May 8, 2016
Norlond Combine 50 mile TT.
F1B/50 – Bedfordshire
With running related knee problems disrupting training and event plans this Spring, decision was made to focus on cycling for 2016. Let’s see how close I can get to the level I had during the 1993-1995 period…
So, alarm set for 3:50am Sunday this was to be my first ‘A’ target race of the season.
The Norlond Combine 50 is one of the early BBAR qualifying events of the season and attracted a strong field, first rider off at 6:01.
The F1B course runs southerly from Tempsford and is a 2 lap circuit. It is a decent course 90% on dual carriageway. Due to traffic lights on the Black Cat roundabout itself the original (and flatter) F1 course heading Northwards which I remember is now consigned to history.
Weather conditions were almost perfect, 12 degrees at the start and 19 by the time I finished, and hardly any wind.
As usual I made a fast start but kept things under control. There are four hills near the turnaround on each lap in the sector between Biggleswade and Baldock. Nothing severe, but each one adds up in leg fatigue and erosion of the average speed. Lap 1 passed exactly on schedule with 1 hour for the first 25 miles. However on the second lap, I could not turn the same gear on the hills and accepted today was not my day for the 2 hour target.
Winner Andy Jackson (SSLL Racing) clocked 1:41:05 for the win (by several minutes) – 50:45 and 50:20 were his split times.
I recorded 2:03:24 for 30th place of 70 riders. Happy with that, but I will be back!