Strathclyde Country Park today and, after last year’s torrential downpour the dry sunny weather today was very welcome. I missed round 2 at Knockburn Loch as well as the best part of two weeks of training time to winter bugs, and with the way things worked out I spent more time on the turbo trainer than on the road and very little time on mud.
All of this neatly presages my performance in the race today. The upsides: my fitness felt pretty good, my lap times still looking consistent, and I’m better able to recover from efforts without needing to back right off. For once, I started ahead of my final ranking, gradually drifting down the field rather than spending the race passing people. I stuck with a group for a while, losing time on pedalling sections but gaining on technical stuff. The downsides: have spent a lot of time on the turbo, I’ve forgotten how to go round corners. I failed to nail any of the higher speed turns, going offline and losing precious momentum and places time and time again. And then on lap 3, my front wheel slid out on the offcamber and I banged my knee then, after a brief bit of running I remounted to find my chain was off, Wout-stylee. It was easily fixed, but with all the action and my banged-up knee I lost 40 seconds on that lap.
Overall, 69th out of 146th starters (47%) so another top half finish. The 40s lost on my crash lap were important, since 40s faster would’ve put me ten places higher. That’s kinda positive – my cornering today was shocking but it’s normally much better.
Next weekend is the Dunfermline round, no idea what the course is like. Plan is to steer clear of winter bugs, do a bit of turbo and a bit of technique. Medium-temr, it’d be nice to finish top 50 – which, today, happens to coincide with the first non-lapped rider, another decent goal. But that requires being about 5% faster, which is easier said than done!