Sunday, October 28, 2007

It is done


24th/140 at the national HC (pic here). Not quite in the top 20 but I'll take it. It was a real buzz to ride but I'm so glad that's it for the season. I'm writing a mini-feature on it for C+ so I won't go into too much depth here.

Will gave me a lift out together with his dad, and it was a fairly dismal drive to Cheddar. It was windy and raining fairly solidly as I tried to warm up on Will's turbo. I managed 15 minutes but that's all I had time for - not ideal but I'm used to going hard early in my training rides so it wasn't that bad.

The problem was when I got out onto the road to go up to the start, I realised my saddle was a bit low. I'd actually tried to raise it the previous night but must have lowered it a touch instead. It didn't matter, really, but was annoying. I had no time to adjust it before I went off.

It was a strange race. I felt quite good at the start and even used the TT bars after I got up to speed, despite it being steepish. I went back to the bull horns for the steepest part (16%, not very long) and tried to keep it going. I was amazed at how many people were calling out my name. The crowd was very good considering the weather and it was just so cool to be taking part. After I finished I went back down and stood on the corner to cheer everyone else.

The rest was a bit of a struggle. I did the second two thirds on the TT bars and I think that was the right choice, because I had the 15th best split time over that section (36th best over the first bit). The wind had turned from being a tailwind to a cross/headwind, so it was advantageous to be as aero as possible. But I didn't really have it in me to get to the seeing stars stage, and had to be content with burning lungs.

Final time: 7'38.2, which was one of the quickest until the last 30 riders started. I ended 5 seconds off the top 20 and 47 seconds off the winner: James Dobbin (as I thought). Still, Danny Axford (6th) only put 25 seconds into me, whereas he put 40 into me last week at Burrington so I was quite happy with my ride. I averaged 380W and about 180bpm, which I reckon is good for October. I needed about 440W to win. Hah.

Robin finished in 8'31 (71st) but had the 13th best split time at the time check. He was going for that more than a good overall time, but he needed another 10 seconds to win the bottle of champers. Paul Godfrey got up in 9'06 for 93rd, so we had a good turn out from Future.

I also bumped into Avril Swan, wot used to be part of the Centennial Park morning training groups. Hell, that's more than 10 years ago now. She's now in Cambridge with her partner and obviously still riding. She ended with 9'28 for 107th/7th woman.

Some Leffes were in order in the evening. And I can feel more coming over the next four weeks.

1 comment:

hugh jones said...

if you take the whole population of great britain then you were 24th out of 55 million which is a much better result.