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a3crg 25 3-up TTT

Mike Anton writes…

Diamond Jubilee weekend Part 2

Perusing the CTT website in April I spotted that …a3crg had a pair of Diamond Jubilee Tuesday team time trials, a 2 up and a 3 up.

Having never ridden a 3 up I approached Ben and Jon to see if they fancied giving it a go.  Ben and I have ridden a number of 2 ups and work well together.  My only double event with Jon was the 2010 Lewes GPdG which saw him pretty much freewheeling behind me for the whole event but keen to partner up again.

Three weeks before the event we had our first practise on a Wheelers evening 10.  A complete lack of warm up and no real strategy saw us complete the distance in 24 minutes.

The following week we were much better organised on the transitions and a decent 5 mile warm up resulted in a very respectable 22:30, the fastest Ben and Jon had ever done a 10 at.

The final practise saw a late minute change in line up with Jon being unwell.   We were going to do a two and three up but with Jon’s absence Stef and Ben Crick joined us for an impromptu 4 up.

None of us had ever ridden as a quad and Ben C was new to the close up high speed riding.

However we set off at a good clip and settled in to a decent enough rhythm, hitting the turn in under 12 mins.  The return was going well until the Moorhead rbt where a white van decided to mix things up and we lost 20 seconds regrouping.  The final storm to the finish resulted in another 24 min ride which was an excellent first effort even if I do say so myself.

The open 3 up was on the A3 but unfortunately didn’t use the course that features a lovely 2 mile downhill start.  Instead it was straight on to the A3 joining just in front of husband and wife pairing Lesley-Ann and Stephen Walkling.  We let them go ahead and settled into our rhythm for the run up to the Bramshott turn.

The A3 is quite rolling and the drags really started to make my legs burn.  Memories of Sunday’s climbs still too fresh in my mind.

Making the most of the descents we were averaging over 25mph to the bottom turn when disaster struck.  Coming from a rowing background Jon is a real powerhouse but he started having breathing problems on the return and had to sit up more and more.

We continued on but the formation was starting to get a bit ragged and fell apart on the turn climb up and over Bramshott.  Regrouping on the final run back we plunged on but the average had dropped to 24.6 on the turn and it wasn’t coming back up fast enough.

With Ben doing more turns on the front we approached the final rbt with 59:30 on the clock and despite a valiant last ditch spurt, crossed the line in 1:00:24.

Yes it was disappointing to miss the hour but I’ve not been under the hour since 2008 and Ben and Jon have never done a 25 this quick before.

For our efforts we got the Lanterne Rouge booby prize of commemorative Jubilee tea towels. Don’t knock it as a prize is a prize.

The fastest team were the Poole Wheelers  trio of Terry Icke, Paul Jones and Terry Dighton who clocked a brilliant 51:43.  The fastest pair were Simon Tout and Jez Ponting with 52:15.  The Walklings were the fastest mixed team with an excellent 55:07.

Photos here

All images courtesy Warren Peters