12 hour (yes!) Time Trial race report by Joanna Cebrat
Having completed the 100 mile TT mid July I decided to give 12hTT a go a month later. With no specific training and pretty clueless of what to expect I chose to sign up for the RTTC 12TT Nationals hoping that a big event will be more “entertaining” and being held in Norfolk it will be pancake flat. The first one was a good guess the 2nd was not. The event was really well organised and marshalled. Credit to CC Breckland. They attracted an extremely good field (113) with national and world TT champions. It was great to see all the PRO-support set ups. I used the neutral support team for unsupported riders, they were brilliant! They were based on a big roundabout where all the circuits met. I still had to carry my puncture repair kit and a pump though as nobody was driving behind me ;-).. My bike set up was an “Audax style” with 2 Garmins, a big frame bag and 2 bottles. By the way how many watts/seconds did it cost me guys?
As soon as I set off it turned out that Norfolk is not as flat as I expected and over the first 100 miles I climbed more than during the 100 mile TT in Keswick! The biggest challenge of the day was the weather. As a lighter rider I do struggle in winds. We had over 20mph (with occasional v strong gusts) headwind going west. It was pretty cruel… especially going over the exposed A11 bridges. When I tried going off saddle uphill I nearly came off it was so gusty .. but I didn’t give up. The 2nd challenge was circuit number 2 which contained about 10 miles of a bumpy concrete road (which I repeated 5 times). It felt like cycling over speed bumps spaced by 2m. One of my bottles popped out of the cage. Circuit 2 killed my neck and my bum. Just under the 200miles I felt that my knees have had enough and that I can’t push it anymore or I risk another injury. For the last 2 hours it was a battle of mind versus body.. Circuit 3 (finishing circuit where Marshals are placed evenly every mile) was a bumpy countryside road with, 2 longish uphill struggles, which made my bum and knees even more unhappy. But I just kept going… rather slowly at that point but there was no way I was pulling out! I wasn’t the only struggler though! I was happy to see Mark hanging around the HQs (the course passed the HQs) I knew that I will have a lift back! The supporters and marshals along the finishing circuit were just awesome and kept us going with all the kind words and cow bells. Most of the spectators had the start sheet so they could match race numbers with names! Hearing “Go, Go Jo” was very good! I stopped my Garmin clocking 375.4 km = 233.6 miles. I stopped to make sure the marshals noted that I finished as having a DNF after all that would be terrible! As I stopped and put my foot down my leg went a bit wobbly and I fell off the bike into stingy nettles! New kind of pain was welcomed as it took my mind away from the others!
The official results will not be out till September according to the message from the organiser so I don’t know how I placed. Most importantly it is on Strava! https://strava.app.link/x3WHAbHmaZ
Will I do this again? Hell yes! I will however do some more training for it next time !
Bury CCC members for encouraging my bonkers idea
Mark Jones for his support and company. although he wasn’t supporting me full time on Sunday he was appearing out of nowhere when he was needed. He drove also all the way back to MCR when my legs were not quite fit to do so.
Joseph Cadwallader for his great training and race nutrition tips (although we did not train for long distance TTs this year)
Paul Whatmough #eliminationbikefit for my bike rebuilt and a spot on bike fit as well as last minute mechanical help
Peter Roscoe for his enthusiasm and ongoing race-encouragement and for following all the ladies National Clarion and NLTTA BAR/trophy opportunities
Photos by #ridingforlove and Breckland’s Michelle Richards