Last Saturday was my first race of the season, a 2-up time trial. A two up seemed like a nice pressure free way to start the season. I also thought it would be a good way to get back into ‘race mode’ after what seems like a lifetime ago since my last race. All the little maintenance jobs to my time trial bike that have built up over the winter that my hand would now be forced to confront in time for the race. On race day small things like remembering to press the lap button on the Garmin at the 10 second count down, which I forgot to do that triggered a brain freeze where I almost asked the time keeper to wait a sec. All useful things to sort out before things get serious.
I didn’t get to test out my new Endura CCC skin suit which was a shame. There was no way I could fit me and a base layer underneath, as I felt I was a vital component I ended up opting for the old skinsuit which is now so baggy I could put a thermal base layer underneath with knee warmers and the club summer jersey over the top. In fact it was pointless wearing a skinsuit, bibs and longsleave jacket would probably have been just as effective.
The Nova CC 2-up is run on a slightly sporting course J8/13 that my club, Congleton CC, run a club event on in the summer. On the course in the summer I did a 56:52 which I was pleased with at the time as it certainly isn’t a quick course. The conditions would be markedly different for our two up with the temperature dropping below 4 degrees along with a helpful face full of hail stones for about 10 minutes each lap. Because of this we were cautious of the short descent down Dark Ln.
It wasn’t only the weather conditions that were causing my caution. Shortly before the start I noticed that my reassembly of my front brake, one of the jobs I had rushed to get ready for the race, was not right. The right brake arm was loose causing it to travel forward and upward when the brake was applied. I need to get that sorted, preferably in time for the Buxton Mountain TT!
Check out the unboxing of my new Zipp 808 Firecrest Wheelset.
I enjoyed racing with Paul we kept in good communication. I haven’t done many team time trials. It’s tricky when on the front to know just how your partner is feeling, should you push or ease off. I also realised that the style of riding you do solo in a time trial isn’t necessarily the best for working as a team. For example my usual approach to a hill is to crest it and give a few extra big pushes to get the bike back up to speed. When in a pairing you can easily blow the team apart doing that. There is also the instinctual urge to up the pace when you see someone on your wheel, it almost feels like you’re being chased. An other tendancy I had. Was to mirror Paul, as in I would sense he was to my right (Paul is an very experienced rider and knows very well how to shelter from the wind) so I would move a little to the right to bring him further into my wheel. The response then by Paul is to move yet further right. Doh, stop micromanaging!
I hope Paul was pleased with the result of 14th with a time around about a minute faster than he had done in the Summer. I think that was a good effort with the conditions.