Beacon Wheelers 10-mile TT, Tebay, 3 August 2019

Concerned that bad weather may hamper the Beacon Wheelers TT on 3rd August, I was happy to be greeted by radiant sunshine on Saturday morning, however whilst preparing to travel to the event, a closure on the M6 northbound cast doubt on being able to attend the TT at all.

I arrived at the HQ just in time and it was straight to the warm-up having collected my number. Most participants seeming quite rushed or reluctant, the mood was strange around the HQ and the village lanes where people warmed up, not many were speaking to one another and there lacked the usual lively and sociable atmosphere of TTs in the area. After my warm-up, I made my way to the start line, less than a mile down the road. As number one, I was slightly more nervous than usual, keen to make sure I reached the start line on time, however whilst I was waiting for my start, I felt I had found my normal routine and was focused on the race ahead.

For the first mile I noticed the wind was breezier than I had expected, coming in bursts and gusts, channelled along the rural, single-carriageway road. Despite not seeming to be able to gain my usual momentum at this point in the race, I pushed on towards the roundabout, through muggy, thick air – I figured I might be able to pull it back after the roundabout with more of a tailwind.

Following the roundabout, the humidity seemed to rise and I struggled to gain benefit from the tailwind in the clamminess. Time seeming to tick ever more slowly, I pedalled on, hoping to see the finish line soon. Accelerating through the finish, I spun my way back to the car, pondering the peculiar nature of the TT. Returning to the HQ, the times were coming in but the usual buoyant atmosphere had still not returned, in fact, I was the only one waiting for the times, many had returned their number and left quite promptly. After a strong week of training, I was initially disappointed with how the TT had gone for me but chalking it down to experience, I felt good and looked forward to the week ahead and the next time trial on the wonderfully scenic course near Bassenthwaite Lake. An unusual day had by all!

Julia Wardley-Kershaw


Tim PhillipsTT