06 February, 2012

Ice ice baby

I had a jolly good time this weekend. Despite the cold snap that everyone and their mothers has been whinging about, I was pretty psyched up to head over to Storrington, a little town in Sussex, for my second race of the season. It was an 18km time trial on Saturday afternoon followed by a 42km time trial on Sunday; a little TT stage race.

On Saturday I did a nice long warm up on the turbo in the car park and by the end I could just about feel my arms. I sweated a single bead of sweat but it froze before it hit the ground. In the time trial itself I felt quite good if a little ragged. The course was up and down and I’d checked out the hill just before the turn (17% it said) so I knew I could get up it in the 54. It definitely wasn’t 17% but don’t tell anyone because it makes me feel like a big dawg!

I was second to last off, with Wouter Sybrandy two minutes behind me, and if I’m honest I spent a large amount of the race trying not to look behind me. I saw Wouter at the turn and tried to guess whether I was up or down on him but it was impossible to tell. I put the power down in the last few miles over the rolling hills and even did a (highly comical) sprint at the end, Cancellara style. It’s something I try to do every time trial, just to get it all out, and I was glad I did when I got back to the headquarters. I took the course record by two seconds, and won the event: great success!

Unfortunately Sunday's race was cancelled due to snow on the course, but I'd got what I wanted from the weekend: my first win of the year.

Here's some good snaps of the event :  

An aside

The observant among you may have noticed I mentioned this was my second race of this season; I did in fact ‘compete’ in the National Madison a week previously. It was a bit of an eye opener this early in the year, going from doing four hour long steady rides to doing (my best attempt at) 60kph on the track. Luckily I did one day on the track at Newport a few days before so I was totally prepared.

Here I am hiding behind the eventual winners - [manxroadclub.webs.com]

I was partnering with ex-GWR teammate Dave Sinclair, a sprinting don and experienced track rider. It was a good partnership; he was great at telling me what to do and when, but unfortunately I was still pretty weak technically. People may not realise that track racing is quite psychological and if you show any sign of inadequacy or weakness you get trodden on. From the off I was a bit nervous and as a result we were elbowed out and spent a lot of energy chasing tails. We finished seventh out of a very small field which frankly sounds better than it is. It was a far cry from my previous fun times on the track last year, when I was doing the individual and team pursuit, but it was a start to the season.

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