On the first day of 2018, Stafford Road Club ran their annual New Year’s Day club time trial. I’ve recently moved up that way and after all the snow and ice, I’ve not really been out with my new club that much. Having a blast in a time trial seemed a good way to get my face known! It was also a chance for Hannah to have her first ever go at time trials.
The K7/5 Course
The 5 mile time trial took place on the K7/5 circuit between Stafford and Penkridge. The overall gradient of the course is a gradual descent, riders end up 80 metres lower at the finish compared to the start. The route is anything but easy however. A number of dips present the challenge, particularly in the last two miles where a couple of steeper bumps need to be crested. The final bump in particular reaches up to 7% in places. A tough ask when already giving it your all.
Riding the Stafford 5 Mile TT
I invested in some new time trial kit over the winter and this was the first chance I’d had to give it a go. A fancy new disc wheel removes one thing to worry about in getting a quick time. A new time trial helmet where my ear lobes don’t pop out from under the sides was also nice. I couldn’t find the bit that fastens my time trial bars to the handlebars though so couldn’t put them on – I made do with some forearm balancing.
The countdown at the start ticked down and I set off with a nice descent to build up speed before the first of the bumps. Each uphill part made the previous week’s miles very apparent and tough on the legs. The long 2 mile gradual descent into Brocton was fun at speed however. Resting at the start of each dip and then powering up the other side felt just about alright. It started tipping it down too for good measure.
I could see Hannah up ahead who had started 1 minute before me, I could also see the rider who set off a minute before her. I caught Hannah, giving and receiving a shout of encouragement before hunting down and passing the next rider before the crossroads at Brocton. The next section I had ridden on Boxing Day but didn’t remember it being quite so lumpy.
The road was still generally downhill but the bumps were steeper and more severe. The legs were really hurting trying to keep the speed up over them. Coming up to what I thought was the last bump, I sprinted over it only to see the worst one of the ride coming up ahead of me. Poorly planned! Grinding over the top was a big big struggle, once over I could see the gaggle of people by the finishing line and could put my head down and make a blast for the finish.
Stafford 5 Mile TT (K7/5) Results
I managed to finish 2nd of 18 on the day with a time of 11 minutes 35 seconds, just 10 seconds behind the winner. I like to think I’d have won if I’d hadn’t cycled 300km in the week before the race!
Hannah finished 14th in her first ever time trial with a time of exactly 14 minutes.