Race Report – Mid Devon CC 24/25 TT – Conrad takes the course record below 49 mins!

MDCC Triple Trophy

I had a bit of a dilemma when deciding on the back end of my season. I had 2 options in mind, both of which supported a couple of minor season goals.

Option 1 was a trip to the Port Talbot Wheelers 25, an event that I was 3rd in last year, and where I set my club record 47.50. I was confident of doing a 46, should the weather be good.

Option 2 was the club open 25 on the S4. 20 minutes from my doorstep, a lie in, and a chance to retain the presidents shield. The shield bears the names of some legends of TT, and some legends full stop – names such as Colin Lewis, Roy Hopkins, Mike Parker, Eddie Adkins and Clive Brooks to name a few.

One of the other things that I’d told myself would be a nice to do, would be to record the regions first ever 48 min 25 TT. I’d become the first to do so in 2015, then twice more last season, and again this season, but still I was the only rider to hit the 30 mph mark over our rolling roads. I thought a 48 would be a far greater performance than option 1. Option 2 won the day.

Recovery during the week was frankly rubbish. I was knackered after the 100, and needed 2 days off the bike as a starter. Wednesday I managed an hour; but like a donkey. Thursday another hour, like a donkey – although a slightly better donkey. Friday I decided just to spin the legs for 45 min only and on Saturday I still didn’t feel brilliant, but was improving and certainly ok to race on Sunday.

Sunday morning arrived at 4am, without alarm, wide awake and eager to watch my recorded Golovkin vs Brook fight. By 4.15 I had watched it in its entirety and was sat in my lounge eating porridge – no surprises from the mighty GGG.

I drove out to the HQ, where conditions looked ‘nice’ clear skies, sunshine at 7.15, cold, but still.  I warmed up on the road for an hour as usual, and in the shade it was freezing, but into the sunshine and it was great. At 0920 it was reasonably warm, and although the wind had risen a bit from the SW it was unlikely to have any impact on performance either way. I felt really good.

Quickly into my rhythm and the legs felt good. The plan was my usual plan for the S4, but ‘just a bit harder all the way round’. To achieve a 48 I’d need to roll the dice a bit.

I passed Ken at Chudleigh Bridge; bang on 13 miles, and near as damn it to schedule. Normally you expect your average speed to decay on the return, and I was mindful of the fact that I was on the limit power wise, so couldn’t afford to lose ‘what I’d usually lose’ speed wise. It was simply go for broke.

I wound it up over Bickington, low on the extensions and holding 22 mph pretty much all the way, at the top I looked at my average and I was 0.2 mph ahead of what I needed to equal my course record of 49.30, and knew that I could build this over the next couple of miles before digging as deep as possible in the tough last 2 miles. I had no idea how fast I was going or how many watts I was doing, as I was counting pedal strokes to make the pain go away. I can’t say it worked, but the end result was what I’d hoped for. 48.54.

Back at HQ I found out I’d been 24 seconds to the good at the turn, but eked out a further 53 seconds on the shorter return leg to win by 77 seconds.

Just 2 more events to go for the year now, with the last being the Welsh 50 championship in a few weeks time.

All in all a good day for myself, and the club in general, with Mark Sanders and his team doing a great job on the organisation front, Perky taking 5th on the day, Harry and Harrison taking the Espoir and Junior prizes, and a string of PBs from the clubs racers – Ian Cullen, Kevin Weymouth, Ruth, Sarah, Mike Gratton, James Tribble and possibly more. 

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