Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Venga venga venga

After watching Jose Ivan Gutierrez storm to the win in today's Eneco Tour time trial, I was super-hypermotivated to do well in this evening's final Severn 9.38 miler. It wasn't raining (amazing but true) and there was only a fairly gentle north wind blowing.

Robin was on deadline for WhatMTB this week so wasn't going out. But his 21'32 last week was easily his best ride of the year. I used the 40km out there as a noice warmup. I got there and was pleasantly surprised to sign on as number 46. Another five came after me, making for a decent field for the last evening 10 of the season. There were even seven new riders!

I had a fairly good start on the downhill bit, and got to the corner at 5.8km knowing exactly where it was. It always helps. Ditto the next corner, which I overshot last time. There was no mud on the roads on the return leg this time, so I could keep the speed up through the lanes.

We were starting at 30 second intervals, but I didn't start catching people until about 4km to go, then I caught about four at once! Up the hill and I could see the guy who had started a minute ahead of me coming back, so I made a big effort to pass him in the last few hundred metres. He asked me afterwards how I managed to do that with a position that involves resting my forearms on the tops. Years of practice, mate.

End result: 21'30 for third place, with the fastest being 21'11. I was even more pleasantly surprised with that, and am rather looking forward to throwing my leg over the Planet-X TT machine. It's supposed to be coming this Friday. I hope it's not coming in the same truck as the database.


5.8km: 7'42
6.8km: 9'05
12.2km: 16'50
13.3km: 18'45
15.1km: 21'30

The take home lesson is that training actually works. 400km over the long weekend, kicked off by a solid 170km up through the very cool Cotswold Water Park. I'm sure I saw the database there, but maybe it was because I was still feeling the effects of the previous Thursday night's cider and beer extravaganza in Bristol. I managed to sweat it all out during the ride, but was absolutely shattered for the rest of the day. Ditto Sunday, when I went down towards Warminster and across Salisbury Plain for another 115km. Lots of sleep was in order.

Monday was better: Robin and I did a lap of the Mendips, taking in Burrington Combe and Cheddar Gorge. New best times up both of them, which bodes well for the hill climbs there in October. The British hill climb championships are up Cheddar Gorge and the course should suit me, as I like flatter climbs. The week before is the Burrington climb. I reckon I can get top five there based on current form. That's not a given, as I tend to start going backwards in October.

Finally, I hope that our Aunt Margaret is out of hospital soon. That sounded like a nasty fall you had.

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