Cycle 100mile TT

Cycle 180km total, inc. WTTA 100 TT, course U46/100

100 miles 4:00:19 (24.967mph/40.180km/h), HR 155(166)

Last big time trial of the season for me, and a last chance to try and update my 100-mile time. The sky was a bit threatening as I drove to the HQ, and there was the odd drizzly shower, but it was dry as I put my bike together and set off for the start. The course had been slightly modified so there weren’t quite as many roundabouts as originally, but we were still going to negotiate 6 every lap (and there were 5 laps).

I set off feeling pretty confident, the course was very even, and if a wind did get up the longest leg we’d face into any breeze would only be about 8 miles. Off the start, we had a heavy rain storm over the first lap, and my neck was still feeling very sore from last week’s 12-hour. From 10 miles onwards it was like having someone constantly jab me inbetween the shoulder blades. I was stretching it and trying to find a comfortable position for my head.

I then forgot where I was towards the end of the 2nd lap and took the wrong slip road. A quick U-turn saw me back on course, but I reckon I lost about 1m20, silly! I was tracking myself against Dave Johnson, from High Wycombe CC, who was 10 minutes in front of me. We were crossing at the same points on every lap, so I knew my mistake hadn’t cost me much.

At the start of the 4th lap I could start to feel fatigue coming on, and I knew I was going to slow down as a westerly breeze started to build. I managed to keep things together though, and entered the 5th lap still feeling confident I could get under 4 hours. But at about 85 miles I just went downhill, and the no. 47 rider who I’d slowly been reeling in up to this point remained tantalisingly out of reach. The last stretch into the wind, north-west towards the Burford Road turn was a killer. Looking afterwards at the splits between me and Dave J, I lost almost 5 minutes here. I managed a quick sprint for the line, but it was too little too late. I was seriously wasted after the finish. Just outside the 4 hour mark, but I’ve improved my season’s best nevertheless. Fastest rider was Paul Holdsworth, in 3h48.

Once I’d got home OK and showered and changed, we cycled over to Hinksey to watch Jules’ mum shoot at a competition. She’s an archer, shooting from a wheelchair, and is going to the paralympics in Beijing with the GB team. She is retiring from the sport afterwards, so this would be one of the last opportunities we’d have to see her compete. We got there in time to see the last few rounds of competition, and stopped for a chat afterwards before heading for home where I fell sound asleep on the sofa.