Sunday, 18 May 2008

Excelsior - Ever Upwards

I raced the Worthing Excelsior 25 mile time trial this morning. According to some dictionaries, excelsior means ever upwards. With a 15mph NE wind and a miserly 10.5 degC I was not expecting to PB today. I was keen to race intelligently and see if I could continue my climb up the results table. Time wise I'd be happy with under 1.07.00.

I've got my race prep off pat now - or so I thought. Finished my warm up and as I was getting ready to go realised I needed a pee . Taking a leak with a skinsuit on takes some planning so by the time I was back on my bike I was cutting it boy error. Got to the start with 20 seconds to spare . Afterwards one of my fellow racers Dave Palmer was kind enough to say "how professional"!!

So - I roll off the start, blimey it's brass monkeys glad I put my arm warmers on. I was number 49 today so as usual I got passed by the super fast guy just behind me just after the railway turn. He didn't go whizzing off mind so I focussed on him and pushed myself along. I had a gear change nightmare day today, I really must abandon this 10 speed cassette 9 speed mech nonsense. I kept jumping out of gear and hitting the shifter = change a gear was not a mathematical certainty.

Keep going and I spot someone else. Crikey, it's MY MINUTE MAN!!! I worked hard, and caught him just before the left turn to Tollgate hill. That's a first for me on a 25 - I was dead chuffed I tell yer!! Struggled a bit up the hill in the end used the small ring cos my gears were buggering me about. Rounded the top of the hill and blow me down I can feel my minute man breathin down me neck, bloomin cheek! I stepped on the gas and as I changed to the big ring I dropped my chain . That just made me mad so I stomped all over the pedals and blew the guy away down Tollgate never to be seen again.

I caned it down the long straight to the railway turn cutting roundabouts as fine as I could, spinning my 11 toothed cog and loving this speed. I was feeling good though my saddle was starting to cause me major pain in the arse. Up and over Farthing interchange and push hard up to the service station. I allowed myself a glance at the time - oooooh. Not on for a PB - but pretty damn good nonetheless. Got to the turn and just killed myself for the last 2 miles, passing two more fellow competitors, yeah!!!!! I had to sit up briefly on the last climb - my backside was so painful I needed some relief .

Finished in 1.06.14. Not a PB but definitely my best race this year so far. I wonder how many other riders came within 1 min 20 odd sec of their PB in the race today? I'm learning loads and getting better at dealing with the pain. Got a break next weekend then my first 10 of the year @ the SCCU course. I am soooo looking forward to that - I know pretty much every inch of tarmac on that baby. Surely my crappy 10 PB of 27.37 has got to fall ?

The only negative points from today were - no photographer, how the hell am I supposed to win the tongues out competition with service like that!! Also - I need a new saddle - badly.

Cheers - Snoop

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