25.4 Miles, quickly

my form seems to be holding over the season quite well, i’m sure it’s luck rather than judgement. yesterday was the Severn Road Club “10” on the u7b, one of the world’s slowest “10” courses. there were a few BSCC riders on the startsheet, it’s a trophy event for the club. I managed 2nd place, my best placing yet in an open 10, with 21.51 – which happens to be 15 seconds slower than my time for the midweek about 14 days ago, although the conditions were not that favourable. i bagged the cup though. it’s in honour of Les Cattell, who went under the hour for a 25 in 1949. probably on an 84″.

this morning i clipped a further 45 seconds from my 25 PB, with a 53.01. i would have liked to have found the extra 2 seconds somewhere to bag a 52, but can’t complain. alec managed a 52.58, which is pretty impressive, especially without a disc wheel. i noticed he has crossed to the dark side and started shaving his legs though (not that i was looking at his legs, i hasten to add), i attribute this to him dabbling in the back-stabby world of road racing, with its surreptitious double-dealing and gentleman’s handshakes, where the fastest and fittest doesn’t necessarily win, but the most cunning and the stealthiest, the one who reads the game of poker best and chooses the right moment to bluff and when to front it out. meanwhile, back in the race of truth, he went deep and put in a brilliant performance.

my approach today was to pretty much floor it all the way, apart from the nasty middle section where there is an epic long draggy bit that slaps you in the face a few times, but not with real venom. on the way back from the turn i was absolutely flying along, as quick as i’ve been in this sort of race, holding 32+mph for a good few miles. it was exhilarating. the last bit, especially the drag up the sliproad, was hideous, i thought i’d done enough to just get under the minute, but it was not to be. i take some consolation that on a regular 25 it would be well beneath, maybe even 40 seconds less. I am also pleased with the new PB.

elsewhere in the wonderful and frightening world of cycling, today has been a seriously crashy TdF stage with flecha and hoogerland totalled by a TV car. one minute hoogerland was contemplating the stage win and polka dot jersey, the next he was wrapped around a wire fence. the first week has been more like a castle combe 4th cat crit than the apotheosis of professional bike racing.

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