Withington Wheelers 10 mile TT – Saturday 26th August 2017
Wigan Wheelers 25 mile TT – Sunday 27th August 2017
For the bank holiday weekend I had a double-header – a 10 mile TT on the Saturday afternoon and a 25 mile TT on the Sunday morning.
The Withington Wheelers 10 mile TT was supposed to be on the J2/1 course at Chelford (which is probably the fastest 10 mile course in Cheshire). Unfortunately, temporary traffic lights resulted in the organiser having to find an alternative course at the eleventh hour. The considerable effort the organiser went to was greatly appreciated by all the riders, especially as the alternative was to cancel the event.
With the event now being held on the J6/10 course, no one was expecting to do a particularly quick time. The course is all single track road with the first 6 miles or so on fairly narrow country lanes with frequent changes of direction.
I decided to arrive at the HQ early and ride round the course to familiarise myself – I’m glad I did as there were a couple of very tight corners as well as some blind bends that needed to be approached with care.
10 mile TT’s are a relatively short but a high intensity effort (usually performed at, or slightly above, threshold power) so they hurt, a lot! Unfortunately, the course wasn’t conducive to maintaining a constant effort and I found that I was having to accelerate and ease off to cope with the corners and other road users.
Due to other traffic shenanigans in the area, the roads seemed to be quite busy, with some riders being held up by cars that were stuck behind slower riders (or riders riding out to the start). This happened to me and probably cost me a few seconds – it can’t be helped and is one of the pitfalls of time trialling on narrow country roads.
My time of 23:15 was good enough for 12th place. The winner on the day was David Crawley of Velotik Racing Team with a time of 20:59. The fastest woman was Elinor Barker of the Rio Olympics GB gold medal winning team pursuit squad, with a time of 22:36, riding for Matrix Pro Cycling. One of her targets for the 2017 season is the world time trial championship in Bergen in September, it would appear that she is starting to come into some form!
The Wigan Wheelers 25 mile TT was held on L2521a course on rural roads to the North of Garstang.
The course comprises of two laps of a circuit starting at Winmarleigh, heading through Cockerham towards Stake Pool and back to Winmarleigh.
A start time of 08:40am necessitated an early start, particularly as I wanted to ride a lap of the course beforehand – I had ridden most of the course earlier in the season as part of a 30 mile TT but I wanted to make sure I knew the differences between the 15 mile lap and the 12.5 mile one.
Although the weather was set fair for the bank holiday weekend, we did experience some light drizzle during the early part of the event. There was a slight tailwind on the road up to Cockerham. However, after the left hand turn onto the coastal A588 towards Stake Pool, the cross-headwind made this section quite tough.
Being a rural time trial, times weren’t spectacularly quick. The winner was Brian Fogarty of Fogarty Insurance Tri Team with a time of 55:38, the only rider under 56 minutes. Fastest woman was Anna Weaver of Manchester Tri Club with a time of 1:02:30. My 58:20 was good enough for 8th place.
The time trial season is gradually drawing to a close. However, there is still the “fun” of the hill-climb season for those of you who enjoy climbing steep hills fast whilst experiencing nausea, dizziness, burning legs, blurred vision and shortness of breath. ABC Centreville will be riding out to a number of local hill climbs in East Lancashire and West Yorkshire and may even be riding a few. They are probably the most sociable of cycling events and usually end up in a pub. Come along and join us…