Time trial season

A round up and a review of the national 10.

So it was the first full season on the tic tac which had been purchased late last year after one frustration too many on the size medium Transition. (Still the prettiest TT bike ever)


Early season form was promising with solid power numbers and feeling like my bike and I got on well. Working back in Coventry has meant a season of efforts on the K41/10. It is not a fast course but it is honest. I was delighted to be above 2015 form straight away.

With this in mind I had decided to have another go on E2/10, F11/10 and V718.

Sadly and positively the trip to E2/10 set the tone for my year. My biggest power numbers EVER in a 10 on a TT bike and DrBob was 40 seconds up the road. Why was I sad ? A chat with the Dr told me that we were almost the same weight and I had put out over 30 watts more than him. That was that it was time to go and see a PRO.

I selected Wattshop off a friends recommendation, that and the fact I could get a 7am slot on a velodrome in Derby. Daft as a brush I had raced track league the night before. Never ever do this kids as you spend chunks of the next morning doing 4 min efforts around FTP. THEY ADD UP !!!


Above is the set up I left with(Thanks Morgan @BanjoCycles for executing Dans plans). From the session I came away with a solid ride-able set up that saved me a lot of watts.  It is not perfect but a lot of that is my bodys fault and ironically I need a bike with more reach and less stack. The biggest thing I learned is I know nothing about aerodynamics, that said expense parted with the SHIV is the best I can get it and it is not shabby. There is logic in the engine but you can buy speed. My advice, train hard, get set up, follow advice and buy the best kit you can afford.

For perspective I went out on the K41/10, rode 20 watts less than I had before on a new set up and destroyed my course best. This turned out not to be a fluke of conditions as I never looked back and by the season end I had lowered my K41 best by around 45 seconds without any more power.

Next up with the F11/10, I have blogged more than once about having fast head on when you go to a fast course. I was rewarded with a HUGE course PB and I had edged ever closer to the target of a 19.xx.

Somewhere in all this I had a trip to France and for some strange reason decided I should do a 50, they are too far and I must admit I faltered near the end but I rode a 1.50.cc so nailed the sub 2hr and beyond. Not sure how many 50s I will do but at least now I should get a ride on most courses.

My performances and comments seemed to inspire my friend Rich so it was no surprise that a second trip to the velodrome for me and a first for Rich was arranged. I just wanted to know my best kit so I had race day V training day, already had it for suits but it would be nice to know I am on the best wheels I have in the most aero kit(after the surprise of my expensive banjo suit costing me watts due to me being too slow I needed to be sure of everything). I was therefore surprised when my stack was lowered again to actually gain me watts, seems to be very much against the stacking convention of current set ups but …. Seems my warped head likes the Bambino so the Spesh TT lid was sold. I also tried the Giro ” flavour of the month ” Helmet. Much laughter as it cost me 14 watts.

Next year will see Di2 or a new bike, probably a new helmet but there will not be a blind purchase. This TTing is expensive and I still have to do the training!!! This brings me to the V718, she is the fastest course in the country on the right day with the right head on.

A lovely lady told me it was a perfect day but it felt good to me, I did my usual slack Alice warm up (thanks for testing Ken, nice to be told I just need to ride a bit) and arrived at the start ready. I was out the gate and on it straight away, my roundabout although not perfect was good enough. It was always going to be close but a good last mile saw me home in 19.46. Season target achieved.

Sub 20

This was everything done on the bike except putting on the really expensive new tubs which came later :¬) Power was everything I had on a day and that was good enough. I actually withdrew from my other ride on this course as Hull is a long way from home.

There were only 3 things left to do:

  1. Put the posh tubs on
  2.        Ride a fast 25, entry to R25/3H sorted
  3.        Ride the National 10

So the posh tubs went on and I got a trip to Wales, funny really as at this point the wheels fell off my season a bit, I was throwing up the morning of the event, even now not sure what triggered it but it was nasty. So I  lined up unfuelled and took a gamble as it was Wales, I got the PB but the course did it really. MarcinB rode 43 mins !!!!!! which tells you it was a good day. So a successful failure really. There is another minute to come on the right day.

I had a period of time to prepare and put in the reps, rode well on the K41 and on the week of the race I got a cold, seems the last good ride was K41 5 days before as from the next morning I was ill. By the Saturday I had convinced myself I should ride, I knew I was 90%. I had even slept Saturday night without using “night nurse”. It was cloudy and windy when I arrived and sure as fate it started to rain as I headed to the start. Cold and wet with a cold is not ideal but I went anyway. After 4 miles of not enough power I had a coughing fit. Not ideal!!! Add that to being cut up by a motorbike who then walked his bike round the turn(this alone cost me a long 21) meant I was not in a good place. Anger, frustration and stubbornness saw a better ride back but it is safe to say I paid for it later and there is no doubt the cough carried on well into the following week thanks to this ride. Reality is I should have DNS’d.

So my last two rides were probably events that should not have taken place and on reflection I shall note that no event is more important than my health.

That said, what a TT season. Outright PBs for all targets and course PBs in other places. I even bagged a win or two along the way. I’m not a tester but I do enjoy it. I expect to see some more of the same next year although knowing I have some solid times means I can probably avoid Wales and Hulls for at least a year and look to ride fast on normal course.

Surely the aim of every tester is to be fast(relative) everywhere.

Hill climbs and Cross now so see you on the other side :¬)





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