Back to the F20/10 course. I’d not ridden it in a couple of years as I’ve not really been chasing fast 10-mile times, but I was curious to see how I’d go on it again. A few local lads were riding it, for added competition, and Mark Jones was surely going to be one of the favourites, he’d been flying lately. I seemed to have recovered quickly from the Newbury 12-hour the Sunday before, and had put in a good ride on Friday evening to “test” my legs.
It was nice warm evening and although the breeze across the course wasn’t favourable, I felt conditions were good for me to really go for it. I struggled to hold back through the early drags, and then once I was around the turn I really let fly back up the 2km drag to the bridge over the course which marks the point where it levels off a bit – a bit of “go hard when it’s hard” overtook me. I think I slightly blew it here, because it took me the next 3km to recover much before the final push for the line where I managed a final 30-second sprint before freewheeling up the slip road. I was very pleased to have dipped under 21 minutes for only the 7th time in my career.
Mark gave it everything, but was defeated in his attempt to record an “18” by the slight headwind back to the timekeeper, recording 19:00 exactly!