Sunday, April 05, 2009

Hard decision time

Rest. That means no riding at all, not much walking, lots of ice/elevation/anti-inflams and probably some beer.

Thus spake the physio, after looking at my MRI and consulting with a mate of his. Oh well, it has to be done or I'll go through the whole first part of the season with a torn muscle. I'm not enjoying it, despite being in reasonably decent form. Enjoyment is more important than winning races.

At the moment, if I train or race hard, then it takes a few days of nothing/light training to get back to where it was. This is not conducive to improvement, and I noticed another drop in power in today's WTTA hilly: 310 Watts/321 normalised.

So I was somewhat surprised that I won by 1'44.

Everyone was there, although some (including 2nd and =3rd place getters Chris Madge and Rob Lyne) had ridden in the Diamond HF 10 the evening before. But not Chris Birch (coming back from illness), nor Gavin Poupart (had a week off).

I was on a new bike though: a Specialized Transition. Maybe it is as fast as Specialized claim. I'll do a first impressions review on it on BikeRadar as part of a long term test.

My ride was slightly more measured than the Ba'ath hilly two weeks ago. The Mercy Seat plus Sinead O'Connor's rendition of House of the Rising Sun helped with the necessary focus. In a 47km TT, you have to keep a lid on things.

The course is relatively flat, even more so than the Chippenham hilly although it does use the same final 18km. There was a light easterly blowing, which would have slowed us down a bit because it was against us on the outward uphill leg.

Speaking of wind, there was one point, just under the M4 bridge before the turnaround at Wootton Bassett, where I thought I'd punctured. It felt like the rear tyre was going soft whereas in fact it was just me. I decided to ride up to the roundabout, stop and get a lift back with the marshal. I got there and it still felt squishy, but when I got out of the saddle and jumped on the back wheel a few times, it seemed OK. So I kept going. Back down the hill and yep, still squirming all over the place. But once under the bridge, it settled down.

It was just the wind blowing me around. This sort of thing really bakes your noodle in a TT.

But after that, I went flat out on the way back, so I don't think I lost much time. In the end it was 1:06:57 - not good enough for the course record (1:06:14) but clearly good enough to win.

I acquired some more trophies and cakes too. Very important.

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