Jul 14

June Open Time Trial Results – Part 1

During May my form and fitness was improving all the time, I had been training well and hoped that June would be a continuation of May…


…and typically, when you least want a cold you get one, but as long as it only remained a head cold I was determined to continue.

’10’ League, Round 2

Round 2 of 10 League was at the start of June (03/06/15). It was a warm sunny evening that greeted all the riders, and whilst there was a little bit of a breeze, it was by far the best conditions of the year so far. As I was a reserve rider, this time round I had a start time at number 15. This meant that I would have a fast rider setting off 1 minute and 3 minutes behind, I knew I would not be able to hold off the rider directly behind, but knew that if I could hold off my 3 minute man (Ali Wareham) I would have done a good ride.


When I started, I appeared to be fast without having to really push myself, this meant one of two things, either I was going really well, or I had a tail wind that was stronger than I had thought. The problem I now faced was do I push harder, to find that I was not going as well as I thought, and really struggle on the way back in what might be a block head wind, or maintain pace and start to push on after the turn.


I decided to maintain pace and not push too hard too early, which maybe showed a lack of confidence, but struggling to breathe with my head cold , I decided this was the safest option. I made the turn to find the wind was indeed now in my face, but it was not too bad. I went as hard as I could and started to really blow as I went into the last mile, I was in sight of the finish when Ali Wareham steamed passed, even though I was at my limit, I used Wareham as a target not wanting him to get too far away until I crossed the line.


On checking my Garmin, it showed a time of just over 22:20, knowing I always start this at 10 seconds to go and it takes me about 10 seconds of recovery to remember to stop the watch after I finish, I knew a sub 22 minute ride was possible. I failed recording a new season best time of 22:01. Daniel Barnett won with a 18:51 minute ride.


Once again whilst I had done a good ride, with a time that was taking me back to times I was doing in 1995, I could not help but feel a little disappointed, my new target for the season was to break 22 minutes. Getting this close was positive, but it felt like I was so far away.


Drighlington BC ’10’

I did not have to wait long before I could have another crack at a sub 22-minute ride, the following Saturday, 6th June, I rode Drighlington BC’s 10, again held on the V718. I had to make a request to the organiser for a late start time due to being at work until 3pm. Thankfully the organiser assisted me with this, and I am grateful, but it was still a bit of a rush. The other issue was the wind, the decent conditions of a few nights before were gone, times showed that the day was between 30 second to a minute slower.


Once again it was a fast ride to the turn due to the tail wind, in conditions like this it’s hard to gain any time , or for that matter lose time, the real test of fitness comes with the head wind. After making the turn, the strength of the wind became apparent. It was as strong as hardest winds so far this year, but I selected a gear that was comfortable and set about cutting through the winds as best I could. The last mile was again a real struggle which took a massive effort, but again I finished with a competitive time of 22:32, so was right on the target 30 second deficit from a few days before. In one respect this ride was actually better, I had remained consistent in far worse conditions. The event was won by Phil Graves who stopped the clock with a time of 19:14.

Yorkshire Coast Clarion’s Hilly ’20’

The following weekend was the start of a busy week, 4 events in 8 days. The first of which was Yorkshire Coast Clarion’s Hilly 20. Starting and finishing in Boynton near Bridlington, a rectangular shaped course which takes in the villages of Grindale, Burton Fleming, Wold Newton and Rudston. Straight from the start is a stiff climb and then descent into Grindale followed rolling and twisting roads that take you to the bottom of Foxholes, from here you get to enjoy all the pain and agony that is the climb of Foxholes, before making the left turn at the top roundabout and a fast run through Rudston on the way back to Boynton, before reaching the village there is a small matter of a short but steep climb (12%), before a short dash to the line down a 10%.It’s a great course and definitely one of my favourites, it’s just a shame that it does not get many entries.


20 riders on the start sheet meant that only 2 riders counted for the team prize. Hull Thursday had 3, Jim, John Savage and I. Last year Jim had finished 3rd or 4th, so if either John or I could do a decent ride, the team prize was a possibility. I too had rode this last year recording a long 57 minute ride, whilst Hilly events do not really suit me, I expected to beat this time.


On the morning of the event heavy rain in Hull spoilt the mood. I knew the up and down nature of the course would be tricky enough on a time trial bike, but in wet slippery conditions it would be a nightmare, after much debating of what would be best, I took the decision to ride on my road bike.


Rain was still falling in Hull as I packed my bike and set off for Boynton, but the closer I got to my destination the lighter the rain became until it had stopped fully and the roads were dry. It became all too clear that I had made a mistake in only bringing my road bike, however I also felt I would find out exactly which was the best sort of bike for the course. I was also pleased that I was not the only one to have been caught out, John was also on his road bike for the exact same reasons as me.


I spoke to Jim before the start about the team prize, whilst he was not confident believing Scarborough Paragon would probably win, the thought was now in his mind. Also one of the Scarborough riders was off 1 minute in front of me, so I set an initial target of keeping him in sight.


I cannot think of a harder start to an event, the climb straight from the start over to Grindale is a real test of fitness, a good warm up is essential and you are immediately on your limit. This part of the course and the descent that follows, whilst very tough was definitely made easier by being on the road bike, unfortunately the next 7 or so miles were not. The lack of tri-bars, for me, really made a difference, I just couldn’t get comfortable and was moving about on the bike a lot. My minute-man from Scarborough was still in sight as we started Foxholes and using the better climbing position I actually closed the gap a little.


Foxholes is a real grind, which if you get wrong by going too hard too early will catch you out and make you suffer, a good rhythm and measured effort is the only way. On reaching the top the relief is not instant, but you start a gradual downhill which eventually gets steeper the closer to Rudston you get. I was now hitting speeds of 40mph and had started to catch riders, unfortunately my rival from Scarborough was not one of them. Now with only the short 12% climb and descent I summoned one last effort. As I fought my way up the climb I started to catch a couple more riders, the problem I now had was cars waiting to pass these riders, there was no room on the inside of the cars and i knew i would not be fast enough to overtake them on the outside, so was stuck behind, this continued on the fast descent and meant that rather than sprinting for the line i freewheeled across it.


Once back in the headquarters, I could see I had beaten last year’s time by nearly two minute, recording 56:15. Jim had covered the course in an impressive 51 minutes, whilst John was just outside of the hour. Once again we missed out on the team prize as Tuxford Clarion had two riders near the front. My disappointment at the team prize was eased with 10th place, my second top 10 in an open this year.


The winner of this event was Nathan Allat (Holmfirth CC) who was over a minute faster than the second placed rider, recording exactly 47 minutes. Whilst this is an amazing ride in itself, the fact that he is only 15-years-old makes it more amazing. In 1994 I was riding an open 10 near York, I was on a 5 mark, so in theory was one of the faster riders. The rider in front of me was a young skinny lad riding his first open 10, who I expected to catch in no time. Not only did I not see the young lad, but he beat me easily, I noted his name – Charles Wegelius. Charley Wegelius turned out to be a special rider, make note of Nathan Allat because he appears to be cut from the same cloth.


YCF ’15’

The following day 14/06/2015, I made my way back to the A63 to ride the YCF 15. Neil Cleminshaw had entered this one, having completed a fast 25 the day before. The 15 mile course for the A63 is basically the 10 course but starting and finishing where the M62 starts. The weather was overcast with a chance of rain, but there did not seem to be too much wind.


15 mile time trials are a strange event, there aren’t many and I don’t have any real times from the past to go on, I rode last year with a time in the 37 minute mark, so was looking for a time under 35 minutes. On starting, I could feel the effort from the day before in my legs, along with what appeared to constant breeze in my face. The rain started and the usual problem of my visor steaming up occurred, whilst it was difficult to see I pressed on and started to catch a couple of riders, and was only caught for 2 minutes from the fast rider behind at the turn, so guessed I was doing ok.


On making the turn conditions didn’t really get any better, the rain continued as did the wind, hopes of a decent time started to fade, I was on my limit now and surely if the wind did not offer some assistance I would crack. Thankfully on making the bend at South Cave we picked up a tail wind, the last few miles to the finish were lightning fast.


I finished with a time of 34:37 to get me within my target, Neil finished with a short 33 minute ride and the event was won by J Wears (Team Jewson) in 30:35.


Whilst the first half of June had gone well, I had started to feel a little tired and just hoped my form would continue until I had achieved my goals.


Richard Bielby