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A course PB, a cracked frame and a DNS(A)

Having set a new overall 10-mile PB on P881 just seven days before, I knew my form was above average (for me), so going into the VTTA national 10-mile champs the goal had to be setting a new course PB on H10/3a. It’s not a quick course by any stretch (I’d never previously managed to get under 22 minutes on it) but it’s a course I’m familiar with (16 attempts in eight years, according to Strava).

Unlike the RTTC National champs, at least I wasn’t off first man. In fact, I was 150th. No excuses!

I’ll save you the boring mile-by-mile report that I usually insist on writing up, but will say that my strategy of absolutely blasting it out to the turn and then hanging on for dear life worked, just about. An official time of 21:55 meant I had finally cracked 22 minutes for H10/3a. After nearly eight years of trying (looking back, my first run was a 24:51 – so just shy of three minutes improvement over eight years – hardly stellar!).

Anyway, I was pleased enough. A PB is a PB and good enough on this occasion for 30th out of 126 riders. Better than 129th, anyway.

Further to my recent review of Avrox EI8HT Energy, I should point out that this time I did use it and I did get a course PB. So I guess the jury is still out. You can read that review (updated after this race) here.

Next up was a run down to the New Forest for the P164 10-mile course. Not one I’d ridden before, but on paper it looks reasonably fast (the results would suggest otherwise, however). My tune up ride on Saturday went fine, but when I got home, I noticed what looked like lacquer peeling off the top tube just ahead of the seat post.

On closer inspection, it looked much, much deeper and applying pressure with my thumb seemed to cause a lot of flex (whereas as the rest of the top tube seemed solid). Uh oh. Something definitely not right here. I asked a couple of people and the advice was universal – don’t ride it.

The bike was in the back garden earlier in the day, in a wheel stand, but had been caught by a gust of wind and blown over (onto the side with the crack in it). It seems strange that such an innocuous accident could be the cause of such a catastrophic failure, but nonetheless it was clear I wasn’t racing the next morning.

I emailed the race organizer immediately and gave my apologies in advance (still go a DNS rather than DNSA irritatingly).

So no I’m left with no TT bike. Being part of a four-man team for the TTT at the National Closed-Circuit Time Trial Champs in October, this was not ideal. But then that race got cancelled. I guess that’s it for racing in 2020 then.

I’m hoping Giant UK stocks up on the 2021 Trinity frames soon. I might be able to get a place at a couple of the final races of the year, but I’m not going to sweat it too much.

I’ve just enjoyed a week of ‘rest’ and my training schedule has me starting back today. So of course I’ve woken up full of cold… A few more days’ rest isn’t going to hurt!


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