The season is about to start!

So here it is…my triathlon season is about to start in just over a week. I head over to Blenheim for the sprint distance and then compete at Windsor the week after at the Olympic distance.

I’m really looking forward to it. According to my times in training I should improve on what I did last season at Blenheim if there are no mechanicals or unforeseen problems. I chose to do the same distance at Blenheim just to gain an insight into my condition and any improvements I have made. I have always said that my main rival is myself. If I can improve on what I have previously achieved, then I can’t ask for much more.

June is certainly busy. I have a weekend off after Windsor and then head to Leeds Castle on the 25th. The moat has been dredged earlier this year, so the swim should be a lot nicer and therefore I should appear from the water without green ears! Leeds last year was tough. It was baking hot and I suffered badly from cramps so I wanted to return to do it again.

I will update the blog with each event and give updates to my performance compared to last year. I’m also in the process of looking at potential TT bikes to purchase. I have  narrowed it down between an Argon 18, a Cervelo P3 and a Ceepo. I think I have decided…it will be a Ceepo. Lovely looking bikes that are designed specifically for triathlon. I am also considering whether to just buy the frame and build the bike myself. I know I can get a lot more for money this way and it would be a nice project over the winter for me ready for the Ironman 70.3 next year.

Anyway, I will post soon after Blenheim.

Tour De Yorkshire

Believe it or not, but this is my first sportive of the season. I’ve usually ridden at least two or three by now, but as I have been concentrating on my running, I’ve tended to more of the running type event early season.

Yorkshire had unfinished business for me. I had entered the sportive last year and conditions were biblical. I was meant to do the medium route but changed on the day and ended up taking on the shorter route as it was so wet. The roads and climbs were treacherous to say the least. So I wanted to return and complete it again which I am happy to say I did.

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It started and ended in Scarborough this year, something I failed to spot when booking the ride. To be honest, if I knew this beforehand I may have not gone through with it as it is a long way from home – London.

My little family made the trip up with me on Saturday morning in which we were able to visit some family just outside Leeds before heading to Scarborough later that day. I do appreciate having them with me, as it makes it so much more enjoyable knowing I have them to support me but also there when I finish.

Sunday morning came and I made my way to the ride start. We had stayed just outside in Cloughton, so a small 4 mile ride in to the start beckoned.

My ride started at 8:00am and it was cold to begin with. I think I was warm from the ride in but had to stand about for 1/2 an hour so it took the first 5 miles to start feel warm again. At 13km into the ride came the first real test – the climb Cote de Harwood Dale. About 1.3km long, 7% average gradient with it kicking up to about 16%. The thing I find with these sort of climbs is that I possibly pay them too much respect as I don’t know them. I play it safe and spin my way up. And this is how I faired compared to ex pro David Millar who set the time to beat.

 

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A little way after the climb I descended and experience some severe speed wobble on my bike. Something I haven’t experienced when using this particular bike. On top of this I could hear something rubbing which is so annoying. This is something to investigate later. I made it to the first feed station situated about 23 miles in. I must say the North Yorkshire Moors are very scenic – plus there wasn’t a drop of rain to be felt!

About 3 miles after the feed station I had a fairly worrying mechanical with my front derailleur. It basically stopped changing into the smaller cog. Not a disaster but some of the previous hills required that gear ratio to get up them. I think I was fairly lucky really as the remainder of the course didn’t have anything steep enough for me not to get up with the gears I had left at my disposal. So I made it round and 56 miles were completed in just over 4 hours. The ride included 4400ft of climbing. Here is my garmin/strava links:

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https://connect.garmin.com/activity/embed/1149863026

https://www.strava.com/activities/562377419/embed/bcdf92233ca376ee673e83c67b134fcf3f440974

I would certainly recommend this sportive to anyone. It is well organised and has good sponsors. I didn’t hang around to see any of the pro race as we went to York and travelled home on bank holiday Monday. Overall, I was pleased that I got around with the mechanical I had and it now leads into a big block of training (brick sessions begin) before my first triathlon of the year at Blenheim at the beginning of June.

Happy tri-ing, biking, whatever you do! I’ll post soon.