Archive | April, 2016

Time trial musings (H25/8)

17 Apr

I’ve done a couple of events since the last update. The first of which I won’t dwell on for too long as, frankly, even thinking about it bores me. Archer GP at Hillingdon – 50 miles/50 laps essentially! I only entered as I wanted to see how the legs were feeling and whether my core work had helped the back out.

The legs felt good, I was active and did get into a decent looking move, sadly I was pretty knackered by this point so wasn’t able to offer a huge amount and the back was aching a touch, so more work needed, we were brought back. With a few to go the usual dodgy riding was taking place, so I dropped off the back to watch the finish. I did question whether I’ll ever go back to Hillingdon, I didn’t want to go, I got there and couldn’t be arsed to race, and then finished thinking I’d wasted my Friday night and Saturday, if its not fun, its not worth doing perhaps.

Time Trial

Next up was a 25 mile time trial on the Bentley H25/8 course. I’ve ridden this course countless times and my best was last year with 49.24 in nice conditions, that day losing to James Boyman by 4 seconds – I did 355W. Today I had already decided that owing to my legs feeling good in recent days, that I was going to ride harder. I was going to hold my best ever 25 watts for the first bit and see how it went. 361 was my best, so when I was half way through with 365 or so and feeling alright I was pretty happy, speed was good too at over 30mph, it looked fairly sure I would go under 50 mins in pretty average weather (about 7 deg and north wind). However, the saddle was causing me some discomfort by about 15 miles, so much so that I think my position suffered somewhat as time went on.

The splits would indicate that I lost most of my time to John Dewey who would go on to beat me by about 30 seconds in the middle section of 15 miles which I did at 367W, the first 4 miles I was equal and the last 8 overall we were very similar, and the last 4 of those I was slightly quicker. So I can see how many more watts I need and I think I the first 4 where I was able to hold position bang on show what I was losing to saddle discomfort later on, its not much really. There was a 9w swing between my out leg and my return (more on return) and the final 5 minutes were above my best 10 mile average so I think there is more in the tank. The overall av was 369W for a final time of 49.38 (though I timed it at 49.36). I think if I can go out more like 370 and back at 375, or even keep it steady for around 375 average then I would be very close. Add in the new skinsuit I’ve got coming (with no pinz pouch) a few other bits I need to address from my latest aero session then I think I can close that gap a fair bit, and perhaps if all things were equal on another day maybe I can sneak a win, could probably try and close the 10kg gap a bit too…! There is no doubt in my mind that John riding as he is now will be one of the fastest testers in the UK, so while I don’t like being beaten I can appreciate the quality of rides he’s pulling out to do it, its not like I’m not going quicker than I was either – if I had pulled out 345W and got beat by a minute it would be a terrible day out, but a time very close to my summer PB with a strong power PB is a positive. I also could not get into the 11t at all in this race, cadence was 98 avg which would probably show there are a few times where I could have done with the big gear!

As it happened only John and myself were under 50, and I think 3rd place was over a minute down on me (who had done a 19 in the ten version in March, so no slouch) I think my goals of a 48 for the 25 and an 18 for the 10 are certainly possible. The next step is to ditch the inhibitions and just try and ride harder for a 10, it worked here, I think it can work for the shorter distance, though blowing up a more real possibility ha!

Time trials these days are so very particular, its long been said that its an arms race in the TT arena, and I can’t disagree – you really need to have refined your position to a high level and be producing decent watts to even get anywhere near winning most popular opens these days. I have an open 25 on this course, in better conditions with a 51. That would have just about got me into the top 5 yesterday in what was essentially winter weather at times. That is in the space of 2-3 years. Amusingly, I was signing on and overheard people mention my name (but not clock I was behind them or even know what I look like more likely) and how it would be touch and go whether I would catch the chap in question, I forget how far off in front of me he was – the lady he was speaking to said something like “surely nobody will be anywhere near sub 50 today” and another replied with “no, low 50’s maybe” – I think it highlighted to me that if you want to keep improving, and not get left behind so to speak, then there is lots that can be done today that perhaps couldn’t have been so easily previously. They were both dead right in their assumptions, if the year was 2013, but times change…

Next up I’ve foolishly agreed to do the 270km Liege-Bastogne-Liege sportive with a few pals the day before the pro’s do it in half the time. I may do a club ten this week and go for that 400W + ride and see what happens, also. Then I have a 3 day stage race which I am hoping to bring good legs into. And then I start a new job which will be a lot of fun but a lot of work so we will see how the riding goes…

All rides on Strava as usual, and here is a snap from the TT