>The H10/1 course near Newbury was a disaster for me last year. I rode it once, got stopped at traffic lights on the way out, dropped and lost my pump and then punctured with a mile to go – DNF. It was with some trepidation that I entered this Newbury RC event (and their ’25’ tomorrow).
I remembered it as quite a hilly course, but a ride round beforehand (I was there in plenty of time this week) suggested it was pretty flat. The weather was very hot and (whisper it) windless. I felt good and I reckoned a PB might be on the cards.
As soon as I started I realised that my feelings of form were illusory. It was like riding through treacle. In recent weeks I’ve felt like part of the bike, today it felt like I was at war with the bl**dy thing. I just couldn’t get the gear over. The return leg is slightly downhill (on average) and I did generate some speed, but I just couldn’t maintain it. Every gear change was fluffed, every rise became a mini-Alpe d’Huez. I was pleased to see the finish.
So, lots of negativity to process. Of course, back at the HQ it turns out that everyone is going about 30 seconds slower than last week. It’s also clear that a light breeze has come up. So maybe I was just getting things out of proportion (surely not!). On reflection I’m quite pleased – if I can feel so out of sorts and record a 24:21, then I’ve stepped up a level from earlier in the year.
Race stats: 10 miles in 24:21 (24.64mph). ? out of ? finishers. Slowest miles (1 and 5): 2:39 (22.64mph). Fastest mile (10): 2:11 (27.48mph). Top speed: 30.3mph. First 5 miles: 13:08, next 5 miles: 11:13. Max heart rate: 167bpm, average HR: 163bpm. Winner: Richard Prebble (CandiTV-Marshalls Pasta) 20:23.