t be quite as fast as the weather would have had you think, mainly because there was a headwind for a lot of the outward leg which on this course is about 65-70% of the entire course. I got to the final climb and run in with a half decent average speed, knowing I’d probably need to be over 27mph to be in with a chance I dug deep but found it tough in the last few miles and wasn’t able to really ramp it up like I did in the last two events. I had to slow again for a horse, but managed to cross the line in 1hr49 secs and avg speed of just under 27mph. I knew I’d gone faster than last years winners time, but didn’t think it would be enough.

Sure enough, it wasn’t, Chris had done 1hr16 seconds some 33 seconds ahead of me, another storming ride. I did however hang on for second. I think without my bad luck the gap would have been smaller but I didn’t have the legs to beat Chris today. Amusingly we did the exact same power for the event, not sure how much the wind picked up between 8.20 and 9.20 when I went off but certainly I’d have preferred it to be a little cooler and a more helpful wind next time! I looked back to 2 years ago and notice I’ve added almost 2 mph to my avg speed in that time, which is a fairly decent improvement, I doubt I can do that again over the next two years, but even half of that would see me going very well indeed!

Anyway, that rounds off 3 events, one 1st and two 2nd places, not to be sniffed at. I hope I can build on it and next year I’ll hopefully be able to win the lot, I’ve got a few changes to make to my position which should gain a few watts…!

https://www.strava.com/activities/264833770

Next up is a road race on the new bike (S works Tarmac, Ultegra di2 etc, looks lovely) at the Pete Young Memorial, a pretty decent looking field present, so hoping I can hold my own and perhaps make it into one of the moves 🙂

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One Response to “East Surrey Hardriders”

  1. Martin Sigrist March 18, 2015 at 10:06 am #

    Good ride, shame about the bad luck that slowed you down…

    Your comments re adding 2 mph to your speed plus the position changes you are think may save some watts are interesting.

    If you have any special tips on what worked/didn’t work that you could share would appreciate it.

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