My first open Time Trial

One of my main aims for 2012 was to enter an open Time Trial. On Saturday 16th June, coinciding with my second year anniversary with Weaver Valley CC, I took part in the Manchester and District Ladies' Cycling Association, Ladies Open Handicapped and Men's Invitation 10 mile Time Trial.

The race took part on the J2/1 course which starts in a layby on the A537 road to Macclesfield, bombs through Chelford all the way up to the roundabout on the outskirts of Knutsford and back again, finishing in a layby just after Chelford roundabout.

There was a good field with paralympic gold medalist Sarah Storey and her husband Barney along with riders such as Claire Rutherford who rides for Inverse RT and took part in the Cheshire Classic in April. I was speaking to Claire and team mate Nikola Butler before the race, and they had ridden a crit in the morning, while Sarah Storey had only half an hour earlier competed in a 25 mile Time Trial, coming second!

Having had a week off the bike on holiday, putting on 2kg in the process I was concerned that I might not be fit but the start of 4pm was good, it gave me time to go out for an hour in the morning to spin my legs. I was also starting to feel an old knee injury coming on. Due to a strong right leg, combined with a tight ITB, my right knee cap was being pulled to the right. My brother sorted me out with some tape to support it which did the trick.

The ride from the HQ was 5 miles to the start so it allowed for a good ride to get warmed up. The weather however was poor, as we lined up to start the heavens opened and the wind picked up.

I started off well, my legs felt good and I was making good time. I felt relaxed on the bars pushing a big gear, my breathing steady. The first leg is mainly downhill and soon caught my minute man. The turn at the roundabout was sketchy, I was almost at a standstill - the bike was everywhere sliding across the surface.

I pushed on however I was now heading into the wind, going uphill. I don't think I appreciated how much of a drag it was and I was using everything to get the bike home, digging deep, tongue out, ignoring my burning, screaming legs, telling my brain to keep on concentrating and not get complacent keep pushing. I rolled over the line totally empty.

My time: 26:42. I was chuffed, with the conditions and not the best of form leading into the race I would take that. It was only 4 seconds off my personal best on our club 10 course.

It was good to get the first race out of the way and I'll be hunting more to take on. There is another 10 in August on the same circuit and I'm also considering venturing to Levens near Kendal and maybe to Cockermouth to compete infront of the family.

My next Time Trial will be a baptism of fire. I'm competing in a 4-up 25 mile Time Trial on Thursday night for the club. I've never done a 25 mile Time Trial and with some strong riders. Hopefully I will be able to hang on!

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