First real race of the season today was the Crewe Clarion Wheelers Hilly TT on the J8/2R course. This is a 16.5 mile loop that is mostly false flat with a few drags. The course goes from Nantwich to Audlem then climbs up to Woore before heading downhill to the start. First of the new North West SPOCO series.
Thanks to Chris Harrison for the fantastic photo used above. More of his photos from the event can be found here.
A moan about early starts
I really don’t do well in the morning. It’s something I need to work on, perhaps with a few early morning training sessions. This was the earliest start I think I’ve had at 9:10. I tried to sell myself a dummy by getting up extra early hoping this would get everything functioning in time. I wasn’t fooled and ended up just knackered. Just warming up on the turbo before the start felt an effort. I am thinking about looking into nutrition techniques that will help for these morning races as liver glycogen is all but depleted first thing in the morning so you are starting pretty much from 0. I managed a decent breakfast though, however this might only have spiked my blood sugar. Something to look into. Despite the early start once the time trial had started I was feeling a bit better, I had taken copious amounts of caffeine which I hope will wear off before this evening.
The first 10 miles however were good, despite it being mostly up hill it felt quite fast. I was a bit concerned beforehand about the turn in Audlem as it is a tight pull out which narrows to a single lane giving no chance to simply filter in. No dramas for me accept a white van that didn’t indicate he was turning off and that had me slow a little more than I would have liked.
My plan was to ride the course like a 10 mile TT up to Woore which is exactly 10 miles from the start I would simply hold on for the faster slightly downhill final 6 miles. I think this was the best tactic. Although when I set off from Woore towards the finish with the final 6 miles to go I felt sluggish and slow. A small headwind was taking the edge off the speed. This was supposed to be the fast downhill bit where I could get a breather and just punch it over the rollers to keep the speed up. The speed just never came and I hardly picked up the average. Bit frustrated with myself now as I think this started some negative self talk.
In the end my time was good enough for 3rd place. I was happy with that for my first race this year but truth be told I was hoping to be about minute quicker than I was.
It was a good first proper outing for the Zipp 808s they performed really well and made a nice sound when punching over some of the slower parts of the course. Only snag was that the rear brake blocks are still not worn enough to completely clear the rim when under load so I can hear a bit of rubbing at times. I think I will accelerate the process and sand down the blocks a little.
My next race is the Buxton CC Mountain TT which is the 2nd counting event for the North West SPOCO Series. This is also an RTTC Series event.