>National 10 Course ’09

>Next year’s national 10m TT championship will be held on the H10/3a course near Newbury. It’s a B road, single carriageway course, so very different from this year’s choice. The West London CA’s event on Saturday was a chance to try it out.

The road surface is superb, it’s sheltered by trees and traffic is light. Saturday was virtually windless, so I thought a ‘current and last three seasons’ PB might be on. Not so. I was over 90 seconds off the mark with a 26:18 (24:50 was the target). Another bad ride? Not really. A hill after a mile and a climb off the turn really broke up the rhythm. Looking at the times of others my time was about par. Winner Tejvan Pettinger (Sri Chimnoy CT) reckoned he was about two minutes down on his time on the Andover course (this year’s national route). He did a 22:37.

The only issue with the course might be the final descent. I was passed by a car just as I hit the brow of the hill. The drop is quite steep and there’s a 40mph limit. I was only doing about 36mph, but I was very conscious of holding back off the car. The driver did the whole stretch on his brakes. The top riders will be doing over 50mph down there and things might get tricky for some.

I had planned to ride a club 25 on Sunday, but when the alarm went so did my motivation. A complete day off and a chance to watch the men’s World Road Race Championship. A good winner in Ballan and a big effort from Russ Downing to finish alongside Bettini and co.. It was not, however, as good a race as the women the day before: chapeau to Nicole Cooke and the team.