Paul Winkley writes…
24th February seemed a good day to start the racing season as any – a little early in the year, yes, but a hard ride to see how the winter training had gone on a course I had never ridden before had its attractions.
A glorious day dawned with light winds and clear skies, which was unexpected. I swapped my usual skin suit and ‘aero hat’ for ‘bib longs’, long sleeve jersey and ‘road lid’ just in case anyone thought I was taking this seriously! Astride last year’s time trial bike with some stout road wheels I faced the timekeeper for the first time in 2008. Then 5-4-3-2-1 go…..
I had been warned that this course was a bit hard at the start but had no idea how bad it was. You hit a stiff 1-in-8 climb which is over half a mile long after just 300 yards, grovelling to the top in 21 x 42 my heart pumping around 176bpm suddenly reminded me what I had been missing all winter. The course can best be described as ‘rolling’ and gradually sucks the strength out of your legs.
I got round, just, in 52.12 around 10 minutes slower than Dave Dent, who won in a fraction off the course record. Much to do, weight to lose etc. I should be back doing PB’s by October again!