British Masters National TT Championships sponsored by Novy
October 18th, 2020 – Upper Bucklebury, Berkshire. British Masters (formerly known as LVRC) TT Championships.
Course – HCC201 28km (17 miles)
Last year when riding for a trade team I managed 4th place at this event, when it was held near Leamington Spa, so for this year it was my target to improve on that. Alas, like many other things in 2020, this championship for the veteran racer was cancelled. Fortunately, Newbury Velo stepped in to arrange the rescheduled event mid October. I therefore had my target to keep training and racing towards now… Following the early September UTAG and Cambridge TT events which went well I managed 6th place in the Verulam 25 (54:41) and 10th place in the Poole Wheelers 10 (21:11). I then took couple weekends off from the racing and really trained / tapered specifically towards this Masters Champs.
Got the start sheet and I was last man off in my age category (A). The 3 others who finished ahead of me last year were not riding… but there were several new veterans riding their first championship. The roads were familiar to me, having been part of my regular commute to work in 2018 and 2019. Its a classic roadmans circuit course, 28 twisty km (17 miles) with 300 metres elevation via a series of lumpy sections and a 20% hill to finish. Newbury Velo did a super job putting on the event within the current guidelines and marshalling the key tight turns on the course. Had a quick chat with Marek Siwicki from Addiscombe CC at the start, it was also his final event of the season and he had good form as demonstrated in the EGCC evening 10 series.
My ride was smooth, only one hold up with a car, and no trouble on the junctions. My strategy to ride the hills at 110-120% FTP and recover on the downhills worked well and I was able to finish strongly on the final 20% ramp up to the line. The usual analysis of the numbers showed power and HR a bit down from usual, I blame the cold (6-7 degrees C). Final time was 41:20 and 4th place in the A Category, just missing the podium by 12 seconds. Still, pleased with that as the field was stronger than last year. Marek had a great ride, he finished 8 seconds ahead of me in 41:12 and got Bronze in the B Category.
4th again, well I can’t leave it at that, will hopefully be back for another crack next year!
Being my own coach again plus the regular early morning training and online racing in Zwift with Evolution CC has worked magic for me.
Thanks all, safe riding, Ben Houston, EGCC
Photo credit: Newbury Velo