Velo Club Cumbria 10 mile TT on L1010. 03/06/2023.
The image is from the 2017 NLTTA 100 taken near Braithwaite Institute Village Hall on the same stretch of road used by this 10. Roadclutter and sheep have been digitally obliterated.
L1010 is one of the many excellent courses using the A66 between Keswick and Cockermouth. Starting near the shore of Bassenthwaite Lake the outward leg is south and east to the turn roundabout near Keswick and then back to finish near Blackstock Point. The profile is gently rolling with 33m difference between the high and low points, both occuring in the first mile. The turn occurs at 5.5 miles and is 23m higher than the finish making the return leg generally faster.
|1||19:41||Liam Beaty||Scottish Borders RT||Senior|
|2||19:50||Richard Bideau||Pendle Forest CC||Vet|
|1||21:15||Maddy Leech||Huddersfield Star Whs||Espoir|
|2||25:30||Karen Taylor||Springfield Financial Racing Team||Vet|
|3||25:42||Sue Cheetham||North Lancashire Road Club||Vet|
*Jason rode this event representing the VTTA North Lancs and Lakes Group, he has since rejoined his former club Pendle Forest.
I’ve been too busy to keep up to date with race reports but as this one had several points of interest, I couldn’t resist…
The starting order for a time trial is one of the important aspects that the organiser has to decide upon. The number of instances of riders passing each other should be minimised and where they do occur, should have a large speed difference. This is achieved by assessing how each rider is likely to perform and placing them accordingly. The way starting orders have been arranged in the past will be familiar to time triallers: the fastest rider starting last, usually with a number ending in 0, preceeded by the second fastest rider 10 minutes earlier and so on. Setting the field in this way used to be manditory, indeed, there have been some instances where results have been declared void by the CTT becasue the organiser has set out the field incorrectly. Today, a different approach is being encouraged by the CTT. It is motivated by the need to ensure fair competition between riders of similar ability and recognises that over the duration of an event there can be large changes in conditions in terms of weather and also in terms of the amount of motorised road traffic. Thus, the fastest riders are placed together at minute intervals with the fastest going off last. This starting order is known as ‘slowest to fastest’.
So it was for this event. The last four riders set off thus:
By Richard Bideau.
Hot and windy is the best way to describe the day. The heat certainly made my warmup more enjoyable than most, though in the race itself, it would be another matter. The wind was disappointing – I was hoping for a fast time, under 20 minutes ideally. Wind makes that more difficult. The hills surrounding the course are imposing, not just visually. Very often here, the wind strength and direction is different from the forecast. So it was today. From my warmup it was clearly going to be headwind out, tailwind back, accentuating the effect of the change in height.
Arriving at the start in time to see #63 Richard Nesfield begin, I was already uncomfortably hot, the start was sheltered with no wind to counteract the opressively warm humid conditions. After a few words with Jason Bateman, it was my turn to start.
A big effort got me up to speed and then I tried ease into a steady power. Maybe it was lack of recent experience with pacing a 10, or maybe it was the thought of Jason Bateman only a minute behind me, but I couldn’t manage to keep the power at a sensible level. Each time I glanced at my computer, the power was too high. Three miles in and I was riding at a power above my all time PB. The damage became apparent very rapidly at 4 miles. This is a bad place in a 10 for it to happen: not even half way and already feeling awful. Worse, the last stretch up to the turn is a climb. The average speed offered no comfort, despite the power, it was only 28.7 mph as I entered the roundabout with a strong tempation to quit and ride instead into Keswick.
I idled round the turn, hoping the short rest would snap me out of it, but instead, I continued idling for nearly half a mile more. A quick glance at my computer showed just how dramatically my power had collapsed, it seemed pointless to press on, but then I noticed that my speed was well above the magical 30mph. That was enough to avoid the second opportunity to quit.
Gradually I recovered and by seven miles my power was back to where I wanted it to be. Even better, the average speed was over 29mph and increasing rapidly. The thought of going under 20 minutes was enough to overcome the discomfort from the intense effort. The last mile was eventful. Speed and average speed were already both comfortably above 30mph, a sub 20 minutes seemed assured, but unexpectedly, there was a rider ahead. Closing, I read the number: 63. Incredibly it was Richard Nesfield and I was going to catch him. It was going to be a problem. The pass took place at 9.5 miles but the speed differencel was small and I had to put in a big effort to get past cleanly making the remaining half a mile a lot tougher than it would otherwise have been. Nonethless, I passed the chequerboard a comfortable 10 seconds under 20 minutes and once the effects of exertion eased, I was rewarded with an enjoyable tailwind ride back to the headquarters.
I’m pleased with the ride. Though I could have paced better, I achived my first 30mph ride of the season and avoided being caught by Jason Bateman (the thought of which undoubtedly contributed to my poor pacing).
Many thanks to Velo Club Cumbria for organising the event. I was particularly pleased to have a start line pusher, something I regard as exeptionally imortant at this very stressful moment in any time trial.
An added bonus is that Jason has now rejoined Pendle Forest and I’m hoping that some friendly rivalry will help to spur us on. The Pendle Forest team records for 10miles (01:00:54 Bideau/Bateman/Smith 2014) and 25miles (02:36:46 Waddington/Bateman/Gates 1993) are now vulnerable to improvement. Indeed, in the recent Wigan Wheelers 25 on Levens, had Jason been a PF member, a new team 25 record would have been set at 02:34:56 (Bateman/Bideau/Braithwaite).
Start Order Revisited
Both the positive and negative consequences of the new start order method are demonstrated here.
It certainly achieved similar conditions for the fastest riders. There was a lot more traffic during my warmup than there was during my ride. If the field had been set out conventionally, I would have ridden 20 minutes before Liam Beaty and had faster conditions, possibly enough to erase the nine second winning margin.
On the negative side, my catching and passing Richard Nesfield was disruptive, probably to both rides, the speed differential being so low. The same happened with Liam Beaty who caught his minute man Jason Bateman.