Former membership secretary Rich Collier likes his 50-mile TTs, so on Saturday he made the trip across to Norfolk to compete in the Cycling Club of Breckland’s 50-mile Open TT on the very fast, but busy A11 near Attleborough.
This is Rich’s race report
“I went up on Saturday morning with the view to making a steady but slowish ride to the start as a bit of a warmup. Unfortunately, due a number of delays within the 3-hour journey and discovering that Attleborough town centre was being completely resurfaced, what was due to be a steady 8.5-mile ride turned into a race against time to make my start time! Making the start with 2 minutes to spare is never good preparation, especially when you’ve got a further 50 hard miles ahead of you!
After an immediate left turn onto the slip road the route takes you onto the A11 dual carriageway, heading from Attleborough, south to the Snetterton circuit junction. This 4-mile stretch was a nice introduction with a nice tailwind. The Snetterton turn then takes you over the dual carriageway and then back down on to it to head North. Immediately dropping back down to the carriageway we were met with the headwind. Keeping as low as possible I managed to maintain rhythm in the legs. At mile 14 the heavens opened with rain of biblical proportions pouring onto the course! This downpour lasted for a good 30 minutes where everything was soaked, and even the visor had to come off due to fogging up resulting in poor sight; never a good thing on a busy dual carriageway. The rain eased up for the last 15 miles or so, even though the roads were still very wet, with standing water.
Rich at speed on a slightly drier day
The wet weather put paid to a number of the entrants with nearly 30 percent of the field failing to finish with mechanical issues, punctures, and DNF’s for unknown reasons. Amongst those that didn’t start were Pro riders such as Dan Bigham, and Joe Skipper (Ironman New Zealand Champion and 12 hr champ with 325 miles!).
I came in with a strong time (for me) by beating my previous Personal Best for this distance (albeit on a hillier course) by nearly 16 minutes! Coming over the finish line in a time of 2 hrs 2 mins and 49 seconds, at an average speed of just under 24.5 mph.
Then having to face the 11.5-mile ride back to the campsite via HQ to drop the number off and sign out.”
The winner of the event was Mark Smith (Crawley Wheelers) with a time of 1.38.57.