9th April was the first Westerly CC evening time trail of 2014 held on the Hillingdon Crit circuit in Hayes, West London.
The Hillingdon circuit is a 0.96 mile circuit, so in order to complete the 10 miles needed you ride around for 11 laps. So the actual race distance is 10.6 miles...
I wasn't feeling great on the day, which was probably down to the 40 mile chain gang on Tuesday evening, so I didn't have the freshest of legs, couple this with the 15 mile ride out there from work I wasn't sure what to expect in terms of a time. However I was on the new TCR and in the skinsuit so equipment wise I was prepared. I'm still yet to get a TT bike, and at the moment i'm quite enjoying doing TTs on the road bike! I have been offered a great deal on Rob Moore's old TT bike though, with a disc wheel too....
Anyway I arrived in plenty of time despite heavy traffic and was ready for the 7:15pm start. I was 8th rider to go off, from a field of 30 riders, the majority of which were on TT bikes or had some form of aero advantage (deep rims, extensions, pointy hats etc...) and after a quick few laps to warm up I was queuing up to set off.
5,4,3,2,1 GO. Always takes a few laps for me to get into a rhythm and keep to a consistent speed however by the end of the first lap I was feeling good and keeping to a consistent speed around 26mph. I knew I needed to maintain this speed if i was to be within a shout of my previous best time... 5 miles in and I was at 10:40 and feeling the burn, just a few more laps to go.... The back straight, where you can usually go flat out seemed hard work on the night, mainly down to the headwind & side wind that hits you on the North of the circuit, this however this therefore did make the gradual climb away from the start a little more bearable, with 8 miles done my legs were now really burning! 9 miles in and I put in a final big effort and maintained a higher speed for the final lap of 26.2mph, however I must have faded in the middle and had a slower lap in somewhere as the overall average was 25.8mph over the 10.6 miles which was 24:40 and put me in 4th position overall and fastest road bike of the night. Winning time on the night was 22:37 by Dave Spragg.
Overall quite happy with my performance given fatigue, conditions and start of the TT season. 12 seconds off last year's best time of 24:28, but this was in August at the end of the season, so peak fitness.
I'll be back in two weeks time with fresher legs to try and beat that!