West Pennine RC 10m TT, Levens, 13 July 2019

Arriving on Saturday with a strong week of training in the bag, after a great performance at the Border City Wheelers TT last week, I was eager for my start time. Setting off, I worked to benefit from the downhill first mile and carry some momentum into the rest of the course. As the hill dissipated into flat road, an open part of the course magnified the wind; along with rougher asphalt dampening the speed, the second mile was difficult and as the lap time flashed up on my cycle computer, I was apprehensive and thought I would be in for a slow run. Refusing to let the wind take away my focus, I pushed on hard towards the roundabout. As miles 3 and 4 elapsed, the humidity prevalent during the week lingered, making the air thick, however I kept at the pace and the lap times started to decrease. Keeping good speed through the roundabout and taking the straightest path to even out the curve to exit back towards the finish, I noticed how hard the effort seemed yet glancing down at the speed, I realised I was charging along to a time faster than last week. Energy flagging with a mile and a half to go but realising I was set for a new PB, forced me to focus and push past the fatigue. As the first distance marker for the slip road appeared, I gritted my teeth and pedalled harder, counting down the signs and picking a path through the cats’ eyes on the entry to the slip road. As I foraged in my mind to remember my number and yelled it to the time keepers, the last mile-lap flashed up on screen – the fastest mile yet - and just after crossing the line I glimpsed my time to be within a new PB. Wavering back towards the HQ, I was shattered, a slight cough making me feel queasy. Returning to the HQ it was brilliant to see my time already on the results – 25:55, 36 seconds quicker than my old PB from last season and 49 seconds quicker than my fastest TT this year. I am so happy to have set a new PB, to knock off a chunk of time, and for it to start with 25, is fantastic. Next week I’ll take on a course near Doncaster that promises to be quick, aiming to continue to improve my performances and times.

Julia Wardley-Kershaw

Tim PhillipsTT