Get­ting into time tri­alling

With real-life events slowly start­ing to in­fil­trate the ‘new nor­mal’, our Fit­ness Project trio are keen for a slice of the ac­tion

Cycling Weekly - - WELCOME - CAL­LUM MC­QUEEN, 20

It’s my fi­nal dou­ble-page Fit­ness Project up­date al­ready – I can’t quite be­lieve how quickly the time has flown by! Across the cycling world, with Worldtour rac­ing re­sum­ing, things are look­ing bright, al­most like nor­mal­ity.

Since my last up­date, I’ve shifted my fo­cus to time tri­alling, and it seems that most UK road rac­ers have fol­lowed suit. For the fore­see­able fu­ture, TTS are the most fea­si­ble form of so­cially dis­tanced rac­ing as we await the re­turn of road races. With­out any prior ex­pe­ri­ence in this field – other than the CW vir­tual Club ‘10’ – I’ve man­aged to get my­self ready to race again.

My first event was a Mon­day evening lo­cal ‘10’ near Hunger­ford, Berk­shire, on this year’s Na­tion­als course. Af­ter three days of tin­ker­ing with my po­si­tion, al­low­ing my body to get used to out­putting power while in a TT tuck, I took on my first event. The eas­i­est way to de­scribe it would be ‘very hard and very hot’. None­the­less,

I loved it – and man­aged to place 23rd (of 88), hav­ing av­er­aged a rather tir­ing 364 watts (5.8w/ kg). That seemed OK for a first re­sult, and pro­vided a good base to work from for the next one.

I’m friends with Ag2r rider Harry Tan­field, and he’s been a great source of ad­vice as I’ve been get­ting set up for TTS. He’s al­ways on hand no mat­ter how stupid my ques­tions, and I have been ap­ply­ing his tips to get my po­si­tion as aero­dy­nam­i­cally di­alled as pos­si­ble. That has meant tin­ker­ing dur­ing the day, rid­ing, then fine-tun­ing in the evening. My po­si­tion at the mo­ment is rea­son­ably com­fort­able and rel­a­tively aero but needs a few more mi­nor ad­just­ments to get it spot-on.

I en­tered an­other lo­cal TT the very next day af­ter my first one, on a course just down the road from my home in Hamp­shire, or­gan­ised by lo­cal club Read­ing CC. It was two laps, mak­ing it easy to work out the splits – and rid­ing on my fa­mil­iar train­ing roads meant I felt com­fort­able about what to ex­pect. I won com­fort­ably, with a 1.43 win­ning mar­gin, close to the course record, so came away happy. This event is held ev­ery week, so a great train­ing tool for me to go back and see how

I’m im­prov­ing. My eyes are on that course record.

What bet­ter way to fin­ish a three­day block of rac­ing than with a good ol’ Zwift race along­side close team­mate, CW’S David Brad­ford? We’ve been re­ally en­joy­ing the Crit City races and have been try­ing out some new tac­tics in an at­tempt to get our first win. I can’t give away too much in­for­ma­tion on our train­ing se­crets and rac­ing strate­gies, of course, but our sup­port crew have been spend­ing many nights cal­cu­lat­ing our watt ex­pen­di­ture, body tem­per­a­ture and rac­ing fuel...

Af­ter warm­ing up and check­ing our new ‘race ra­dios’ were con­nected so we’d be able to chat tac­tics through­out, we were off. Well, David was, whereas I was sud­denly cast into dark­ness by a pow­er­cut – the whole vil­lage was out for sev­eral hours. Gut­ted, to say the least! To show my loy­alty, I stayed on the ra­dio and pro­vided moral sup­port as David fin­ished in a strong sixth. Hav­ing been side-lined, I had no ex­cuse for miss­ing that evening’s CW Club 10 vir­tual TT on the Bologna course – my first one. Some might say I’d been putting it off! It was the hard­est TT of my ca­reer so far, but I came away with sev­enth place – a grip­ping race that clearly re­minded me why I didn’t want to race up the Bologna climb in the first place.

Tin­ker, ride, re­peat...

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