Border City Wheelers Open TT, Lake District, 6 July 2019
For this event, I wanted to form and test out a pacing strategy for the course, and based on some data and suggestions from Tim I looked at the characteristics of each mile as part of my preparation and thinking how to approach the effort for each section. I also asked Tim for some advice on what to think about during the event, learning a six-point checklist to mentally tick off throughout the ride.
Heading to the start for Saturday’s TT, located in an Alpine-looking setting beside the rippling Bassenthwaite Lake in the Lake District, I felt fresh and ready for the event. A slight breeze, along with tree cover near the start, took the edge off the direct sunlight and created favourable conditions for the relatively flat course towards Keswick. Building the effort through the first few miles, I focused on my pace, also making mental observations of my cadence, gear and the terrain ahead. Smooth and feeling swift, I was soon at the busy part of the course, where multiple junctions intersect with the bypass. With slow moving traffic ahead and a combination of local traffic and holidaymakers I was particularly cautious but negotiated the section without any issues. Back on the open road, I raised the effort with just under a mile until the roundabout. Having circumnavigated the roundabout, I was back into the aero position as soon as I joined the road back to the finish and keeping a clear head, focusing on the 4 miles remaining. Back through the crowded section of road and around the curve towards the straight few miles, I could tell I was on course to a good time and on the run into the finish, I dug deep to invest all remaining energy as the time ticked on. The chequered board ahead was a welcome sight as I launched towards the finale, glancing down at my cycle computer to see the time under 27 minutes. Returning to the HQ, I was really happy with my time of 26:44 which is my fastest ride this season and only 13 seconds off my PB. It was fantastic that my strategy worked and I felt it to be one of my most efficient TTs yet. I look forward to a return to the Levens course next week to see what I can achieve there.