Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Testing Testing 1 2 3

Hinkley CRC 25 Mile Time Trial
24 June 2012
Promoted and Organized by Hinckley CRC

What’s this Time Trialling thing??!!
When I began cycling I enterted straight in to the quantifiable world of Time Trialling, or Testing as its more commonley know amoungst those who are in the know. Testing was all I did and all I ever wnated to do, I didnt even know what this whole road racing thing was and more to the point I didnt care. I liked the fact that Testing was a simple process of training a single energy system to its fullets extent and then going to a race and doindf exactly the same as what you have been doing in your workouts. No messing aroung, no tactics, no negative racing, no 4th cats shouting "Hup, Hup" from the back of the bunch when some attackes! Nope, the race against the clock was pure and I liked that.

The Hinkley CRC Challenge Weekend was one of the events that I raced back in those first few years of cycling when I was a junior. The event is a well know and well organised event in the West Midlands Area and consists of a 10 mile TT of the Saturday and a 25 on the Sunday. The times of both races are added together and the rider with the lowest overall time is declared the weekends champion. I won the Junior category at that time and this was one of my first notable wins in my quest to be a pro.

Fast forwarding to the present day and the last 2 years and I have barely competed in a Time Trial. Nowadays I am a pure road racing thorough bread through and through. Although I still have the ability to put in a good solo TT effort and a lot of my best RR results have come from long steady state breakaway which require a good “Testing” ability, I just haven't really bothered to or had time to ride in any TT’s. The ones I did were at the start of the year before the main road racing season got under way and even then I did them on my Road Bike! All the while my TT bike has lay dormant in the garage, prepped, primed and ready for action but just never call up on.

Hinkely MapSo, this weekend in June, a barely summers June, would be a land mark, a monument in cycling history when I, Dan Bill put the race wheels back in to the “Time Machine” and give it a good old thrashing!!! The Hinkley 25 mile TT would be the event and location and the race!

With a typical early morning start, I loaded the car struggling to remember how I get this contraption with the sticky out bars in to the back of it and headed off the race HQ. I got there nice and early with about an hour and a fifteen minutes before my start so I could relax and chill for a while. However, Upon arrival to the HQ I realised there could be a very bad situation at hand! Because I was just after 9.00am I was set to get ready for my warm up at about 8.30am, the HQ was in a pub car park and the only toilets were in the Pub. The early hour meant the landlords were not up which in turn meant there were no toilets! Bad news. To cut a long story short, after much faffing around I gad to go “O’ Natural” in the nearest bush! good old “Testing”.

After a Trubofied warm up and a quick Gel to replace some glycogen I headed of to the start and only then did I realise how windy it was…….very! With a nice headwind down the start straight I got straight in to my new and improved, DaveyZ style aero tuck and looked to maintain a smooth cadence and not get bogged down in the gear. The new position was the result of a bit of fiddling that I did over the last week or so, It seemed like a much better position but the problem was I didn't have time to train in it and today would be the first time I would ride in that position for an hour let alone at race pace. This made for an uncomfortable ride in the gentleman department but I wasn't the only one who found there perch and bit on the uncomfortable side.

I had no real goals for the race other than to give it my usual 110% and to also maintain my aero tuck as strictly as possible for as much of the race as I could. With a tail wind all the way to the second turn I concentrated on keeping my arms close and relaxed on the extensions, my head low and looking ahead and my shoulders squeezed in as sustainably close as I could. Although it took a lot of effort to do it, I think I managed to hold it like that for 95% of the race and I truly believe it helped a lot on the headwind sections.

With one of the two laps gone almost completed, I tuned off the dual carriageway headwind section and back on to the start straight. As it has been a while since i have ridden this course I was unsure where the finish was, originally I through it was on the start straight but in actual fact it was back along the second straight. I was watching the clock as I crossed the line to complete lap one and knew that if i was going to be up there in the results I would have to get under the hour. I started the second lap with 32 minutes gone, I knew I would have to up my game I was going to crack the 60 min mark.

I had passed my 1, 2, 4 and 4 minute men by this stage and hadn't been passed by any one else so in the absence of my power meter this was my gauge to how well I was going. I felt good and the position was not killing me. Withy the last few miles ahead of me I upped the pace just enough to time my physical explosion just right as I hit the finish line and a time of 58.59. Bonus, cracked the hour and beat my last course PB by 6 minutes, Ok I was only 17 at the time but a new PB is still a new PB!

Back at the HQ, the bike was loaded in the car, the recovery was downed and the compression tights were on………..What???!!!! I have the Ras de Cymru on Wednesday, Its all about the recovery you know! Observing the results board, TT mega man Matt Clinton recorded a time of 55.09 to take the win which he added to his win in the 10 mile event yesterday making him the clear overall winner. I ended up 9th which I was really pleased with as I was beaten by some really good pure testers and only riders who set of on markers (Marks are when you start with a race number ending in a 5 or a 0, It signifies that you are a likely contender for the top places). The event its self was a great one and was perfectly marshalled and organised. In fact it was so good it relighted my passion for Testing and now I can wait to do a few more!

1 Matt Clinton, Mike Vaughan Cycles 00:55:07
2 Tejvan Pettinger, Sri Chinmoy CT 00:55:39
3 Andrew Green, Lutterworth CC RT 00:56:42
4 Martin Garner, MG Decor Team Carbon Bikes 00:57:11
5 Geoff Platts, MG Decor Team Carbon Bikes 00:57:27
6 David Kiernan, Rugby RCC 00:57:37
7 Rob Weare, Leamington C & AC 00:58:18  
8 Adam Tansey, Keep The Beat Cycling 00:58:39
9 Dan Bill, Rapid Performance Coaching 00:58:57
10 David Warren, Keep The Beat Cycling 00:58:58

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