Darren and Paul have been at it again, race report from Dazza.
For the second time in three weeks I take a damp morning ride out to Iron Acton to compete in an Open 10 mile Time Trial on our nearest official course (the U102 if you’re interested). Just like two weekends ago, fellow SCS partner-in-pain Paul Derrick is also out. He starts 3 minutes ahead of me, but I didn't even see him until the end. But my minute-man, starting 1 min ahead of me is a chap I used to work and cycle with - a good target to try and reel in.
I remember from last time that there's a headwind on the way out, so I give it the beans running at about 110% of FTP, I tuck into as much of an aero position as possible and just suffer for 10mins or so. There's a slight climb up to the turning point at the Charfield round-a-bout. Normally I wouldn't notice such a gradient but I give it everything I have. But at this stage and at this effort it sends me deep into the red. I knew though this was my chance to gain on my minute-man. Sure enough I get within 100m of him - but he looks over to me as we pass each other on opposite sides of the road. I get up to and around the round-a-bout, but he's got second wind and buggered off down the road. I need a few moments to get my breath back so it's down to 95% FTP for about 20 or 30 seconds. Then it's a case of sailing the tail wind, getting back up to FTP, pushing damn hard and I'm rewarded with a higher return speed. I slowly start to reel him in.
But while I was really pleased to see the finish line, the course wasn't long enough to catch him. He crossed about 12 seconds ahead of him, but that at least means I had a quicker time than him (small wins!). I then ride back to race HQ with Paul. Overall my result was 14th @ 24:22, with an Av Speed of 24.6mph according to Strava. It's my first top-14 place in an open event so I'm pleased with that. It's no Olympic performance but it's progress and Paul came in in 19th. Next time we race, it would be nice to have other SCS folks along. Plenty of folks do them on road bikes for fun - and it will give us someone else to talk to over tea and cake at race HQ.