Trike 169km, inc. Anfield 100-mile TT. Course D2/100
100 miles = 4:52:36 __ HR146(159)
Another early start, my alarm went off at 5am. I’d managed some reasonable sleep, unusual for me, despite some middle-of-the-night shouting in the corridor outside. It was looking black outside and by the time my kettle had boiled it started raining. I got my stuff together and drove to the race HQ through torrential rain, it wasn’t looking too pleasant!
It had eased up slightly by the time I’d got my trike out, but once again, the grotty wet roads wouldn’t be kind to my trispokes and their light Veloflex tyres, so I left them in the back of the car. I put on a couple of base layers under my skinsuit and some knee warmers and regretted not having long-fingered gloves with me – always a problem when you’ve packed for an event two or three days in advance! I wore a peaked cap to keep the rain out of my eyes, rather than wear my aero hat. It wasn’t raining too heavily as I rolled to the start, but it really started to chuck it down once I’d been on the road for half an hour or so and remained that way for the rest of the event.
The first 30 miles or so passed OK, I still had plenty of energy to keep my pace up and stay warm, but once we were on to the final circuit it became a real mental battle to keep circulating. I had in mind that once I’d started my second lap, where I’d planned to pick up more bottles buried in the hedgerow, I’d keep going. The stop didn’t take long – about 35 seconds by my watch – and was just enough time to allow me a stretch before getting back on the trike for the remaining 50 miles.
Andy Wilkinson, one of the top favourites, passed me around here. He was going quickly, but I could see a pained expression on his face and a short time later I caught him up again, stopped at the side of the road with his helper and climbing off with a bad back and feeling the cold. Some of the faster riders that passed me were wearing little more than a skinsuit – I’d have been in trouble wearing just that. As it was, my Sidis were full of water and my hands white and wrinkled. I could barely pick the drinks bottles out of my bottle cages, or squeeze the bottles enough to get a drink. I had a Powerbar tucked up the sleeve of my skinsuit but didn’t have the dexterity to fish it out and eat it! The last lap was tortuous and it was with some relief that I passed the timekeeper for the last time. I didn’t really care what time I’d done (about 18 minutes slower than last year), just happy to have done the miles. Quite a large number of those that had started had battled through to the finish like me and amazingly, Andrew Bason set a new course record – it had been cold and wet, but there hadn’t been too much wind, I guess.
Back at the HQ, I was simply unable to unzip my skinsuit and get to my car key inside – I had to ask someone else to unzip it. It took me an age to get changed and packed up and then get inside the warmth of the race HQ for a few cups of coffee and a big slab of cake before tackling the drive home. My fingers were very sore and painful – back to how they were the day after I finished the Bryan Chapman 600k two weeks previously. The drive back down the motorway was slow, but the shower and beer at the end of it most welcome!