Dan Shackleton reports on his and Steve Whittington’s fine 3rd at the Whill Wheels 2-up 10:
Dark clouds have descended over the Cheshire time trialling community. The already “sporting” nature of the courses based around Chelford and Twemlow Green have been blighted further by a recent spate of surface dressing (the technique of quickly resurfacing a worn road by spreading a layer of tar and stone chips on it).
The Janus Road Club 25 mile time trial last Saturday (10 June) was cancelled due to these resurfacing works and the Will Wheels Cycling Club 2-Up 10 mile team time trial that Steve Whittington and I rode last night (14 June) was moved onto a different course because of further works.
The event, now on the J2/3 course (Twemlow Lane-Chelford-Twemlow Green) gave us a first hand opportunity to experience the recently laid stretch of surface dressing from Twemlow Green up to Jodrell Bank (in a word – horrible).
46 teams were entered in the event, starting at 2 minute intervals with Steve and I off at 8:06pm.
Having been ill and not ridden a time trial for what seems like ages (just over 2 weeks) I got all giddy and started a bit too quickly, with Steve fighting to hold my wheel as we made our way along Twemlow Lane to the turn on to the A535.
Confusion abounded at the turn as the road was closed to vehicles due to brushing and line painting (fortunately, the event organiser had made arrangements to allow the event to continue, allowing us testers through the barrier so we effectively had closed roads for the first couple of miles).
The surface dressed section of the A535 made for heavy going, even with the south-westerly wind on our backs and we were thankful to get onto the “smoother” (nothing’s smooth on Cheshire) section of road at Jodrell Bank. Taking equal turns and maintaining a fairly rapid pace, good progress was made to the turn.
We even managed a changeover as we rounded the island at Chelford to turn into the headwind on the return leg. I was paying for the efforts of my fast start and was forcing Steve to do longer turns – the two slight climbs on the return leg felt like mountains! Fortunately, the return leg is slightly shorter and we were both thankful to see the chequerboard at the finish. I honestly don’t think either of us could have tried any harder.
Wandering into the HQ to check the results board (whilst obliging myself to a cup of tea and a slice of cake – as is the norm at time trial events) I knew we had a done a short 22 and was feeling quite disappointed. However, looking at the board I found that we had finished third fastest team on the night (with a time of 22:11) and we were the second fastest club pairing. A result! The fastest team on the night was the composite pairing of Mark Turnbull (Torq Performance) and Peter Walker (Leigh Premier Road Club) with a time of 21:02.
Talking with other riders after the event, everyone agreed that it had been a slow, draggy evening with the surface dressing slowing things down further.
Lesson one – it’s not always about ultra-fast times, you have to ride the course and in the conditions on the day.
Lesson two – 2-up team time trials are much harder than individual ones, they’re fun to do but they really hurt!
2-up team time trials can be a good way of introducing riders to the world of time trialling – ABC Centreville’s racing members would be pleased to ride an event with new club members to enlighten them in the nuances of this peculiarly British form of cycle sport. Contact us