The A50/6 is considered to be one of the fastest 50 mile time trial courses in the country, being an out and back course based mainly on the A50 dual carriageway between Derby and Stoke.
With the event having a restricted field (72 men and 18 women, with a separate event for 30 riders from BDCA affiliated clubs) I was fortunate to get a ride – events on the A50/6 are usually over-subscribed (for open events, under CTT regulations, the fastest riders take precedence).
Having smashed my 25 mile personal best (52:54) in the Stone Wheelers CC 25 mile TT held earlier in the season on the J5/8 course (which uses a lot of the same A50 dual carriageway) I was hoping that I’d be able to do a quick time.
The morning rain had cleared up in time for my 15:26 start. However, the wind didn’t look too favourable, being a cross-headwind on the out leg and a cross-tailwind on the return leg. In addition, the out leg also included the fabled “concrete mountain” a gradual climb of around 6.3 miles with an average gradient of 0.9% (I know, it’s not really a climb, especially as it is ridden at speeds in excess of 25 mph!).
Resisting my usual urge to start quickly, I rode a fairly measured effort (it hurt all the way round!) resulting in a personal best time of 1:48:12, more than a 9 minute improvement over my previous best. This was good enough for 18th place overall, in what was a quality field.
For the analysts out there:
• Average speed: 27.6 mph
• Average heart rate: 173 bpm
• Maximum heart rate: 181 bpm
• Average power: 246 W
• Normalised power: 253 W
• Average cadence: 92 rpm
The winner, with a time of 1:36:20 was Adam Duggleby (who represented GB in the 2016 Rio Paralympics as a sighted pilot for visually impaired cyclist, Stephen Bate). Duggleby is flying at the moment, having recently broke the 100 mile competition record with a 3:16:51, slicing 4:40 from the previous mark.
A big thanks to the BDCA for putting on the event and to all the volunteers that marshalled, kept time, pushed-off, brewed up, baked cakes and the like.
Photo credit: Ellen Isherwood (photo is from a different event)