Wet and Muddy

This cycling isn’t all glamour you know…

Today’s training ride was challenging due to the weather conditions – very wet, very windy and as a result it was extremely muddy!
It was a nice ride all the same, mainly endurance riding but with some sprint efforts mixed in.

A bike cleaning session followed before I was able to head in for a shower and getting myself clean!

Chippenham 3 Up Team Time Trial

On Sunday 11th October, I competed in an open team time trial hosted by Chippenham wheelers, along with Charlie Kelly (a fellow Epic coached rider),  and Felix Young, a VC Walcot rider and Scorpions coach.

We had ridden  the course before, so knew what would be coming and how to tackle it best. Due to this we were able to go into it with a plan for different terrain and parts of the course where conditions changed.

We set off at a good rate, much quicker than we had before, and it seemed like we were going to set a very good time. However Charlie suffered a mechanical issue with part of his bottom bracket coming out, so we had to stop whilst Charlie put it back in. It was a quick fix, but it cost us time that we would have to make up again.

On the bigger climbs I would sit on the front, with Felix taking us down the other side, and then all of us pulling on the flats and slight inclines or declines. With this we were able to get around the course efficiently, and coming in to the final few miles we were all riding on the edge of the saddle.

Going up the final climb I again pulled on the front, and by the top we were feeling dead, but then before we knew it we had crossed the finish line.

We recorded the quickest time at that point, the first sub 1 hour, and overall were comfortably inside the top 10 with a time of 59:33, narrowly missing out on the composite team win.

The Red Angus VC Walcot Hill Climb

Morgan-Hill-ClimbOn Sunday 4th October I had a relaxed morning due to the Red Angus VC Walcot Open Hill Climb that was taking place in the afternoon at Claverton hill.

Last year I was able to win the hill climb, and was looking to win again as the reigning champion for the youth category. There was added pressure as I was the favourite for the category and expected to win, I haven’t been in this situation much this season!

I was a bit nervous, both in the morning and then when we arrived, so to calm my nerves I went for a spin down and up the climb, mainly to mentally prepare myself. This worked and when I reached the car again to warm up on the rollers my nerves were gone.
I grabbed a full drinks bottle and headed down the hill to the start line, before putting the bottle down and making sure I’m was in the correct gear!

Morgan-Hill-Climb-2I took to the start line, and where it was a standing/held start I got into the position that I start a 1K pursuit in, and got ready to go. When I was released I was able to get the gear going extremely quickly, a 46*25, so was able to put in a harder gear. This gave me more speed to carry into the steepest part of the climb, which I was able to get up at a decent rate. I was able to keep the gear going well.
The climb has a long eerily silent section where there is gradient of 7-10%, it is over covered by trees, and it is where a lot of time can be made up. Due to my endurance and strength I was able to keep the gear going so that I was progressing swiftly up this section and soon I could hear the VC Walcot “Tunnel de Noise”, and a message or “What would Angus do?” chalked on to the road surface spurred me on, before I knew it I was in the noise.
The noise gave me a boost, and I was able to put it into a harder gear and find some energy to get out of the saddle and sprint up the final few meters. I got across the line and felt sick, so I rode on to the top of the climb to recover a bit.

After cooling down I went down to the timekeepers to find out the time and if I had won. I recorded a time of 2 mins 23 seconds which was a clear win by 20 seconds from the rider in second. My time would have seen me place second in the Juniors, 4 second behind the quickest, and I was 18th out of everyone who competed on the day.

I was delighted by this, with my title retained and a good position overall. The only shame is that I can’t defend the Youth title next year, so someone else gets it. Next year I will be looking to win the Junior title and hopefully be higher up overall and maybe get the team prize with VC Walcot.