Centreville’s Dan Shackleton reports:
After last weekend’s time trial programme was written off thanks to the Beast from the East, Saturday’s Circuit of Ingleborough turned out to be only my second race outing of the year.
The Circuit of Ingelborough organised by Pendle Forest CC is a true SPOCO event, being hilly, exposed and a fairly technical course. It is also a counting event in the Lakes & Lancs SPOCO TT series, to which ABC Centreville are affiliated. http://www.lakesandlancsspoco.co.uk/
The circuit is basically a triangle around Ingleborough hill. With the start at Ingleton, riders head south-east through Clapham to Settle and then turn up the valley through Horton-In-Ribblesdale to Ribblehead viaduct, where they turn left to complete the triangle back to Ingleton for a (nearly) 27 mile circuit, with a total ascent of around 600 metres.
My start time of 11:31 was the second last of over 90 listed. Driving north through heavy rain seriously dampened my enthusiasm, so it was with some relief to arrive in Ingleton without the forecasted rainfall. Unfortunately, the roads were wet and there seemed to be a significant south-easterly wind.
After warming up on the rollers, I headed off to the start to find that my minute man (course record holder James Gullen) had DNS’d, not that there was any chance of me getting anywhere near him on the road!
The circuit starts uphill on Old Road and climbs for the first 1½ miles. With a climb at the start, it is very easy to start too hard, which is exactly what I did, even though my every intention was hold back a little for the first part of the race! I think it was exacerbated by the headwind encountered right from the off.
Descending towards Clapham through all the farmyard muck on the roads, I was glad to get onto the A65 and increase the pace whilst avoiding the detritus. Turning off the main road to Buck Haw Brow and my pace quickly dropped, I found the climb a struggle – I reckon I was over-geared having a bottom gear of 44 x 25.
I caught my two minute man just after the turn before Settle. Anticipating a favourable wind, I was hoping to make up some time over this next leg of the course. Unfortunately, the hoped-for tailwind failed to materialise.
The road to Ribblehead viaduct is a long slog with numerous false summits followed by short fast descents. It’s not conducive to maintaining a steady rhythm and I reckon I used nearly all my gears, which is unusual for a time trial.
As I approached Ribblehead, I could see riders in front of me, this spurred me on and broke me out of my trancelike state.
Turning left onto Hawes road, I knew I only had to get over the climb past the Station Inn and then I would have a mainly downhill run in to the finish.
I covered these last 5 miles in a shade under 10 minutes, to finish with a time of 1:12:30 for 16th place.
Initially, I was disappointed with my time as I clocked a quicker time for the event in 2017, riding a road bike with tri-bars. However, on reflection, I think the conditions weren’t as quick this year and I was slightly over-geared (and a note to self – don’t do an interval session the night before a TT, my powers of recovery aren’t what they once were!).
The promoting club’s Richard Bideau won the event, the former BBAR clocking an impressive 1:03:13. Fastest female rider was Karen Poole of Sportstest RT, with a 1:21:13.
A big thanks to Pendle Forest CC for putting on a well-marshalled and well supported event.
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