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Pre Road Season Testing

April racing has continued with more Time Trials as I continue to build up to when we can finally get to the road racing season. These have been mainly 10's but I also had my first attempt at a 25 mile effort.


Following on from the Long Eaton 10 on a cold Easter Sunday was the Bramley wheelers 10 on a modified V314 course to route around some roadworks.


In the week between Long Eaton and Bramley Wheelers I felt like I’d started to get my legs back after the illness in March. I learned what post viral recovery looks like and it wasn't even Covid, a lot of rest and good nutrition seemed to have done the job. In my training efforts the power was coming back giving me more confidence going in to the Bramley 10.


Bramley Wheelers 10 just outside Tadcaster

On the day however the result wasn't what I hoped for. While I caught and passed 4 people ahead of me I was unlucky to have traffic pulling out on me. Getting stuck behind cars and a slow moving horse box for about 2 miles all conspired to scupper my run, which was a shame because I was feeling good. When I had clear road, the power and speed were good (if a little inconsistent) but the constant backing off the pedals cost me. Ultimately it was a disappointing 9th overall.


The good news was that after analysing my ride this was reflected in both my power and heart rate files - while my average power was over 10% down on my target power and so too was my heart rate at least this showed that there was a good amount of headroom as I continued to recover.


Next up was a trip down to just south of Cambridge to represent the University of Sheffield at the BUCS 25 mile TT.


This was my first 25 mile TT effort so was a step in to the unknown regarding pacing. My plan was to ride just below threshold power for the first half and to see where that left me going in to the second lap. It was a 2 lap undulating course, well organised and in a great location. In the end a 52:38 was a respectable time and 11th place overall. I enjoyed it more than the 10's previously and I'm looking forward to the next one.


BUCS 25 in Cambrdge

Then it was on to Team Sheffield 10, a firm favourite and always a good local event. Cuckney was my first 10 ever so it’s good to go back and check how I'm doing on a familiar course.


Again it was another positive step forwards on the road back to racing. The wind had an impact on everyone's time with the outward headwind leg being longer than the return tail wind section. Connor Swift's course record is 18:43 but there was no chance of that falling of the day, the winning time was 20:34. I managed to come in 20:48 and having not been impressed with my time it turned out I was 5th overall, 14 seconds off the best time so it wasn't as bad as I initially thought.


Team Sheffield 10 at Cuckney - Photo by Tony Wood

Next on the calendar is the Sheff Rec 25mile TT on the O25/11 course on 8th May. I'm heading out beforehand on a training ride to recce the course which has been recently resurfaced so could deliver some fast times for all if the weather conditions are good.


In other news, Cycling Sheffield has a team of four entered and confirmed in the the 76th VE day 3 day stage race over August Bank Holiday -28th to 31st Aug. It's 5 stages, an ITT, a TTT and 3 road stages. Really looking forward to the proper challenge of a stage race and other races for the team are in the pipeline. I'm really hoping that we can get some racing in Europe in there at some point but who knows with things still being the way they are with Covid. That means everything we can get on the domestic scene is worth so much this year. I'm planning of making the most of whatever comes my way this year and I hope it puts me in a good position for 2022.


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