Last weekend saw me doing my best to squeeze as many races into a weekend as possible. I essentially did my own mini stage race, and had great fun in doing so. Off the back of my last post, where I described how my mood and motivation had been low, I decided that seeing as I was enjoying racing, but no training as much, why not cram them in so they double up as both? So over the 2 days, I raced in 3 races, all relatively short, but intense efforts, and great fun!
Farnham RC club 10 mile TT – 2nd place
First up was a windy affair near Bentley. A low key 10 mile TT hosted by Farnham RC. I’d never done the 10 mile course before, but had raced the 25 mile variant a couple of times, so knew the course was relatively fast and I could record an okay time. It was much needed after a really disappointing performance at the Test Valley 2 day TT’s and was hopefully a confidence booster. The weather tried to contrive against this however, with a block headwind for the first 5 miles resulting in a relatively slow time of just 21.55. A little disappointing at first, but reflecting afterwards, I was only 30s off the win, to a rider that had easily beaten me by a minute at the Test Valley 10. I was also using some shallow section wheels because of the wind, and quite quickly I realised that I had made a massive gain in the last 2 weeks, just from not neglecting my TT bike quite as much and the result became a massive positive.
Hillingdon 2/3/4 circuit race – Back of the bunch
Later that day, I took to the start at HIllingdon race circuit. I was unsure how the morning TT would affect the legs, but with a couple of races I am targeting this year featuring double days, it was a good opportunity to test recovery and fuelling strategies. Surprisingly, the legs felt good, and I spent the whole hour attacking, attacking and attacking some more. Such is the way though, that one of the counter attacks to my moves was the one that stuck, and with last weeks crash still on my mind, I preferred to sit up on the last lap than risk more skin, kit and bike pieces sprinting for 6th place. A good decision really, but once again I took heart in how strong my legs were feeling. I was perhaps a couple of percent off making the counter move and sticking in the break, and in hindsight perhaps that was due to the morning TT, but I will never truly know!
Sotonia Leg Loosener TT – 8th
On Sunday morning, I took on perhaps the hardest of the 3 races. A rather sporting 14.5 mile TT around the North of the New Forest. It was an absolute cracker of a course, and once again I took heart in the position on the TT bike getting more and more comfortable by the day, but fatigue was setting in. Perhaps shown by the measly average heart rate of 158bpm. I’m pretty sure some people on the cardio ward in the hospital run at that whilst laying down…
As a result, I was a little off the pace in 8th place, only a handful of seconds off the top 5 but a massive way away from challenging the winner of the event, Oscar Hutchings, who flew round the course over 2 minutes faster. Chapeau and fair play and all that. But it all adds to the motivation to sort myself out and start challenging at the pointy end of the times again.
So that’s just a quick summary of what I got up to. Not massively interesting I know but I wanted to get back focusing on the racing after the rather downbeat theme of the last post. For those of you interested, obviously these issues don’t go away overnight, but the massive support shown to me and response from the last post has been heartwarming and really helps through the tough times. I couldn’t ask to be racing with a better bunch of guys than those at Primera-Teamjobs and the support from the team is incredible.
Next up is another club TT on Saturday, followed by a rather exciting week next week… Stay tuned!