National 25

Considering the week I’ve had. I will take this result. It isn’t the result I had been hoping for from this race as it has been a big target for me all year, but I gave it everything I had on the day and the power was not as bad as I was expecting.

I did break the number one golden rule of bike racing yesterday though. I sort of paid for it.

So much to Dad’s annoyance, we had to take a detour on route to the National 25 Championships, which was on the R25/3H this year in South Wales. But our first stop on the way there was Kent. Yes Kent. The reason for the detour was we had to collect my new toy. A HED H3 Trispoke for the time trial bike. I’d bought a tire ready to mount onto it once we got to the hotel in Wales. The tire I had settled on was the Vittoria Corsa Speed, the “fasted tire in the world”. I don’t deny that, but I didn’t realise quite how much of a mission it would be to mount it on the wheel. An hour later, with some very sore thumbs and one broken tire lever the tire was on, and initially…initially holding air. Until the morning, when it was flat. It turns out, if you 100% have too, you can get a tire off a wheel with the 3 supplied spoons in a travelodge room.

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After that mess, we finally headed to the race. I’ve heard so much about this course, but never ridden it. Sadly it was going to be a slow day. Quite disappointing considering we had driven the width of the country to ride it. But being 25km out and 15km back, and a very strong headwind out, it just wasn’t going to be fast. But I got my pre race routine dont just like normal and headed to the start. I managed to get my head in the game, which I had been struggling with now the long season is really taking its toll. And I set off. It was about 2km on a back road before hitting the dual carriageway with the big descent. Then it was just a matter of getting over the gear and holding it as long as possible. Sadly with the strong headwind it was a real struggle to hold the speed gained off the descent. At points going as slow as 40kmh but pushing out big numbers! I knew I had to ride hard out to the turn to make up as much time as possible, but with the recent drop in form I just didn’t have enough top end to really take flight. Then after the turn it was just hold the speed high now that I finally had the wind on my side.

My finishing time was 48:44, 1second off my PB, and it was good enough for 27th overall and 4th U23. I’d say i was roughly 1minute off the pace I need to be, at least now I can get some good training in before National 10 in a few weeks and maybe tweak the position a bit to find some more speed.

Thanks as always to all the sponsors that make this possible (check them out below), my coach Mark Walker and my Dad for putting up with my expensive and rollercoaster ride of trying to make it as a pro cyclist…

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