Corries team 2nd at Welsh 100 champs
This past weekend 4 Corries travelled to Wales to tackle the Welsh National 100 mile time trial championship event that runs between Abergavenny and Monmouth on the A40. Chris Scawn, Tom Moran, Phil Bray and Miles Earl made the trip which was the first attempt at this distance for the later 3 of those riders. All were apprehensive about what such a long ride would bring, the overall expected ride time wouldn’t normally be a problem but racing that distance on a time trial bike brings its own set of challenges – muscle fatigue, upper body aches, dehydration and the dreaded bonk to name a few. It’s a long time to spend bent over in an an aero tuck on a relatively flat road. Miles had set himself the challenging target of beating the club record of 3.50.57, however after driving the course the night before and reflecting that none of the specific training that had been planned had taken place, it was always going to be a long shot. The other 3 were outwardly content just to finish whilst keeping their real expectations a bit closer to their chests. The course is made up of a rough rolling 5 mile leg from the start to the dual carriageway where the riders complete 3 laps of a 30 mile circuit, before finishing along the first 5 miles back to the start. After the turn at the Monmouth tunnel there is another rough and rolling 3 mile section back to the dual carriageway, the varied terrain offered a bit of a mental break but would lead to the course being slower than otherwise. Each rider had their own pacing strategy with Chris and Tom riding purely on feel, whilst Phil was to be reliant HR and Miles with HR and power. Each had similarly unique approaches to feeding and hydration with each having preferred foods (Tom loves malt loaf). As the rides got underway everyone entered their own private worlds of concentration, boredom and pain. Miles was on schedule for the club record for the first 70 miles, recording an average speed of 26.2 mph at the half way point which was covered in 01.54.59. Miles had a strong spell between 40 and 65 miles, with his fastest lap being the second, during which time he caught and passed Phil who had started 5 minutes ahead of him. After completing the first 50 miles in 01.58.25 Phil started to struggle from the 2.5 hour mark with upper body pain that prevented an aero tuck and his average speed, and mood declined. Tom had also started strongly with a half way split of 1.58. Unfortunately Chris suffered a front wheel puncture after the half way point, and given the long course and the nature of time trialling, didn’t have a spare wheel available. As the race went on Phil continued to suffer and considered withdrawing, but ultimately completed the race in a very respectable 04.07.36 in 15th place, Tom also slowed down as the race went on, finishing in 04.17.23 in 24th place, whilst Miles started to cramp after 83 miles and lost nearly 3 minutes on the return leg of the 3rd lap as his average watts reduced by 40, nearly all being lost from that cramping left leg. Miles finished in a pleasing, but not record breaking, 03.55.30 and in 5th place, only 23 seconds behind 4th with an average speed of 25.5mph. The Plymouth Corinthian Team would have won the Welsh National 100 Championships if not for a late change of club of a Pontypool RC rider, but finished in a very respectable second place. The four returned south in various moods, but Chris’ bad luck aside, all should be pleased with great first rides at this distance. It seems likely that all will attempt this distance again but with a bit more specific training! Another great weekend to be a part of a traditional active cycling club.