By Warren Gell.
Looking at this event in the plan, it was always going to stand out, New Team, New Team Time Trial team mates, New course and a 240 mile round trip. I feel an element of responsibility for this race as I am known for my time trialling in the team and I have to adapt my riding style to accommodate.
Arriving in the beautiful town of Beverley, the weather was favourable and finally it was dry for race 3 of the season. Craig & Ste were warming up on the turbos in the typical glamourous location of a primary school car park. A brief discussion on a plan for the race and who is doing what where and when whilst doing the final checks on the bikes, we roll out for the 2 mile ride to the start.
On the start line theres a few other team waiting for their time to start, as Ste takes position one, Craig position two and myself in third position. 30 second countdown from the starter as the organisers hold us in position and all you can hear is “fifteen seconds” then 3 Garmins bleep as we all select start. “5 seconds” then “have a good ride”. Ste got us up to a good pace from the off and we are quickly into 30 seconds turns, a slow negotiation of a roundabout and onto the first of the rolling straight roads into the wolds.
Our rythym gets going and we as we all roll through at 30 second intervals the Garmin doesn’t drop below 29 mph and is frequently above 31 mph, the first 10 miles passing in a smooth, organised 19.49.
This is quite impressive considering this is the first time the three of us have ridden a time trial together, all on aero bikes and the first time Craig and Ste have ridden aero bikes for years. This pace is high and very encouraging.
As we turn West, cross wind changes the dynamics slightly and the power required increases by 40 watts to maintain the same speed and the position of the three of us on the road is key to conserve energy and maintain our rythym.
15 miles pass and the average speed is 29 mph and we are communicating well and keeping a good routine of turns on the front setting the pace.
As its the first time I had ridden the course, I’m effectively riding on feel, but as we turn South at the 18 mile mark back towards Beverley, I remember Craig saying the last 5 miles are hilly.
We are on a good schedule as the head wind begins to play its part and the lumps in the road start to appear, I’m focussed on the average speed, rythym and making every turn on the front count.
Into the last 3 miles and the wind and terrain start to play their part and the average speed starts to drop close to 28 mph, the turns get that little bit harder, the communication between the three of us is short, sharp to the point and now shouted, we know we are on a good time and its a case of holding on to the power and rythym.
Into the last mile and we are all really into the Red and for the first time the 3 of spilt and gaps appear for the last quarter mile. Craig and I have a sprint for the line and I stop the Garmin at 52.52, but the finishing time is on the third rider crossing the line.
As we roll back to the event HQ, the silence says weve gone hard, as we collect our thoughts I say long 52 and average 28 mph, which is met with satisfied nods from Craig and Ste.
Back at the HQ, the accessibility, friendliness and no frills aspect of time trialling are evident. £1 for a coffee and cake in a classroom as the organiser collect numbers and safety pins from the return riders and we all wait for the time keeper to appear and start marking times against names on the hand written results sheet pinned to the wall.
We are pleased with an official time of 52.57 which gets us 3rd on the day within a minute of the winning time. The organisers are Thankful for our support and the distance we have travelled to take part, as usual the City Road Club organised an excellent well run event.
Lots of positives to take away from the day in preparation for returning later in the year for the National Team Time Trial on the same course.
STRAVA from Craig – https://www.strava.com/activities/887365914