After the NBRC club time trial on Wednesday, when I felt my form was beginning to return, I was rather looking to this event to reaffirm this judgement. By Friday, however, I was rather annoyed to see the weather forecast for Saturday afternoon was for heavy rain. On the day, however, the rain didn’t materialise (rather, the BBC had changed their story, now forecasting it for first thing Sunday morning – just when I was supposed to be riding the Norlond ’30’ on the F1). So, as I lined up at the start it was dry, though rather warm and humid. I felt really quite sleepy! The main climatic obstacle was the rather strong and blustery cross-wind that looked as though it might be most troublesome on the outward leg.
And so it proved. It felt as though I was riding through treacle for the first half of the event. For the first time when riding this course, I had no problems of being baulked by traffic at any point. Instead, I was just finding it quite difficult to build up and maintain speed. The return leg was marginally better, but really only marginally.
I crossed the line in about 23:07 – not far different from my time of 23:02 in last year’s event. Perhaps the form I had last year is returning after my injury setbacks of February. As usual, this was a very sociable event – plenty of conversation. Maybe it’s because a relatively early event in the calendar, and usually with modest number of riders. Anyway, it was good to touch base with riders I’d not seen since last season.