Mel has put in some stunning rides this year in the lead up to the National 10m TT, but sometimes things just don’t come right on the day …
In the eight years that have past since doing any serious time trialling, the competition has become fierce in women’s racing with PB’s tumbling down all aided by the introduction of power meters, faster equipment, better aerodynamics and more intelligent training. Gone are the days where the top girls were doing 21 minute 10 mile TTs, they are now doing 19’s and 20’s. This is fantastic news for women’s racing, however, for me, it meant I was going to have my work cut out to even make the top 10 in the Nationals these days… and that was before I drove the course!
The last time I rode the National 10TT was in 2007, where I somehow managed to win a Bronze medal behind Julia Shaw and Jo Rowsell. So upon discovering that the 2015 National 10m TT was to be almost on my door step, it was with some trepidation that I decided to put an entry in.
I drove the course as soon as the route was confirmed. The course itself was set within some spectacular countryside, which also included passing the prehistoric Silbury Hill in Wiltshire. Unfortunately, it was not a course that suited me and was hillier than I would have liked. To add to this, panic set in when I discovered I had been seeded fourth – not ideal when you don’t want any pressure!
Training had gone well up to the day. With the exception of sleep (that was seriously lacking thanks to two sick children), I did everything by the book in terms of nutrition and training. On arrival at the HQ, I was met by David Jack and team mate, Janet Birkmyre, whose high spirits cheered me up immensely and calmed my nerves a little before the start. During my warm up, I discovered that Janet had had a mechanical on the start line and was unable to start.
Our luck for the TORQ team didn’t improve. I knew within two minutes of starting that things were not right, my legs just weren’t able to put any real power down and after 10 mins, I still wasn’t feeling good. To this day, I still can’t explain why I didn’t “have it on the day” and have just put it down to an “off day.” I was lucky enough to get 10th, but if I am honest, I was initially very disappointed with the result. However, on reflection given my power data on the day, I was lucky to manage to squeeze into the top 10 fastest ladies in the country.
Onwards and upwards… my focus is now on my track racing, as I soon have the final round of the National Omnium Series and then the World Masters Track Championships.
Many thanks to Nick Lowe and his team at West DC for organising the National 10TT.