Beacon RC Little Mountain time trial is a classic hilly time trial run since 1948. It is a race with a great tradition and challenging hilly terrain. There is a lot of effort and enthusiasm put into the organisation and promotion so it’s good to see it rewarded with a big field of over 100 riders -A pretty good turn out for such a hilly event.
In 2012, the race was run, by all accounts, in horrendous weather conditions so with forecast of rain I took a bag full of clothes. In the event it was run in near perfect conditions – a little cold, but it stayed dry and the sun came out, to make it quite nice by the end.
I didn’t have the best preparation for the race, since last Sunday’s race I picked up a cold and spent all week off the bike. I did manage to go out on Saturday to try and unblock the nose. It seemed OK to race. But, given the hilly nature of the course and a lingering cold, I rode conservatively for the first lap. The first lap is run over rolling terrain. I’ve done this particular loop a few times in Rudy Project events. But, after this initial 16 miles, the real fun starts. You go past the HQ and make your way into hillier terrain. There was a particularly tough climb over Stanford Bank. Not particularly steep, but a persistent headwind made the going tough. From the top of Stanford Bank there are quite a few sweeping descents, though a horse box meant I got a bit caught up. I was vaguely aware that up here, it is a beautiful part of the countryside. I would occasionally be aware of a stunning view, but in race mode you don’t have time to stop and appreciate.
At Linley Green you turn left on to the A44 and you can enjoy a long descent to the River Teme. When you’ve got used to a few miles of high speed, you turn off the A44 for the last timed hill climb of the course. You can’t maintain your speed as there are a few sharp turns which leave you struggling for momentum for the last climb, Ankerdine hill. Ankerdine hill is quite steep at the bottom, 16%. It also comes at a time (33 miles) when you are already fatigued from the race. I went down into the 25 sprocket and stayed there until the second part of the climb where it levels off. I half expected to be really zonked at this point. But, I actually felt quite good. There was quite a bit left in the tank so I increased speed and finished with quite a burst of effort for the last six or seven miles.
The marshalling around the course was excellent. I had studiously memorised the OS map, but when you’re out on the course it’s all practically useless, you have no idea where you are and you rely on the signs and marhsalls. It’s a nice touch having little signs warning you of upcoming turns. Racing at high speed can do strange things to your mind and you wonder are those marshalls really pointing me left?
I finished in a time of 1.39:12, which I was pretty pleased with, especially because I’d looked at times from previous years. However, it was obviously a good day with two other riders also under 1.40. Matt Clinton won in a superb time of 1:36:11, and Danny Axford just pipped me with a 1:38:48. However, tt was enough to get on the podium (in this event it is a real podium and not just a turn of phrase), and provisionally I won the hill climb primes up Ankerdine hill and Stanford Bank.
There were plenty of other prizes including biggest pb improvement (30 minutes!!!)
Paula Moseley Climb on Bikes RT was first women.
I had a bit of a headache, after race, but I was really glad to do the event. Great fun, I will be back next year! I rode deep section wheels because I wanted a 25 sprocket.
provisional results at Beacon RC
Little mountain time trial at Beacon RC