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
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...