This was only my second ride on this fast 10 mile course (F11/10), based on the A41 Tring bypass. It’s a fast course because of the significant hill riders descend, but don’t have to race back up. The last time I rode the course, I got held up by a line of cars at the first turn, which sort of reduced the race to a training ride!

I went out to this event with Katja, who’s been seeing some good performances lately, and who was off about 15 minutes after me. As per usual, I felt a distinct lack of enthusiasm as we drove out to the event and as warmed up. Also as per usual for me, the enthusiasm suddenly surfaced as I was just about to start!The start is on a slip road down to the A41, and I quickly got up to speed. Unfortunately that didn’t last, as soon I was on the section of road that was resurfaced last year (much to the disgust of regular riders on the course) with a really rough tarmac. I found myself clattering along and feeling that everything was horribly inefficient. Still, that section got much better and by the time I reached the turn, everything seemed fine. I got round the turn without problems and set out on the main leg of the event.

I felt great, and especially so on the descent, where I hit 47mph or thereabouts. We’d been warned of a couple of potholes, but frankly the road seemed in pretty good nick. I also got round the second turn without problems, and set off towards the finish. The last half mile or so seemed quite tough, not sure why! We’d been warned that we’d be disqualified if we didn’t ride properly up the sliproad to pass the finish timekeeper, so I made sure I kept left! I finished in 21:27, which I think is my third best ’10’ ever, and my best in the the last 5 years. Just as I finished, the rain began. I think Katja got a bit wet out there, but finished with a PB (22:42?). I haven’t seen a results sheet yet.