Portsmouth NE 25
Portsmouth North End 25m TT P881/25 (5/6/16)
I had been advised by fellow club members that on the right day the P881/25 was a reasonably fast course. So after having completed my due diligence using Streetview and Strava I decided the very early start and 70 minute drive would be worth the effort. It’s an out and back two lap gently rolling course up and down the A3 near Liss.
Being the only EGCC rider I arrived in good time, signed on, collected my race number and headed back to the car to start my warm up. The early morning mist was beginning to clear and give way to 14 degrees and blue sky although the wind was beginning to pick up a little. Arriving at the start line with two minutes to go and after exchanging pleasantries with the organisers, I steadied myself, mentally went through my race plan again and was off. My target time was a sub 57.
After 5 miles everything was going well. I had resisted the urge to ride too hard too soon (a common fault with me) and had settled into what felt like a decent pace. I knew I had to maintain an average speed of around 26.5mph to achieve my target time. After completing the first lap of the course, I checked my average speed again to see I was just about on target. I knew however that miles 15 to 20 would be quite tough being slightly uphill and into the headwind. Sure enough at mile 20 my speed had dropped but I felt confident I would make it up on the last section, so after re-joining the A3 at the Bramshott flyover I pushed on hard to the finish. At about mile 23 I passed my minute man – always a nice feeling and it gave me a little adrenalin surge to keep pushing hard. With the legs starting to seriously fade I crossed the line and looked at the Garmin to see a 56 on the clock.
Back at HQ I noted my time as 56:38. I was happy with that. I enjoyed my coffee and cake, had a quick chat with some other riders, congratulated myself (again) and then set off for home.
My thanks to PNECC for arranging a well organised and friendly race.
[Apologies but I don’t know who won – at the time of writing I still hadn’t seen the official results]