This has always been the West DC season opener, so I thought I would put my winter training to the test and give it a go. The U375 course is no stranger to me as I have ridden the course a few times last season during the weekly club 10’s when it was a lot warmer and drier. So I wasn’t expecting a fast ride this time with cold damp weather conditions. I was also joined by 6 club members, 5 of which had never done a time trial before, Pete Hatt, Jason Whitmarsh, Di Pointin, Steve Hoskins and Elliot Wray. A very good show for DTCC by all attempting their first Time Trial.
Mark Cleverly was also racing, he was into his 2nd season of time trialling, and this will be my first full season of racing as before I have only done a few TT’s in between my triathlon races as training sessions.
I made sure I arrived in plenty of time as I wanted to set up my turbo so I could do a good warm up, I didn’t fancy warming up on the roads near the race HQ as they were extremely muddy and some of the hedgerow’s had just been cut. Didn’t want to get a puncture before the start! After I had warmed up I gingerly made my way to the start along the muddy, hawthorn strewn lane, then waited in line for my turn to start.
For those of you not familiar with time trails, each competitor goes off at 1 minute intervals. My start time was 10:31 therefore my race number was 31. With 30 seconds to go, the start official will hold you up so you can put your feet on both pedals, and you are then pushed off on your start time.
I’m off, trying to remember not to go out too fast as that can cause you to slow down towards the end of the race, I read somewhere, it’s all about pacing apparently…. Anyway it is hard not to when you have a strong tailwind and you are approaching a steep ski slope of a hill after you have turned right at the first of 8 roundabouts, these I did approach with care due to the wet conditions on the road. I negotiated the 1st RAB then it’s down the ski slope, I decide to not go on the TT bars or skis as they are sometimes referred: to start with as there is strong side wind and when you have a 80mm deep front wheel and a disc on the back it can get a little twitchy, I can tell you. I get back into the aero position half way down the slope, hitting nearly 50mph, round the sweeping left hand bend to the 2nd RAB; straight over onto the long straight with the wind behind, I’m flying
! Averaging nearly 30mph, but I know I won’t be on the return (must save some in the tank). Come to the 3rd RAB, left there, short way to the next, straight over the 4th RAB. Then it’s a slight downhill to the turnaround point, off the TT bars briefly to do a 180 degree turn at the 5th RAB back into the wind, uphill to the 6th RAB, right there onto the long drag into the headwind. I still manage to maintain a reasonable pace until I reach the final rise to the last RAB, then it’s a really struggle to keep a high cadence, my legs are screaming. The last 800m feels like eternity, I can see the chequered finish sign to my left by the timing car; I put in a last effort to get to the finish. I shout out my number as I cross the finish, yes! What relief, I rip off my visor which has steamed up and slowly make my way up the ski slope back to the race HQ to claim my cup of tea and cake in exchange for my race number.
Thinking of Having a Go?
A very well organised race by Frome & District Wheelers and great cake as well! Also a big well done to the other club members for having a go at their first TT, let’s hope it has inspired others to have a go. There are plenty of races to choose from on the CTT website or you can turn up at one of the many club Open TT’s run by Chippenham, Westbury or Frome Wheelers, they start in April and are held on Tuesday and Wednesday nights.
Check the individual clubs website and racing calendar’s for more details.
If you are considering having ago or would like to find out more about riding your first Time Trial, take a look at this well written article here on the cycling time trials website.
The Club’s Results
|Start Time||Rider Number||Name||Club||Cat||VET STD||Actual Time|
|10:31||31||Billy Dyer||Devizes Town Cycling Club||VET-4||00:26:23||00:22:47|
|11:11||71||Mark Cleverley||Devizes Town Cycling Club||VET-4||00:26:36||00:24:18|
|11:11||52||Peter Hatt||Devizes Town Cycling Club||VET-4||00:26:41||00:24:32|
|10:02||2||Jason Whitmarsh||Devizes Town Cycling Club||VET-4||00:26:23||00:25:06|
|10:39||39||Diana Pointon||Devizes Town Cycling Club||FEMALE -V4||00:28:34||00:29:21|
|10:18||18||STEVE HOSKINS||Devizes Town Cycling Club||VET-5||00:27:26||00:30:36|
|11:14||74||Elliott Wray||Devizes Town Cycling Club||JUN||00:38:30|
Full results can be found here.
Photos Courtesy – Mark Wareham