Well, it may have been sunny, but it was pretty cold. Indeed, we had to melt ice off the car’s windscreen before we set off to the race HQ in Roxton. While temperatures did rise just above freezing, it did remain cold enough for knee-warmers and full finger gloves. What was a bit more troubling was the strengthening wind, which whistled across the flat fields around the F1B/25 start. One problem I has was that one of the remarkably high tech Boa shoe fastenings on my left show decided to snap as I was tightening it up. This wasn’t the end of the world, as these shoes have two laces – it just left my foot floating a bit in the shoe. [The possibility of one of these shoe fastenings breaking was discussed just the other day over at timetriallingforum.co.uk]
Of course, this made the southbound leg pretty comfortable, at least until reaching the ‘lumpy’ bits near the turn. Actually, I got through the first two roundabouts without obstruction, only to be stopped by a lorry and a caravan at the third. At this point, I was feeling pretty optimistic, though the last three or four miles where the road, though not exactly hilly is rather severely undulating, was a bit tough. Of course I had the continued optimism from the knowledge that the F1B/25 turns at hight altitude than it starts and finishes at. There should, therefore, have been a bit of gravitational assistance against the growing headwind.
Unfortunately, someone appeared to have inverted the gradient – there didn’t seem to be much, if any at all, descent on the way back to the finish. Indeed the effort, compounded by the cold air, made it quite hard for me to ride efficiently in an aero tuck. Despite a late surge, I could manage a 1:03:54, something of a disappointment. Perhaps I’m still recovering from that recent cold.
Upon investigating the Garmin trace (see below), it’s clear that the return leg is (overall) a descent, so that headwind on the return leg must have been pretty brisk. After grabbing quick cuppa and a quick chat, we left before all the results were in.