The weather forecast didn’t bode well for this event – not only strong and gusty winds of around 25mph, but heavy showers were predicted. Actually, I was indoors when the big shower blew over, and all I really had to deal with was the stupidly strong wind. Accordingly, I’d replaced my usual H3 with a standard road wheel before I rode over to the race HQ at the Marston Moretaine social club.
It was quite clear by the time I arrived that my choice of front wheel was a wise one – even the standard road wheel was slightly twitchy. I hung around at the HQ for as long as possible before riding over to the start at the top of Brogborough hill, about 3.4 miles or so. Happily, it stayed dry, and I didn’t have to wait for long before my start.
Descending Brogborough hill was rather quick. I recorded a maximum of 73.2 kph, and I’m sure it would have been faster had I the courage to stay on the tribars all the way down! From there to the turn, it was seriously fast, mostly at 46-54 kph (well in excess of 30 mph), only easing back for a car at the first roundabout. Having said that, I don’t think I was taking full advantage of the tail wind, as I can’t really pedal at high cadence when in the aero tuck position. The marshal at the turn was warning riders of gusts across the roundabout. This advice was very good!
Once round the turn, things took a turn for the worse. I found myself grovelling back to the finish, struggling to keep my speed over 20mph. I was consoled by seeing decent power figures, so at least I knew I was making an effort. On the return leg I was having trouble steering round the myriad potholes while steering the bike in the strong headwind. Eventually, the finish time keeper came into view, and I finished in a disappointing 24:19. Mind you, this was the windiest time trial I can recall ever riding.