Last one of the season, another 2up, this time with Tim. The weather looked pretty promising until the very second I picked Tim up and he said the same. Literally within 10 seconds, it was raining.
Arriving at Farndon Sports club, I’m faced with my worst nightmare, a nearly empty car park!! After parking up twice, I finally settle on a spot around the back of the building, ideal, no cars anywhere close, plenty of wall space to lean bikes against. Tim’s laughing at my indecision asking how I go on at Aldi every week??
We pick our numbers up and sit back in the car watching the wipers clearing the screen. We have an hour until our start time as we discuss how short a warm up we can get away with.. We reckon 15 minutes should do it.. Bikes built up and leant against the wall. We marvel at a car to our right, pulling out a full size gazebo. An impressive warm up tent we think, only to realise that it is the sign on area for the local dog agility show that is sharing the HQ.
20 minutes still start time and we are both good to go.. Rolling out of the HQ and it’s freezing. Ride 7 minutes down the road and then ride back is the extent of the warm up. We arrive at the start line slightly less cold than when we set off.
We had already discussed changes, start order, who was going to give the ok on turns etc.
Onto the line for that countdown for the last time this year. The pusher off tells me it’s clear behind and off we go. Nice and smooth, taking the long line around a huge pothole. I look over my shoulder and and Tim is tucked right onto my wheel. Building the pace up and it’s pretty clear how much spray we are going to get from the road. As Tim comes past, I aim at his back wheel and get a face full of spray. I’m thankful to have kept my visor on. We work well together for the first couple of miles. Past Holt Lodge and the road starts to climb, I’m having to press hard on the pedals just to hold Tim’s wheel. There’s no point in trying to come past so I shout and sit in his wheel. At the first turn the road levels out and I can get past, a decent stint to the turn and I lead us around the greasy 180deg turn roundabout. Back to the first roundabout and a left turn, the road ramps up again and as Tim comes through I have to tell him to keep it steady.
Top of the bank, 180deg around the roundabout and we are heading back. Our speed has picked up with the assistance of gravity. Straight through the original roundabout and we are back working well together. Crossing riders coming the opposite direction and it’s not just us that was struggling up the drag, the speed difference between us and then is obvious. Into the last mile, crossing the border back into England and the finish board is in site. Full gas but it’s not getting any closer. Tim comes though and I just about get onto his wheel as we cross the line.
24:36 my garmin says. Neither of us are happy with that time. The effort certainly felt faster than that time. The HQ is within 200 yards of the finish so we spin the legs out for a few minutes before returning to the car. Both still not particularly pleased..
Around the result board, our moods improve. A long 22 is winning upto now so maybe we are not too far off the pace.. In the end 22:49 wins the Grand Prix Des Gentlemen event. We are 6th overall with 24:27.
The organiser gives the awards out and starts a Spot Prize Bingo.. Picking rider numbers out of a box, he manages to pick most of the non starters for the day and the draw takes a while!! It was worth the wait though to come away with a new wheel bag..
All in all a great event on a slow wet course. We will certainly be back next year..
Now it’s time to relax for a bit and enjoy a few months off racing..