How The Newport CC 30TT Record Was Broken

There are Club Records up for grabs, with Rob Cannell setting a new benchmark for others to challenge. Here’s Rob’s concise report about how he came to knock 5 minutes off the previous Newport Cycling Club 30 mile time trial record…

This was only my second ever 30 – the last one was in the late 1970’s! The weather was warm and sunny, definitely a sun cream day for me, but not blisteringly hot. A single bottle of water would do (I only took a few swigs in the end).

I warmed up for 8 miles or so and was feeling OK. I could feel there was a light headwind for the first leg, and reckoned it would still be against me or crosswind for the second leg, to Market Drayton.

As I was about to start, a string of cars appeared and I asked the pusher-off to hold on to me while they passed. It seemed like a long wait but, realistically, was probably no more than 10 or 15 seconds. Better to lose a few seconds than get squashed by a car! When the cars had gone I set off, gradually getting up to speed (those who know me will confirm that my acceleration is always gradual, I don’t do rapid acceleration at any time but especially at the beginning of a TT when the payback hits you hard!) I was soon up to speed, concentrating on pedalling smoothly and holding as aero a position as possible, catching my two minute man surprisingly quickly.

The road surface was pretty poor for the first few miles, making for a slow and uncomfortable ride. There wasn’t really a “good line” anywhere. At the first island, Tern Hill, I met traffic again. I tried to get away with slowing down and merging with the cars, but couldn’t so had to stop and put my foot down for a few seconds. It’s bad luck to have two such delays in one race, but you just have to be philosophical about it.

The road surface to Market Drayton and back was much better. I was right that the wind was roughly across, maybe tending towards a headwind out. There were no really fast stretches, but no especially slow ones either. This section was pretty uneventful apart from catching one or two riders.

By the time I got back to Tern Hill I was starting to feel quite achy, partly due to not being used to riding so far in the same position. I have done longer time trials than this recently, but they were very hilly so I needed to change position regularly, relieving the pressure on the saddle and using the legs differently. Once past Tern Hill it was back on the rough road again – I just changed to a lower gear and let it take its toll, knowing things would improve before long. Around Crudgington I was caught by a rider – the only one to pass me in the whole event – and he quickly pulled away. Just a few miles to go now, and all on pretty good roads. I could feel my speed increase on this section – I was in 53×12 @ 35mph at one point – so it was just a case of hanging on to it for as long as possible without burning out. I crossed the finish line in 1-15-50, coming 12th overall.

So, if you think you can challenge any of our club records, give it a go!

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