Today was ‘The Sid Latchford Memorial’ 22 mile hilly promoted by the Hemel Hempstead CC. (course F11/22)
It is run on roads around Bagnall, Ivinghoe, Bison Hill and Dunstable Downs. There are two main climbs of Bison Hill and Invinghoe hill. It is good course, with a fair balance between flattish roads, and testing hills.
On a good day, I can cycle from Oxford to Ivinghoe (about 40 miles), so I have done these climbs on a couple of occasions, but some roads were still new.
The weather forecast correctly predicted rain and strong wind; I was surprised at the lack of DNS for the race. It would have been easy to look at the forecast and stay in bed, rather than put the clocks forward an hour and go and get a good soaking.
When it’s raining, I don’t bother with a ‘warm up’ because I just get very cold. I got there late and sat in the car until 5 minutes to go. I was going to try a No Pinz wallet, but I didn’t have time and my skinsuit had got wet getting it out of the car. My warm-up consisted of riding 200m to the start and reluctantly taking off waterproof. Once I got racing, it was a bit better, but it was a tough day on the bike – pools of standing water, roughish road surface and gusting winds.
On the descent from Bison Hill towards Dunstable, there was a particularly strong crosswind, which had me reaching for the sidebars and brakes. I didn’t want to take any risks. The cork brakes and carbon rims were a bit unresponsive in the wet. On a better day, the course would be much faster because you could descend at a faster pace. It was a far cry from recent hillies where I’ve enjoyed spinning out on a 56*11.
Because of the wind, it was even more a testing course. It was a question of trying to put out the power when you could. It was almost a relief to get to a climb, because you could really concentrate on cycling hard and not just hanging on.
The course was very well marshalled with the enthusiastic members of Hemel Hempstead. There were even unexpected pockets of spectators cheering you on at different parts of the course. A welcome sound where you’re struggling up a hill. The last few miles were very fast from Bagnall roundabout as a tailwind blew you home. I went as fast as I could, partly to keep warm. I was relieved to finish and went straight to the car to warm up.
The organiser Sam has put a lot of work into promoting this new early season classic, and although we like to complain about the weather, we’ll be able to look back and feel glad we got round on the windy and wet year of 2015.
In terms of time, I just pipped 2014 champion, Michael Broadwith (Arctic Taxc RT) by 7 seconds for 1st place. Since the national 100 in 2014, it’s become a bit of a habit to be a few seconds in front of Michael Broadwith – fine margins. Still he took it with good grace, and I’m sure he will have a good season. It’s hard to imagine there is a 20 kg difference between us going up those hills! Danny Axford (Arctic Taxc RT) completed the podium and helped win the Team prize for Arctic. First women was Jody Conibear from the promoting club Hemel Hempstead.
- Time: 51:25
- Av speed 25.1 mph
- Av power : 283 watts (unweighted) – a lot of freewheeling today.
Next week Buxton Mountain Time Trial
- Hemel Hempstead Hilly at Hemel CC
|1||Tejvan Pettinger||Sri Chinmoy CT||00:51:25|
|2||Michael Broadwith||Arctic Tacx RT||00:51:31|
|3||Danny Axford||Arctic Tacx RT||00:53:21|
|4||Richard Wood||Arbis-Colbert Cycles RT||00:53:52|
|5||Luke Clarke||TMG Horizon CT||00:54:09|
|6||Tim Bayley||Arctic Tacx RT||00:54:17|
|7||Ross Clarke||TMG Horizon CT||00:54:59|
|8||Jason Green||Bedfordshire Road CC||00:55:16|
|9||Tim Davies||Icknield RC||00:55:19|
|10||Harry Paine||Team Corley Cycles||00:56:40|
|11||Paul Caton||TMG Horizon CT||00:57:16|
|12||Matthew Bond||Kenton RC||00:57:19|
|13||Jon Friend||Bedfordshire Road CC||00:57:24|
|14||Ian Turner||North Road CC||00:57:53|
|15||John Lacey||Hemel Hempstead CC||00:57:54|
|16||James Fox||CC Luton||00:58:00|
|17||Ben Nichol||High Wycombe CC||00:58:07|
|18||Mike Wragg||Arbis-Colbert Cycles RT||00:58:09|
|19||Geoff Reynolds||Hemel Hempstead CC||00:58:24|
|20||Grant Orsborn||Icknield RC||00:58:30|
|21||Mark Ellis||Team Milton Keynes||00:59:34|
|22||Tom Deprez||W Suffolk Whs & Tri Club||00:59:41|
|23||Tim Newman||Berkhamstead CC||01:00:02|
|24||Roland Kemp||Bossard Whs||01:00:10|
|25||Gavin Rumbles||CC Luton||01:00:33|
|26||Joshua Curtis||Berkhamstead CC||01:01:42|
|27||Abid Hussain||Icknield RC||01:01:46|
|28||MIchael Kazer||Berkhamstead CC||01:01:55|
|31||Daniel Turney||Berkhamstead CC||01:02:25|
|31||Richard Carr||Hemel Hempstead CC||01:02:25|
|33||Alastair Insall||Tri London||01:03:11|
|34||Andrew Bradley||Hemel Hempstead CC||01:03:46|
|35||Ross Poulton||Icknield RC||01:03:47|
|36||Nick Clarke||Berkhamstead CC||01:04:06|
|37||Jody Conibear (W)||Hemel Hempstead CC||01:04:16|
|38||Spencer Wilson||Berkhamstead CC||01:04:43|
|39||James Gomm||Hitchin Nomads CC||01:05:48|
|40||Tom Bissenden||Hemel Hempstead CC||01:06:15|
|41||Annabel Sill (W)||Team Jadan||01:06:30|
|42||Gavin Moore||Team Velovelocity.co.uk||01:07:04|
|43||Jeremy Curtis||Berkhamstead CC||01:07:15|
|44||Anthony Newland||Bossard Whs||01:07:29|
|45||Nick Hickman||Hitchin Nomads CC||01:08:12|
|46||Glenn Dossett||Welwyn Whs||01:08:31|
|47||Trevor Watson||Bossard Whs||01:10:36|
|48||Paul Thomson||Hemel Hempstead CC||01:11:55|
|49||Simon Pyburn||Berkhamstead CC||01:12:18|
|50||Richard Moule||Bossard Whs||01:13:13|
|51||Lizzie Insall (W)||Tri London||01:14:16|
|52||Andrew Porter||Welwyn Whs||01:16:47|
|53||John Hassall||Bossard Whs||01:17:06|
|54||Paul Dyett||Bossard Whs||01:17:32|
|Peter Harridge||Icknield RC||DNF|