April saw the first of the Cheshire 25 mile races on J2/9 with the Withington Wheelers 25. I rode it at a decent power level (slightly up on last year) but I could tell it was my first 25 as I was hanging on a bit after 22 miles! It was an okay result with 56:24, but I know I can do better. 13th from 118
A week later I travelled down to Etwall to ride A25/11. I ticked off another season goal with a 25 mile power PB but I was frustratingly 1s slower than my PB despite the near 20W improvement. I cannot begin to tell you how frustrating that feels! 52:31 gave me a Seamons Veterans Club record (to go with the 19:39 10 Vets record last month) so overall I was pleased with that. 26th from 103
A day off work to ride the VTTA 10 on Tuesday 12th saw me riding J2/3 again. My time of 22:22 was enough to put me in the prize money, onto the podium and part of the winning team on standard. 3rd from 78, 1st on standard (£30 + £10 team)
A week later I managed to get a ride in the Macclesfield Wheelers 25 despite my postal entry from January getting lost in the post. A special thanks to organiser Mike for going out of his way during a busy time to make sure I got in as a reserve. I was pleased that I did because a decent 56:33 ride in windy conditions put me into the prizes and helped the team win again. 5th from 116, 1st 45-49 veteran (£20, £15 + £10 team)
The day after I was up at stupid o’clock to ride the D course at Prees. My aim was to improve on my 30 mile PB set a couple of years ago and whilst my legs were still heavy I managed to do so with a 01:08:23. 6th from 57
The first Seamons Club 10 was cancelled due to roadworks, so I rode the Rainford (D10/1) club 10 instead, chalking up a 21:37. 4th from 45
At the weekend I was back to D10/1 for the Leigh Premier 10. I tinkered with my armrests during the week so was hopeful for a comparable day to the midweek 10 to see if it had any effect. As it was, the sunny and relatively calm weather from Wednesday made way for a cold northerly wind which removed any chance of a like for like comparison. It was good to catch up with a few people who I’d not seen for a year or so before getting out into the wind. It was a bit of a battle and I thought my time of 21:58 might not be that great. As it was, I was in the prizes again and the winner, Olympic gold medalist and Team Wiggins rider Steven Burke MBE was “only” 1:28 faster than me – I’d have taken that before the race! 4th from 56, 1st veteran (£20 prize)
At this point I realised that the last five times I have ridden D10/1 I have finished in 4th place! So when the second Seamons Club 10 was also affected by the roadworks it was back again, and the pressure was on to maintain the trend! The weather was icy cold, with a very stiff breeze and it was a really unpleasant ride. Especially when it started to hail. At the point that the road was covered white I considered easing off and just riding back but it passed and I continued to the finish. the cold must have affected me as I struggled to keep warm and put power out. At the end I was freezing – I’ve never been cold after a race before! As it was I was 23s down on Saturday and 44s down on the previous Wednesday. And I wasn’t 4th! 2nd from 28
After a wintery and icy week my last race of April was the East Lancs Road Club 10 on J2/1. I think I have a problem getting the power out when it’s cold, or my recent positional tweak has affected it, but I am 15W down on the start of the season. That said, in very cold and breezy conditions I still managed my best time on this course of 22:04. 12th from 119, 2nd vet 40 (£15 prize)
An interesting point this early in the season is the sheer number of people competing in J events. There are far more than I’ve seen before which must demonstrate a growing interest in time-trialling locally – as the courses are not fast and therefore don’t generally attract riders from out of district too much. In one way it’s brilliant that the sport appears to be going from strength to strength but I wonder if the numbers of riders are stretching the courses somewhat? So far, everything seems to be fine but will be interesting to see how it develops during the season.
April’s races saw me tick off a season goal which was to win >£150 in prize money and I was particularly happy to help win a couple more team prizes – one of the reasons I moved to Seamons. Training continues, although the demands of racing and recovery mean that in effect I am seeing a gradual de-training effect on my fitness which is to be expected. Maybe that explains my power being down too? I should do less racing and more training but I enjoy the racing too much!
Overall, during the month I upped my road mileage to 531, with a bit more “up” of 21,304ft of climbing at an average speed of around 18.4mph. I used 18,004kcals of energy, with another 11,645kcals during 15hrs and 35mins of turbo time. Total training stress was 2,409TSS