The Buxton Mountain time trial is one of the hilliest time trials on the calendar. About 1,100m of climbing over 33 miles (22 miles for vets and women). This year, it was part of the CTT national time trial series, and it attracted a bumper entry with 144 riders signing up for the race. The course record was set by Stuart Dangerfield in August 2003 with a 1:22:13.
The women’s event attracted some top riders, including double world champion Joanna Rowsell. Rowsell is a track specialist and a member of the world record setting British team who clocked 4.16 for the team 4km pursuit. That’s just shy of a mind boggling 35mph (and a pretty good standard for a men’s team). But, compared to the team pursuit, the Buxton MTT is a very different kettle of fish, with average speeds of roughly half of 35 mph.
In the end, the women’s event was won by Katie Archibald (Pearl Izumi) 1:00:02, (21.98mph) just pipping teammate Sarah Storey (Pearl Izumi) into 2nd place 1:00:34. Rowsell was 3rd in a time of 1.01.38
In the men’s event, Matt Clinton (Mike Vaughan Cycles) won in a time of 1.23.23. (23.74mph) Pettinger (Sri Chinmoy CT) (me) was just 2 seconds behind in 1.23.25, and Espoir C.Fennel (PMR @ Toachim House) was third with 1.24.56.
- 1st paracylist Rik Waddon (Para T. Paracycling Team).
- 1st Junior James Falconer Ferryhill Whs/Mountain High (58.10)
- Honourable mention also to 1st under 16 – Adam Hartley Velocity WD-40 1.02.01.
- 1st Vet J.Ramsbottom (Pedal Pushers) 00:56:58, with Peter Greenwooed (Team Swift) fastest vet on target.
I had a good block of training in March and early April, and went well in the Circuit of the Dales. But, during the last week I did very little apart from a few easy miles around Kissena Velodrome in NY. I got back from NY yesterday morning, and just about managed to make myself get on rollers for 30 mins in a perfunctory attempt at a pre-race warm up. With the inevitable jet lag, I was grateful for late start of 2pm and (as last year’s winner) I started as last man off at 180. At least when racing, I felt no effects of jet lag – helped by the good weather.
Conditions were near perfect for April. Sunny, light wind and relatively warm. I set off reasonably quick on the first lap, passing through time keeper in about 27.00 (319 watts average). After the first lap, it was a bit harder to maintain that pace, and the average speed very slowly declined. The third time up Axe Edge was particularly hard going. It’s a tough course with quite a few sharp corners and changes of gradient. I tried to increase the effort near the top of climbs so I could recover on the next downhill. It’s impossible to do a measured effort because the gradient is so variable. Where possible it’s good to try and maintain momentum from downhill onto the next incline. Though, this year, I felt a little rusty on the corners.
I did hear time checks that I was up on Clinton on the first two laps. But, in the end, I finished just 2 seconds behind. 2 seconds is a little ironic as that was the exact winning margin in the National Hill Climb Championship 2013. As the old saying goes – You win some, you lose some. Cycling can all be about fine margins, though it’s rare for a 33 mile hilly TT to be decided by such a small margin.
The problem with just missing out by 2 seconds, is that you can’t help but think where those 2 seconds may have come from. Like all good cyclists, it’s very easy to analyse after a race, where it wasn’t perfect. So many excuses spring to mind – equipment, training, traffic, cornering – even the good old fashioned ‘Why didn’t you just pedal a little harder!’ – I wish I could have pedalled faster on the final hill, but I was pretty spent.
- There’s a bylaw in Cycling Time Trials that at the finish you’re supposed to shout you’re number to help the time keeper. As no. 180, I thought this was my chance to shout out ‘Oneee Hundered and eighteeeeeeee’ in the manner of all good darts commentators. It might have been mildly amusing, but after the last effort to the finish line, I think the only ’180′ I managed to say was heard by nobody including myself. I must admit shouting out of your number is one of those bylaws I rarely manage. I think being a hill climber must exempt you on many occasions.