This was another warm and humid evening, with a rather noticable blustery wind. It wasn’t obvious where the wind might benefit the riders, and this wasn’t helped by conflicting comments from riders who’d been warming up on the course.
As it turned out, I found some assistance on the ride out to the dual carriageway section, but actually there was enough side wind to make my front wheel a bit twitchy at times. Once out on the dual carriageway, we were on the newly chipped road surface. Thankfully there were no loose chippings left, but the new surface was a little rough. On the other hand the potholes have gone!
The dual carriageway was a bit heavy going at times, due both to the new surface and the nagging wind, which was most definitely catching my front wheel. Round the turn, and I was going a fair bit faster.
After leaving the dual carriageway, I felt like I was losing it a bit: the breeze here was definitely a hindrance, especially on the false flat in the run-up to the finish. As I crossed the line, I stopped the timer on my Garmin and looked at the time. I couldn’t actually read it (blame age-related visual issues!). It also turned out I’d not stopped the clock anyway. My best guess was that I’d done a short 23.
Back at the meeting point, the riders congregated for the usual deconstruction of their efforts. No-one seemed particularly delighted with their expected times, and there were several of us around the 23 minute mark. Eventually the timekeepers returned clutching the clipboard. It turned out I’d won with 22:56 by a narrow margin!