>Last ‘normal’ TT of the season

>Sunday saw me back on the Marlow ski-slope course (H25/2) for the Hillingdon CC 25m TT. This was the last chance to beat the hour this season. It was also a chance to experiment with a proper taper – reducing the volume of training for a fortnight before the event.

It was a good day to ride: slightly damp at the start, but not much breeze about. I’d done a 1:2:42 last week so the hour was unlikely, but I thought a better ride was possible… It was not to be. I finished with a disappointing 1:3:37, going marginally slower for almost every mile of the course. Why? My TSB was good and positive, but my fitness level was probably not high enough – there just hasn’t been enough time to ramp it up since getting back from New Zealand. And I was in a negative frame of mind.

The negativity wasn’t helped by a man out training electing to sit on my wheel for a few miles after I caught him. His rucksack didn’t seem to slow him down much. Worst still, he jumped past me when my 3 minute man, Des Gayler of the Kenton RC, passed me to pick up the faster wheel. Des advised him to desist and he dropped back. I re-caught and passed the guy and this time he didn’t try and use me as an under-powered Derny. It’s embarrasing to not be able to ride away from a bloke out for a recreational. It’s even more embarrasing when it happens twice in a season.

Congratulations to Willesden CC team mate Peter Dixon who knocked more than 4 minutes off his previous best for a 58:59.

Race stats: Time: 1:03:37 (23.58mph). First 12.5 miles: 32:05, last 12.5 miles: 31:32. Top speed: 38.2mph. Slowest mile (9): 3:13 (18.65mph), fastest mile (2): 1:50 (32.73mph). Average HR: 161bpm, maximum HR: 169bpm. 65th of 89 finishers. Winner: Steve Dennis (East Grinstead CC) 50:11.

Next week I’m doing a Saturday session at Calshot and the West London Combine Hill Climb on Sunday. I hope I can walk up hill in my new cleats.