Saturday, 16 April 2011

First Ever Official 10mile Time Trial

I phoned Pantani up around 11am to find out what kind of time I should be setting off at so that I have enough time for a warmup up and to view the course, which I considered to be very important. He sounded very rough indeed and my suspicions were confirmed when he announced he was pulling out after a ride in the morning. He still went up to meet me which made me much more comfortable.

The meeting place was Catterall Village Hall, near Garstang, which is about 10mins cycle from the start point, about an hours drive down the motorway. Some big bloke approached me and introduced himself as the organiser and said that I must be Simon. How on earth he knew I dont know but he then explained that the conversations with my wife painted a spectacular picture hah. Met Nick from the tri club who is a seasoned veteran and has done numerous TT's, quick chat later and Pantani arrived and showed me to a 'secret' meeting point.

Pantani had his bike in the car and rode some of the course with me, which I am so grateful for as it put my mind at ease. Heard so many horror stories of newbies going off course and ruining a good day. The sun was out but the wind was annoying, a swirly left and right cross wind. After doing the course we went back to his car where other TT'ers had parked up and were on their turbos/rollers or on the country lanes warming up. After my warmup I just about managed to get to the start line in time. I was off at 15.14 and arrived at 15.12 after waiting at lights for ages.

One minute to go..... bike held and clipped in, in position, 30 seconds called...all ready and waiting for the off.  10 seconds, 5 4 3 2 1 GO! I was in the right gear but totally forgot to turn the cycling computer on so had no idea what speed I was travelling at. All the sweeties I had before hand must have contributed to a stitch for most of the course but due to positioning it wasn't as bad as it could be. The course was lumpy as hell, I was expecting it to be pan flat as I've heard some good times can be achieved. Went off a little quick but settled nicely. Had to stand up a couple of times to keep up the speed, now where was that roundabout? Negotiated it at around halfway with no problems and still in the aero position, only another 5 miles to go.
Pantani had said that the home leg is harder than the out stretch but I thought it was the other way around. I managed to hold my position quite easily on the ascents but the extra effort required was killing me and had to hold back to get my breath back on the descents. Every breath was painful due to the stitch and tried to ignore it and just pedalled. Hours were passing me by that were actually minutes. Towards the end the man behind me had just about caught me but I hadn't caught anyone. He passed the tractor easily but when it was my turn I had a car infront, a bleeding traffic island and traffic coming in the opposite direction. Took ages to get past but the finish line was only 200metres ahead and sprinted to the end.

Got lost, as I usually do when travelling back to base so had to phone my 'team' who appeared very quickly. Treated myself to a brew and muffins whilst I was awaiting my time to come in.Numbers 1-10 were in and times were around the 21-22-23 mark, was told it wasn't a fast day so my expectations suddenly dropped. The missus came out whilst I was putting the bike away and said I got 27.04. OMG I thought...CRAP and my heart sank but at least I beat my previous time.  She then said she was joking.

10 mile Time Trial L101.........23.46              Av Sp    25.25mph

I said before this that I would have been ecstatic with anything under 24mins and anything between 24-25 would have been a good day at the office but although happy something at  the back of my mind wanted a 22.   I know if I keep doing them with specific training I should improve alot so hopefully I get the time to do some more. Theres a club TT just down the road thats just recommenced, a timed 8 miler every Tuesday night.

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