I had a bit of a stop-start week’s training, with some travelling to a meeting midweek, but I’d also managed a reasonable set of 2-minute intervals – not quite as good as those I’d done before my the Icknield 10, but good enough to give me some confidence going into this last TT of the year. London East had found a new variation on the E2 courses, and this 30-miler was basically the fast middle bit of the E2/50 – it promised to be quick if the wind stayed away.
In the end we had a rare calm afternoon for racing even if it was a bit cool, and a full field produced some very quick times. Off near the tail of the field, I did my usual warm-up – a bit of riding around and a few low-gear sprints – and then I was ready for the race. After about a kilometre along a country lane I was out onto the dual carriageway and zooming along. Riding to power these days, I have no real idea how fast I’m going but I seemed to be flying along. Everyone was going quickly though – I wasn’t catching too many riders. I thought it might be a bit harder coming back from the far turn and tried to contain my enthusiasm on the way out, only partially successful. In the end I started to blow with about 10km to go as I rode over the A11/A14 flyover sliproad, but still had enough left in the tank for a final mad minute back to the timekeeper, stopping the clock in a massive new PB, nearly 4 minutes faster than my best, set way back in 2001.
Getting back to the HQ, there were plenty of smiling faces and a new women’s competition record by Rachael Elliot (1:03:29). There were also women’s and men’s team records, and 10 men went under the magic hour. Quite a day!