Race Report – Early season win for Conrad at Honiton

CS Dynamo 10 – Honiton

Last Sunday was the dreaded 1st race of the season for me. I’d had a decent winter, where I’d been able to push my overall fitness a bit higher than before, but  I’d really had enough of the cold, wet miserable weather, and was keen to get some sort of competitive outing under my belt.

For me it always takes a few early season events to get into the swing of things, one reason being I don’t ride the TT bike outside in the off season, and any intensity that I do tends to be done indoors, with my outdoors training being ‘riding my bike’ so it comes as a bit of a shock when you try to ride, in a contorted position at 30 mph.

Typically, the weather wasn’t brilliant. Although not overly cold, it was grey, pretty damp, and there was a fair breeze blowing across the course, meaning my season opener wasn’t likely to be a fantastic experience.

I went out an hour before the start to get warmed up, and I just wasn’t feeling it. Not overly tired or anything, but just a general sense of lethargy, and so my warm up, whilst usually fairly stiff in itself, was spent mostly mincing around, and not actually doing what a warm up was supposed to do.

At the start line I did my best to fend off the many questions about form, winter training, todays weather etc etc, and I was soon on my way. The first 2 miles are bumpy twisty village roads, where it’s easy to go too hard over the rises, before the course climbs onto the A30. I got about 2.5 to 3 miles into my ride, and I just got the sense that I was coasting a bit – revving the gears at well over 100 rpm, but no sense of actually ‘shifting’. This was a bit of a wake up for me, as it kick started my race. I dropped a gear – felt ok, pushed on. Dropped another gear and pushed on a bit more and I started to feel like I was now racing a bit.

The turn is hard. You come off the a30, and you climb around a sharp left hand bend, before a 180 degree turn takes you back onto the a30, where you have a mile of rapidness.

I’d found my rhythm now, and I got the dinner plate going pretty well,  holding position at around 32 mph, until a couple of sharp turns saw me back onto the bumpy roads for the final push. Bouncing all over the place I gave it everything to the line, to stop the clock in 20.31 to win by 27 seconds, and beating the winning 2 up pairing by a greater margin.

First race done, decent power numbers, decent enough time for that course at any time of the year, but most importantly for me I’d remembered (eventually) how to race, and how soon you need to be ‘on it’ in a short event like a 10.

CTT report here: