Sunday, 5 April 2009


I thought I'd kick this week's entry off with a quick race report from today's 50 mile super hilly cycling time trial and my favourite annual cycling event of all time, the Circuit of the Dales...


What did you think? What do you mean where was it?

Having scored my first ever DNF (did not finish) around this time last year at the Stokesley Duathlon I've yet again managed a lifetime first... a DNS (did not start)! I've been excited about this race ever since crossing the finish line in the snow last April. It's a fantastically challenging course, was my first ever time trial back in 2006 and serves as a great measure of the conversion rate between winter miles and summer smiles. Having had a solid week's training I'd rested and recovered well on Friday and Saturday and was fired up to test myself against previous years. Ben and H were off about 45 minutes before me which meant I could wander down to the start and cheer them off before heading back to the car for my final race prep. They both looked in great shape and watching them fly off into the distance on a perfect Yorkshire Dales morning tripled my motivation. As I cruised down to the start with about ten minutes to spare I was feeling awesome, and super confident of a great ride... just as I was testing out my aero position though I felt my tri-bars move slightly, thinking it was just a loose bolt I nipped back to the car and reminding myself not to panic pulled out an allen key. Quarter of a gentle turn later and 'snap'... the bottom left hand corner of the handlebar clamp had broken away leaving me with only three of the four bolts actually doing anything. For a moment I thought I could get away with it but closer inspection (see today's picture) showed that the bottom right hand side had also failed and after a few minutes of indecision (crazy really as there was only ever one correct answer) I decided the handlebars coming off on one of the 50mph twisty downhill sections was unlikely to be a particularly pleasant experience and that was it... my first ever DNS and 12 months of dreams down the swanny for another year. Still, the sun was out and 30 minutes later I was happily(ish) stood by the side of the road, flapjack and cappuccino in hand :)

As for Ben and H? Both of them have had somewhat up and down starts to 2009 and I can honestly say I'm really glad that it was me on the sidelines today and not either one of them. Only a couple of months ago H was picking up the pieces from our crazy January training camp and Ben's head was busy exploding with ear infection after ear infection... to see them both race so well this morning was amazing and with Lanza now less than seven weeks away they seem to be coming good at just the right time. I'll let Hels tell you all about her race but it's not that often you pb by nearly 20 minutes so don't let her play it down ;)


Spinning round to the other side of the world for a moment... well done to Ian and Russell for both breaking ten hours at Ironman Australia. I know Russ was after something under 9.30 but a solid performance none the less and with Lanzarote next on his hit list we might even manage to share a little bit of the marathon suffering in PDC ;)

and as for Ian... all I can say is how gutted I am not to have been there to share in the celebrations! After an awesome first Ironman in the UK back in 2005 Ian's had his fair share of race day suffering over the 140.6 and with such strong swim, bike and run credentials has long been capable of going under the ten hour mark. A strong swim, phenomenal bike and solid run saw him cross the line in 9.55 and at 12th in his age group (40-44) will I'm sure be in for some nervous moments at tomorrow's roll-down (8 slots available)... Hawaii or not I'm so pleased for you mate and inspired by your amazing demonstration of the power of belief... I for one never stopped ;)


Right, I'm off to bed and if the pool is quiet in the morning I'll be venting some of my DNS frustration on 64 timed lengths ;)

See you in seven,



Jevon said...

Made the right decision mate. Well done. A day off will do you no harm at all. Not sure about all that coffee and flapjack though :-)

Debra said...

Tom, just remember which the "A" race is

Shame about this one, but you have already proved you can bounce back from DNF to PB so hoping you can do the same again from a DNS

Rob Bane said...

That's a crappy piece of luck.

I'm normally far more cynical than your good self but I do like the idea that you've identified your 'One moment' and are going for it. I'm also not a great believer in fate but perhaps this was meant to be?

Tom said...

cheer for the great comments guys, although it is frustrating to not have a great result backing up my winter training I'm still feeling pretty positive about the bike.

We've got some BIG sessions lined up for the next few weeks so there should be little doubt in my mind come May the 23rd.