Preparedness: National Championship

This week I have been preparing for the National Hill Climb Championship by riding less and doing ridiculously long days at work. I have managed one tempo effort on the bike. All of this is fine because ostensibly it’s taper time. I rarely taper for anything, but if you’re going to, it might as well be for the National Championships.

The climb is far north, in the frozen wastes of Teesdale. It’s classified as tundra and grazes the perimeter of the Arctic Circle. It’s desolate and beautiful. One thing is certain, it’s going to be an epic trek; first to Bradford then on to the race on Sunday morning. I’m off later on, 8 riders from the finish, mixing it up with the extremely fast people. I think they’ve seeded the top 15 or so on even numbers and then interspersed these with slightly less fast people like myself who should hopefully avoid a catch and have a good ride. I’m looking forward to seeing Ben Davis and Charles Coleman representing the west country hill climb brigade.

I’m going to stick with my earlier predictions, Tejvan for the win, with Richard Handley and James Gullen mixing it up. I also think Matt Clinton will be thereabouts because he always comes good in the National. I’m hoping for a top 30 placing; better than 24th would be terrific, and if i break into the top 20 I’ll shout the family to a slap-up meal at the Kashmir in Bradford on Sunday night. I live in hope.

Currently I’m hoping that come Sunday morning I’ll be feeling a little bit less tired. Work has deadened me this week. I shall attempt some revivification with a short climb tomorrow afternoon, probably up to Queensbury, with the am being to stir the legs and awaken the heart-rate.

I’m excited and full of trepidation. I’m also looking forward to cakes and ale.


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