Sunday, September 18, 2011

The end is in sight or nigh

Of the season that is. I have one race left, round 7 of the Rudy Project on the 1st of October. It's a great field (Bottrill, as well as Sybrandy and Hampton wot have been doing well in the Tour of Britain) so I'll be doing well to scrape 4th.

That said it doesn't matter too much, as I basically just need to finish to secure 2nd overall in the series again. Yay!

I did my fourth ride of the series on Saturday, and managed 2nd behind Adam Duggleby. It was my best ride of the season over that sort of distance (power pb!) and I've never gone that fast on a 'sporting' single carriageway course before. It was 24.1 miles/38.7km, very windy and the back half was quite undulating, but I managed to stay on top of it and didn't fade. The only annoyance was being stuck behind a tractor with 5 mins to go. It was going at a nice speed of 45km/h but I'd been sitting on 51 (tailwind) so I had to slow down for a minute or so until I found an opportunity to pass. It was only a few seconds lost, but it would have been nice to go sub-51 on that course.

I backed up today with a 50 on the U46/50 course. A fast day, 9-10 degs with little wind. I didn't have the legs to really capitalise on it, finishing in 1:43:25 to Scott Povey's 1:43:12. However, good to recoup some of the petrol money for the weekend.

Scroll back a bit to the BDCA 100, my last BBAR counter and an important race, as I had to improve on my 3:39:43 to buy some security at the top of the table. Turns out I needed it, as Mr Jenkinson improved on his 100 time with a storming 3:28:41 to win it. I was third in a very decent 3:31:51 with Derek Parkinson 2nd in 3:30:42. It wasn't a bad ride in speed terms (it was two laps of the 50 course, so very quick) but I did have a bad power fade in the second half, I suspect I was still recovering from the 12. My 100 in July was much better, just slower. Still, I've had two really good rides and one half decent one out of three for the BBAR, so I can't complain.

What that means is that I now have a more comfortable lead in the BBAR standings. With just one more 50 left next week and the top three in the BBAR not riding it, the only realistic contender is Andy Bason, who needs a 1:38 or better to overhaul me. If he does that then all credit to him, he'll have deserved it.

25 madness

In between all this I've also had a tilt at improving my 25 PB from 49'58 to something quicker. To that end, I entered a couple of events on the Welsh ski slope course, the R25/3L. One was the day after the aforementioned 100, the other one was a week later when I was going to be fresh. Both had stiff SW winds but by some crazy fluke I went much faster with trashed legs in the one after the 100 (49'26, pb!) on bugger all power, coming within 3sec of winning the thing. Then I did a disapppointing 50'32 with good legs a week later for a mere 8th place (better field but still...)

In the post mortem I realised I got a bit lucky with the conditions in the first one, getting the strongest wind in only the last 5 miles before the turn rather than the whole way. My turn split was 32'18 in the first week (the return leg is much shorter) and 34'06 the second week with 20W more power! Mother nature can be unkind at times. And yes it was the weekend of Hurricane Katia so it was a tad blowy.

The times in the second week were all over the shop too because of the varying conditions in the 5 hrs that the event was run over. Some people got it bad, others were a bit luckier, but everyone agreed it wasn't a quick day.

I'll try to nail a 48 there next year. If you ride these courses enough eventually you get good conditions.

One more race...

No comments: