Manchester 100

Well today was scheduled as the last sportive of the season for me., although a couple of others have popped up which are interesting, The Bruntwood Ellipse Cycle Sportif (a 55 mile ramble from Knutsford into the Peaks) and Salford Cycle (a 1k time trial around Salford Quays). Salford Cycle is interesting as it would be the first time trial I will have competed in.

Anyway today was the Manchester 100. Choices of either 100 mile or 100k available of which I had the 100 mile planned. Preparations leading up to the 100 hadn't been great, since completing the Rapha Condor Sportive in Blackpool, I've had the normal weekend rides with a couple of hourly rides midweek. It has been nearly a month layoff since Blackpool, and I had lost my conditioning. 2 weeks leading up to the event had seen training tail off too. A couple of rides the week before saw the legs feeling right.

The 100 mile started between 7 and 8. As we drove to the event, we found we were stuck in a massive queue to get in which tailed back on to the motorway (we later found over 2500 people had entered)! By the time we had parked and got ready it was quarter to 9, so hopes of doing the 100 mile route had vanished. Having missed the groups to ride with, I wasn't going to do my first 100 miles on my own so changed plan to do the 100k.

My target now was to compete with my time of 3 hours 30 mins from the Rapha Condor ride. I still can't believe that time and today would be a good test to see if I had timed it right! The best thing about the Manchester 100, is that within minutes you're into winding country lanes, meaning no slow moving, massive groups.

The pace was pretty slow and I couldn't find any groups to ride with. To be honest I ended up riding on my own for the whole ride. I decided to stop only once half way in Middlewich. It was pretty quiet when I rolled up and after a banana I continued on. It was after Middlewich that my thighs started cramping up, the slow down in my training was starting to effect me and with it got overtook by two people which lead me to chase them and get my second wind.

10 miles and a sharp climb later had allowed my legs to return to normality and cruised to the finish. My time. 3hours 35 minutes. 5 minutes slower than Blackpool.

I found out on my return the fastest 100k time was 2 hours 51, so still some catching up to be done. I was chuffed with my time, especially with the slow down in training and riding on my own.

Compared to Manchester to Blackpool, this was much better, no riders clogging up roads, excellent finish and good food stops and facilties. The route well signposted and marshalled. The only downer being the lack of groups to ride with, I put this down to them doing the 100 miles instead.

So I was 5 minutes slower and I felt on the climbs that I wasn't as sharp as previous. Back to training and hopefully a couple more rides before the season is over.

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