Saturday afternoon was the Newbury RC 10 mile Time trial. The last race I did was back in April, that was a 33 very hilly time trial run amidst snow drifts, rain and cold (see: Buxton Mountain TT). Saturday couldn’t have been more different. 25 degrees, a bit windy, but very warm in the sun. Rather than thermal underwear, overshoes and hotpads – it was sunblock and sunglasses.
In early April, I was also in great form after a good winter’s training. This was first race after sitting up for 4-5 weeks after doing nothing follow blood clot / injury. I had been hopeful, that one weeks decent training would be sufficient to wipe out 5 weeks of sitting in cafes doing nothing more than bemoaning my bad luck. Alas, to keep yourself in really top shape, you really do need regular training. It’s hard work to get and stay really fast.
It was good to be back on the startline, with no real expectations. The first 5 miles to the turn with strong tailwind were great. Nine minutes for just under 5 miles. But, on the way back it was a different story – 5 miles into a strong headwind. With a tailwind, you can float along, but into the remorseless wind, I lacked power and a 10 mile race seemed like quite a long way. The Bentley course also has some long drags. I could feel my speed slowing down, and I was struggling to turn the big gears of 56*16-17. I was glad to finish. My final time was 21.34. Not too bad considering, but it was my slowest ever time on this H10/8 Bentley course. The race was won by former national champion Richard Prebble in a very decent 20.38 (Node4 – Giordana RT)
On the positive side, it’s good to back on the bike. Hopefully, a few more weeks, and I will be able to see some significant improvement. But, it shows me that to maintain a high power and performance it really does require quite a consistent effort.