Today was me first race in five months, the Chippenham hilly 24. Always a good way to kick off the season.
Alas my winning streak of three came to and end courtesy of a top quality ride by Douglas Dewey, who broke my course record with a superb 53'49 in unfavourable conditions. I managed second in 54'56, just ahead of Rob Pears (55'09) and Chippenham won the team prize with me, Simon Snowden and Paul Coles, which was nice.
Interestingly, Doug Dewey (who is still an U23) won the first ever 25 that I did back in 2007, the Severn RC 25. Think he did a 56'12 whereas I managed a 1:02ish.
A bit like last year it was freezing again, but once I got to the top of Lyneham Banks it was OK and I felt as though my hands would last the distance. The nasty ENE wind made it hard though, as it was head or head-crosswind for 3/4 of the race and only tailwind for about a quarter. A SW wind makes a world of difference on this course, but it wasn't to be today.
Power outputages were reasonable today, nothing special but I didn't expect that. But also above what I managed for most of last year. I've not done any top end work and I didn't even back off (much) for this race, so hopefully there are some more watts to be had. In the past two years this race has always been my best power of the whole season - something I want to avoid this year.
So it's back to the grindstone before my next race, which will probably be the first round of the Rudy Project at the end of March if I get my entry in in time.
Finally, good luck to Ma with her knee op. Hope you're walking, riding, huntin' shootin' fishin' again soon :-)