This ‘cross season has been a tough one, but it’s in the ability to learn that the racer becomes faster. 2015 is dead, long live 2016…
In the London league your best 8 results out of 15 count toward your overall series result. This time last year I was thinking about just how I could improve upon a few results just outside the top ten places – this year I’d have gladly taken a top twenty! The standard of rider and their preparation has improved so much in the last year that getting anywhere near the top ten needs some serious training and quite often a decent pit crew. My training has been lazy at best this year and my pit crew consisted of whoever was kind enough to lend a hand or take pity on me!
The start of a new year is not the time to be despondent though and I’m excited about putting the ‘cross season behind me and concentrating on training for a summer’s worth of racing. It’s time to get back on the mountain bike and plan what races I’ll target. I’m also going to work on my time-trialing this year – I want to test myself to see what’s possible and hopefully increase my power alongside this in preparation for next winters ‘cross season.
With that in mind I started my 2016 by racing an Open 10 mile TT, hosted by Southborough & District Wheelers, at Bethersden, near Ashford. I warmed up well, but the chilly January morning cut through my skinsuit as I was pushed off – a couple of strong pedal strokes and I settled into my rhythm. The Q10/10 course starts with a vicious drag up to the main Ashford road which I knew would be crucial to a shot at the road bike category – push hard now and there would be less to do on the flat. A slight headwind made the outgoing leg hard work, but with three short climbs punctuating this half, it didn’t affect my pace too much.
The turnaround point was a nice greasy roundabout, which again I knew would be crucial to keeping the full TT bikes behind me. Now with a tail wind the hills seemed like they weren’t even there and I flew past Digi Dave on my way back to Bethersden. On the way into the village my minute man came past on a TT bike telling me, “keep pushing now”. That made me feel good as I reckon that the TT bike is probably worth 2 minutes on this course so I tried my best to keep him in sight for the last few turns. Incredibly at the same time, my 4 minute man (Keith Lea) caught us both on his way to 4th place! I shifted up a gear for the last 30 seconds and sprinted my way to the line happy in the knowledge that however quickly I’d gone, at least for today, I could have gone no faster.
Now it’s time to get out on my bike – base miles here I come. Here’s to 2016.
Q10/10 3.1.16 results;
- Chris McNamara (NUUN-Sigma Sport)
- Conall Yates (In-Gear – QuickVit – Trainsharp)
- James Lowden (ASL360)
33. Glen Whittington (SDW) (2nd Road Bike)
Photos by Dave Haywood and Andrew Laity.
Glen rides for the Southborough & District Wheelers. He races Mountain bikes in the UK National XC Points and Eastern XC Series, Road bikes in the Surrey, South-East and Eastern Leagues, TT in the South East Region and ‘Cross in the LCCA League. He receives personal support from Helly Hansen, The Velo House, and the.æight.bicycle.cømpany @eightbikeco #aeightracer
Glen runs The Velo House with Olly, a coffee shop, workshop and bike shop welcoming all cyclists and even well behaved non-cyclists. We’re based at 5 St.Johns Road, Tunbridge Wells, TN4 9TN – 01892 554 505 – firstname.lastname@example.org. @thevelohouse #thevelohouse