I can’t quite remember what my reasons were for entering this event, I think it was because i thought it was a WTTA Hardriders parcours,which it was, and i conveniently ignored the fact that some of the leading time triallists in all the land would be tearing it up on their technologically crazed carbon steeds.
the course was near Frome, and went up a particularly abhorrent hillock near Mere, as well as several other nasty, brutish and long ascents. the effect was magnified by the omnipresent headwind – especially in the last 4 miles where it became almost soul-destroying and utterly rhythm shattering.
these are some of the riders who turned up:
matt bottrill, the winner in a stupidly quick 57.04
and of couse, rebecca romero.
only eight riders went under the hour; sarah storey gave rebecca romero a bit 0f a pasting – three minutes up; i was precisely three minutes adrift of the olympic gold medallist. it was a really tough day in the saddle; it hurt a lot; my chain came off and wouldn’t go back on, then it got stuck in the big ring; lost about 4o seconds right there. it’s all a part of the rich tapestry of ‘the race of honesty’. one of the most awe-inspiring results was in the vets category; John Woodburn completed the course in 1.11, just over 20mph. John is 73; admittedly a former national champion, but 73!
in the mens seniors/espoirs race I came 16th in 1.06.51; this is a little bit disingenuous, because a lot of the vets, some of the women, a fistful of the whippet-thin juniors and at least three of the disabled riders were all quicker than me. of the field of about 140 in total, i came 35th. i am very pleased and am now making firm plans to go totally aero. i may even ride another rudy project, although not the next one, the hutch is riding.
the prizes were cake – i nearly forgot – which was apt, because belle drove me to the start and back, and she makes the best cakes ever. she got to see some serious lycra smut for her troubles.