Circuit of Longridge.Sunday morning, middle of winter, 8am, freezing, zero degrees if your lucky.
Maybe you managed to talk another poor soul into this madness, otherwise it’s just cold and lonely. This is my one chance a week to string enough miles together to build enough endurance to see me through the race season. I often wonder if it’s worth it. Today it was.
I rode this event last year and it was where it all started coming together for me then, I got 2nd after a few average results. It looked like a fluke but it just went well for me, a fast flowing course, constantly undulating, seems to flow for me.
So I was hopeful of a good result, especially after 4th last week, but you still have to get out there and do it, take the pain mile after mile. That’s where the long winter miles come in, if you can do it when it’s minus three, into the wind, when it’s barely light. At least today it’s not freezing, in fact it was sunny for a change.
The warm up went well, again with Andy Horrobin and joined by Duncan Orme from Vanilla bikes. Then just the nervous wait for the start. It’s easy when you know your on a hiding to nothing but if you think you can win, everything bothers you. Did you eat enough, or too much, did you drink enough, or too much. Have I got the right amount of clothing, don’t want to freeze (again), or over heat. Thanks to Duncan for the loan of a vest, I forgot mine!
In the end you’re just glad to get started.
The course is based on the Longridge road race circuit and on a road bike doesn’t present much of a problem in terms of corners, more what you would describe as interesting in places. It’s a bit trickier on a tt bike, at least when you’re not used to riding one that much. This and a bit of nervousness meant a lot of moving about on the bike but I still managed to get into a good rhythm quite early. So a bit of caution in the corners, try not to go over the parapet on hodder bridge, and steady up Chaigly, other than that, go for it.
It seemed to work. I didn’t know my time at the finish, my speedo and clock don’t work yet, I just knew I’d caught my two minute man and that I remember him as being quite strong. I just had to sweat it out at the hq. It was worth the wait, I’d won by over a minute.
Sixth place for Andy and seventh for Duncan, me and Andy just need a third counter for the team prize.
A week off next week and then the Circuit of the Dales the week after. I feel a little under raced to be going into that but at least I shouldn’t be fatigued. Results here http://www.velouk.net/2012/03/18/result-ribble-valley-crc-hilly-19-spoco-tt/