2nd April was the SAW 25, on the S100 course at Victoria. I’ve had a good deal of success here, winning the past 3 editions, but on each occasion we’d had horrendous occasions, so I was looking forward to this edition as the long range forecast suggested it would be dry and sunny, with a moderate breeze.
I had a real roller coaster of a week. I pushed on hard with training after my outing at Four Firs, and Mon to Weds I was hitting some good numbers. On Thurs it went a bit pear shaped, when I received bad news that my father had been taken ill with a heart attack in Spain. This was made doubly worse by the fact that there was little information filtering back from Spain, and that my mum was unable to get to the hospital; an hour away to see him. Training continued, but unsurprisingly it just wasn’t happening for me – clearly there was a mental blockage that was hampering my training. I’m someone who places great emphasis in my approach to training and racing, and go to great lengths to remove any potential ‘limiting factors’, but this was something that was there, and there wasn’t a great deal I could do about it.
I went through the motions on Friday, and Saturday morning, still unsure if I’d make the journey on Sunday, but thankfully good news arrived in the form of a suitably amusing text from my dad on Saturday afternoon, apologising for not having charged his phone, prior to being rushed to hospital – his first ever hospital admission in 74 years!
I decided to ride, and I travelled down with Perky to the event, where true to the forecast, we had cold and bright conditions, with a bit more wind than suggested, backed up by the amount of movement from the wind turbines.
I felt alright warming up beforehand, maybe a bit too fresh, but certainly alright. I was last man off at number 77, and I was underway. I hit the A30, and I felt really comfortable. I wasn’t paying too much attention to the numbers, just riding on feel, and well within myself, as psychologically I just wasn’t in the frame of mind to just let it all out. I’d say I rode pretty well – certainly I had a trouble free ride, but I never felt like I was hurting or breathing hard. I finished in 50.06, 9 seconds short of my CR, and narrowly scraping by Matt Slater, who had returned with a course best 50.15.
There was a good MDCC contingent, and top 10 finishes for Ian Cullen, and Perky. Full results are here:
I’ve now got a 2 week break from racing, before my next event on Easter Monday, and then a few big events later in April, as I start to increase my racing, and hopefully translate some of my improvements in training to racing.