Mike Anton writes…
I can’t remember who actually suggested another team time trial but there was no hesitation on anyone’s part in accepting the challenge.
The event in question was the Farnham four up TTT on the Bentley H25/8 course, a generally quiet A road and one that can be very quick.
With Stef unable to make the pre race practise on the Crawley 10 course, Ben, Jon and I made the most of the weather and had a blast along the A264. Our initial warm up was pretty quick and we turned the 10 into a 15, averaging 26mph.
Come race day the early morning fog en route indicated little wind so hopes were high of a decent ride. After the obligatory faffing at the HQ we set off for a warm up. This was a little scrappy as we were first off, but after the 2 ups, which meant we couldn’t use the course for a proper blast.
We’ve established that a good solid 15 mins warm up is key though I sometimes don’t want to get too carried away for some irrational fear of over cooking things.
We line up at the start in sunshine and set off up the slight climb, watching the average speed rapidly climb up over 25mph.
A couple of miles in and we’re cracking along just as the heavens open. The rain is torrential but everyone is in the same boat so it’s a case of grit the teeth and carry on. A couple of the drags split us up a bit but shouts of easy to the front generally keep things in order. The bottom turn was a bit of an adventure in the wet and with misted glasses and/or visors, everyone took it steady before regrouping to make the most of the tail wind.
The rises through Foyle knocked the average speed down and I was conscious of our need to keep together and not blow anyone’s legs completely off. The eastern end of the Bentley bypass was quick though it seemed to take an age to go past the finish line for the first time.
Turning at the eastern end and back in to the wind saw the average drop again to 25.2mph. Our 4 minute men sailed past after 35 mins but we knew we weren’t going to be troubling the top of the results board and carried on at our own pace.
The rain had stopped for the run down to the bottom turn but there was still plenty of water on the road so it was still very much a case of finding the right line to avoid getting a mouth full off the wheel in front.
Ben was gamely hanging on through the Froyle rises and I was confident we could wind it up for the final few miles which are broadly downhill. I’d said before the start that there was no reason we couldn’t do a long 59 so with the average back up to 25.5mph it was ‘could we break 59 mins?’
I couldn’t remember exactly where the finish was so with the clock reaching 58 minutes it was a case of shout everyone along and hope we’d get under 59 mins. As it was we swept past the finish line sooner than expected and clocked an excellent 58:35.
This was the fastest Ben, Jon and Stef had ever ridden and was nearly two minutes quicker than our three up trip on the A3 back in June.
Job well done guys