Sunday, 19 February 2012

"Ten Minutes of Hell" Mersey Tunnel Time Trial

Phew! What a day. The morning seemed to drag from when I got up to when I left to pick up Paul and Dave to go to the Tunnel. I had a healthy breakfast of cereal and then Scrambled egg and grilled tomatoes, even though the nerves were making my stomach do somersaults!! I took the bike out for a shakedown to make sure everything was still working, why it wouldn't be I'm not sure but it seemed to be the right thing to do and wasted some time!
Eventually Dave and I loaded our bikes in the car and headed off, twice as I forgot the parking permit, to pick up Paul.
We arrived in Birkenhead way too early, so we went for a coffee at the golden arches!

After a caffeine injection, and confirmation the tunnel was shut, we headed off to park up sign in and get ready.

It was great to have all our families there to support us, and take photo's! (thanks Mrs Palefish)
After the bikes were set up we headed up to the start area to warm up. Vita Cycles had done a great job in organising the event, even providing turbo's for us to use before we set off.

It didn't take long for our start times to come round. and we were off!

And not too long after, we were back.

and received a warm welcome from our boys.

That was it! For me it was 12minutes 19seconds of hell, and I am very happy with the result. The full finishing times haven't been released yet but with 10 still to go I was sitting in 29th, out of a field of 63. I think the last 10 will have beaten my time so that puts me 39th, not bad for a first time trial attempt!

After a quick warm down we watched the rest of the Team Vita lads lay down some impressive times, and then it was the time for the big boys and Girls. The field was filled with Current national TT Champions, Junior Champion and GB Triathletes. It was humbling to see the effort they put in to just warming up!

Alex Dowsett, current National TT Champion and rider for Team Sky, was last off. He certainly looked focused as he waited on the line to go.

Alex was the eventual winner, in a time of 8minutes 28seconds, only 4 minutes faster than me!

After the awards ceremony I managed to catch a quick chat with Alex, he is a really down to earth guy, who was happy to chat and sign autographs, and even have his photo taken with a fellow competitor (never thought I would write that in a sentence!)

The day was a massive success, and Phil and Barry from Vita Cycles should be proud of their achievement. Not only did they put on a great Time Trial, attracting some of the best riders in the country, they have also been very influential in getting me involved in the sport, and the Club.

When I started writing this blog in August 2011 I said that one day I may enter a race, I just didn't think that day would come so soon!!!

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