A few months ago Southampton lost one of its great athletes and record holders, Julian Jenkinson. Although I cannot claim to have been “friends” with Jules, I did meet him several times and chat to him, I speak to anyone named Julian :-). He was a lovely young man and died of a heart problem way too young. Yesterday I joined 149 on my peers to ride the UTAG Julian Jenkinson Memorial TT on the famed P881R course.
This was only my 4th TT although I know for sure this is the route my racing will take for 2017.
This month was/is my birthday month and as always we celebrated hard, a little too hard this year and the past 2 weeks have been seriously bad nutrition so my cycling has suffered, Fair enough I can still ride my 40/50 miles in the 20’s but a short fast TT is a whole different animal and I knew I would struggle.
Sue and I arrived at the start in plenty of time so that we could catch up with some friends and that was the right thing to do today, I was pretty nervous and not feeling great about my chances. Everyone was complaining about the traffic but having done this race a couple weeks ago I was mentally prepared for that. I bumped into my friend Aran who gave me a much-needed pep talk and advised me to take it steady out there which is exactly what i decided to do, I was not after any records and wanted to arrive home safely.
I was number 66 so starting at 16:06. riders are set off at 1-minute intervals so although you are mentally competing with your peers, there is very little actually head to head racing in fact only if you are overtaking or overtaken.
Sue was photographing today’s start so I headed off for my warm up and then arrived ready to go. One more thing about TT’s you are actually held at the start so you can clip into your pedals, a very odd feeling I must say.
5-4-3-2-1 and with a gentle push I was off. A quick smile to Sue and into battle I went, A clear run out onto the A3 where I took up my place mid lane and held it for most of the race. The drivers are well used to these events and absolutely GREAT for the most part which is a joy. Today I was working on speed with ,y Garmin because I have not finalised my new stages power meter yes so keeping the first couple of miles at around 25.5mph felt good and better than I expected too because the first 5 miles were into headwind, As I approached the first roundabout about 2.5 miles I stayed in the bars and rode through thanks mainly to knowing the road and 2 fab marshals and of course a very compliant and patient motorist 🙂 through the bends and back out onto the A3 I had picked up to the 27’s average now and as I reached the flyover my average speed was 27.7mph. Around
Around the flyover and up the gentle climb which felt like Everest back onto the A3 again. Technically I had a tail wind now so this leg should have been quicker as it was for most people but I think August was catching up on me. I felt my speed drop slightly but nothing to worry about, Back into the roundabout again in the bars but the last 2 miles or so were tougher, I could comfortable keep in the 25/26’s but loosing ground slightly, Not sure if this was indeed a physical thing or maybe a mental thing, who knows. After 8.5 miles #66 past me and that was it. I picked up again and gave the last mile a bash, I saw #65 and that was my goal. I passed #65 just before the finish and crossed the line with an average of 26:7mph so nice unexpected PB.
22:40 official so 14 seconds faster than my best and I am honestly over the moon considering everything.
After the race we had some lovely tea and cake and Sue and I headed off for a cider and pub lunch, my last indulgance before next Sundays 25 mile tt.
Here are a few photos from todays event and unless mentioned otherwise they are taken by the very talented Sue Porter Photography I hope you have enjoyed our sports photography and please consider using Julian Porter Photography for any photography requirements or events you might have coming up. Sue and I photograph almost anything where people are involved and we would love to hear about any projects you have coming up.