A club record merits a race report – Ben Houston writes….
So far so good in 2021 – updated personal bests over the shorter TT distances, but one more challenge remained – the 100 mile Time Trial.
For various reasons I had not ridden one since 2017 so without a qualification time looked for an event that would not attract a full field on a weekend I was free.
The Yorkshire CF it was, over a rolling and grippy 5 lap course between Boroughbridge and Harrogate.
Wearing number 70, a hydration pack and gels stuffed in my sleeves it was the briefest of warm ups and some friendly banter at the start before the off. As usual I made a fast start and held off the eventual winner number 75 Darren Yarwood until just after halfway. The course, conditions and some nutritional learnings started to bite on the second half and the magic 4 hour time just slipped away during the final 25 miles for an eventual 4:02 finish. Still a great result and 4th place on a tough day.
But I couldn’t leave it at that!
Other objectives would have to wait – there was still time to ride another 100 with the BDCA event near Derby on a flatter course just 3 weeks later.
This is the traditional final 100 mile event of the UK TT season and attracts a strong field like a national championship, being one of the last chances for the BBAR riders to improve their times.
So a 3 week training block and taper was undertaken. I also changed mental and nutritional preparation over the 24 hours leading into the race.
This all meant I felt strong on the day, plus wind was a light one and conditions were warm – perfect. Race number 60 this time, saddled up with 3 litres fluids on the bike and myself plus the usual array of gels and it was go time.
The 2021 BDCA event was a 4 lap course between Derby and Uttoxeter which made maths and tracking progress easy – in fact I knew early in the ride things were going well – the first 25 miles went by in 52:26. I had to look twice at that split time! At that point I made even more sure not to exceed my planned HR and Power targets. Next 25 came up quickly enough in 53:17 – First 50 miles despatched in 1:45 and I was still feeling OK. Would I be able to hold things together? Bit more traffic approaching the McDonalds roundabout at the far turn, it was getting closer to dinner time, fortunately no-one activated the pedestrian crossing while I was passing! Stuck to my plan and the next split was 54:13 however I could feel the burn now and Power was dropping off a bit. Made sure I kept the perceived effort and HR at target although I was hurting could still focus on being aero and count down to the finish. Final 25 mile split 57:58 for a top 20 position, and lifetime best plus club record time of 3:37:17
Big honour for me to lower one of Brian Phillips club records, which he set back in 2007.