And the last shall be first. I hope I've got that the right way around.
Season 2009 is done. And it ended on a positive note as I won round 8 of the Rudy Project series in Devizes. No mean feat, despite the small field (eight starters) in the seniors.
The course had to be shortened from two laps to one because of road works, so all categories ended up doing 30km. I was prepared to do the full distance but I wasn't toooo disappointed that we didn't in the end.
It was close - I clocked 41'24 to beat Duncan Urquhart by just 10 seconds, with Colin Robertson third at 24sec. As I said, there weren't many starters in the seniors but they were all good riders: Richard Prebble was fourth and series winner Dean Robson was fifth. As previously mentioned Mr Urquhart is going for Commonwealth Games selection in 2010 - a top three in this (the national TT series) counts towards that.
Luckily - or more likely because I've been doing some training - I had a good day, averaging the same power as I did for the British championships which was over a similar distance. Pacing could have been better but at least I made the most of it on the hills.
The event was promoted by West DC and Cycling Time Trials (the national body), and thanks to Andy Cook there was a large cohort of Chippenham Wheelers helping out. It's always good for the morale when your own club is involved and I have a pretty good win record with Chippenham promoted events.
The course started and finished in Devizes and did a loop through the Vale of Pewsey. It was up and down without any big hills and it featured the usual dead roads. We had a cold wind from the north that was behind us for about a kilometre at most, due to the way the circuit ran. It was only 12 degrees too - I was glad it was the last race.
I had a good chat to club legend Gary Woodward in the change rooms before the start. He held the club 10 record (20'03, no disc or tribars) for 25 years until Ben broke it (19'35) last year. He even made a shortlived comeback this year in the WTTA 100 but didn't get very far after snapping his stem on the start line! Hopefully he'll have better luck next year.
So to sum up this season: it's been better than last, despite a few setbacks. I've managed to improve my position so much that I've consistently been faster for less power. On the few occasions I got close to 2008 power levels it resulted in some very fast rides.
The important numbers
Opens/big races ridden: 27
1sts: 14 plus WTTA hardriders series win
Less significant placings: 7
Jerseys: 2 (British champs + journo worlds)
Course records broken: 4
Club records broken: 3, but Ben took back the 25 record with a 49'19 on the Welsh course
Yearly km: 15,000 (heading for lowest ever annual total)
Rainy days: 153/297 (so far)
Nasty diseases: 2
Chocolate consumption: 20kg (at least)
Beer consumption: substantial, but not so much during the season
Weight: 73kg - 68.5kg
Height: 183cm and steady
I'm looking forward to this winter.