So the big day came and my preparation was perfect.
I find the best way to get ready for a Sunday race is to flog myself to within an inch of my life 36 hours in advance.
On Friday evening I rode in a 9up TT team at the UK’s prestigious Silverstone racing circuit. Before the event we hadn’t ridden as a team and it might be argued that we haven’t yet.
Give a person half a gram of competitive inclination and no matter the intention to stay together as a team for the duration of the race and to finish as a 9, it was never going to work out that way.
Racing 9up allows there to be a different spread of talent in the team and I made it my personal objective to stay with the pack until the glorious end. I managed it until half way into the final lap (lap 3) and had to work to get back on the group. After a slight hill where the lighter guys just bounced up, gravity had its way with me and sucked me into the road surface like I was riding on sponge. I got back with some help but my day was done and in the final sprint for the line to get 5 good times I was left and came in 6th. I was on the same straight tho’.
This is all good considering the age of the team is mostly about 20 years younger than me but there has to be that one guy who is my age that led the gang home and that rankles.
So Friday night I was shot. I slept like a baby and because it’s so important to get good nutrition after a race I took my own advice and had double fish and chips, mushy peas and two beers. It’s a British thing.
What? I’d earnt it and I had a clear 36 hours until race day.
You remember that old guy in the TT team? He’s already got a GB vest and isn’t as older than me and only one of those things I can fix. So Saturday came and the chance to fix it. It’s my turn to drive me and him to the north west of England, and I mean the northwest. There isn’t very much of England beyond Southport. Sure there’s Cumbria and The Lake District but when you come from the farthest western tip of the country, everything is ‘north’ and that far north gives me nose bleeds.
Cutting to the chase, Saturday evening was lovely, warmish, still even.
Sunday morning was grey and the wind had come out to play. But it was dry.
Picture a seaside town with acres of flat sand where the sea was supposed to be and enough sand in the air to exfoliate the beard off an endurance runner’s chin and you’ve got the picture.
The swim was nice and physical with the added interest of a wind chop on a salt-water lake.
The bike was 30 mph in one direction and 10mph the other way.
The run was actually pretty nice and I averaged 7.14minute miles which is some kind of record I think.
When it came to it I think I finished at around 111% of the winning time in my age group which gives me a chance of a roll down place in the Euros next July.
Now it’s a case of watch and wait.
- Will I get in?
- Have I done enough?
- Should I have pushed harder on the bike and did I really need those chips?
I don’t think he’ll need to stroke me if it goes my way.