Last year I was told “you should enter the LVRC TT champs. The course would really suit you.” On the day of the race I was 39 years and 364 days old. So close to 40 but not old enough to enter.
Despite having never raced the course before this year felt like unfinished business. Training has been bit hit and miss the last few weeks as I have been away at the weekend so I considered myself well rested (look for the positive). The TT bike had a new front wheel and both wheels were now tubeless, thanks Gary at Unleashed cycles for some last minute help, so the bike was also prepped. Storm Hannah was coming though Saturday and the winds should have dropped for Raceday (Sunday). All looking good.
At the start line I was chatting to me 1 min man. He seemed a strong rider so if I could reel him in I knew I would be on for a good time. Rolling out of Napton there is a nice long, fast stretch of road an good tarmac. I could see my minute man and could get a sense of the gap.
Turning onto the Welsh Road the wind cam round to behind me but the road starts to climb. Gap appeared to be closing.
Climbing out of Priors Marston towards Hellidon I had closed around half of the gap and was feeling good about the ride. Through Catesby and on to the main road there were now 3 riders in sight. If they were all my age group (I knew at least 2 were) I must be having a good ride.
Past Skylark Cafe an through Lower Shuckborough, and with a little aero benefit I past all 3 riders to go. Just hold it together to Napton and climb Butt Hill.
The problem with TT is when you cross the line you have an idea of whether you rode a good ride for you but no idea of anyone else unless you passed them. I’ll have to wait for the awards!
“And in first place, from Kenilworth Wheelers, Paul Atkins is the 2019 40-44 LVRC national time trial champion!”
I also got joint fastest time. I guess you can say I had a good day!