Mike Anton writes…
Having decided to aim for a 1:55 this year, I travelled to Cambridge to join Brian Philips on the E2/50 course on the A11 / A14.
The start sheet was a very high quality one with my feeble 1:59:13 being one of the slowest entrants.
The weather was pretty much spot on though there was a decent enough NE wind on the out leg.
Off two minutes behind Brian I had his work mate behind me and then Nik Bowdler, him of the 77 tooth chain ring. Last man off was another TT legend, Ian Cammish, seven minutes behind.
I managed to hold off Mr Bowdler for 17 minutes until he sailed by chugging along at 60rpm or so. Mr Cammish had me at 50 minutes, where my plans of a 1:55 started to go horribly pear shaped.
The top turn had a dog leg section with possibly the worse bit of road I’ve ever raced on and I dropped under 26mph. Back on the A14 and I was concentrating on trying to keep the pace up. Forty miles arrived sooner than expected but the damage had already been done. A quick grimace to Josie who was armed with my camera and on to the bottom turn.
I eventually finished with 1:56:52 having held off Andy Murphy, Brian’s colleague.
Brian on the other hand had a stellar ride wiping 20 sec off his lifetime best to finish 16th with 1:47:21. Fantastic as that ride was, he was still caught by Nik B who won with the fourth ever fastest 50 time of 1:39:02!
The results sheet had 77% of the field under two hours and 28 riders under 1:50! People seemed to improve from between 4 – 7 minutes so I was quite disappointed to have only improved by 2:21.
Still it was nice to see a little bit of TT history in the making.