I rode out to this event knowing full well that I was flouting two rules of time trialling, enshrined in Team Grumpy’ short rule book:

#2 – Don’t tinker with your bike the evening before the event. It will break, either then or, worse still, during the event.


#5 – Never train or race with a bad cough – it will destroy your entire season.

Flouting Rule #2 was down to the fact I took delivery of a SRAM eTap aero set on Tuesday, and I’d spent several evenings fitting the kit, but had no opportunity to road test it before this morning’s time trial. I’ll probably review the eTap system in another post, but I can say that fitting is really easy (biggest hassle was feeding the blip switch wire through the base bar on my bike), and that the single switch controls are not only intuitive but work well. As as for rule #5 – I had been suffering a not particularly bad cold all week.

Anyway, after a minor hitch when my Garmin Edge 520 refused to turn on, and I found out I couldn’t quite remember how to use the hastily attached Edge 500! Anyway, I rode over to Stoke Hammond, running the chain up and down the cassette and checking the front mech worked OK. The shifts were very accurate and smooth, though I do miss the distinct click from the 9-speed Dura-Ace set that preceded it.

Weather for the race wasn’t particularly bad, but it was a bit cold and clammy, with on-off drizzle throughout. I regretted not bringing full finger gloves. There was a bit of a breeze that made the going a bit heavy to the first roundabout, but it didn’t really trouble me again until I came to turn off the dual carriageway at about 8 miles. In the end, I finished in first place with 24:09, which I was quite pleased with – this was also good enough for 1st Veteran on standard, and second place handicap. Full results over at the NBRC website.