That’s right a race report; a first for the us, and something which I really couldn’t have foreseen even 12 months ago. It just shows how things continue to grow from strength to strength. Although strictly speaking we all entered under banner of the SCCA affiliated clubs we’re members of, there was no doubt that we were competing as the SCS.
And what an event to choose as our maiden outing. The SCCA 4Up Championship is one of the real standout highlights of the local cycling calendar, and always attracts a very strong field. There’s obviously the overall win for those at the sharp end of affairs, but there’s also strong competition too within the local SCCA clubs to win their own club 4Up trophies. Not to mention the bragging rights for the next year as a bonus.
We had a plan for the ride, and three of us even managed a practice run the day before. With little more than gut instinct, agreement was set that a sub 1 hour 25 min should be our target, What could go wrong?
1039 was our allotted start time, and after the inevitable pre race faffing, it was time to be called into position. 30 seconds, 10 seconds, 5..4..3..2..1..off you go! The first target was to all get clipped in, on top of the gear, and into position. Soon we were into a rhythm, and we were riding well as a team. Changes were going well; we were sharing the time on the front, allowing that oh so precious recovery whilst in the shelter of your team mates.
Approaching the T junction that is that natural focal point of the course, our not so secret weapon was called into play – The Official SCS Supporters Club! Family members accepted, but the cheers and shouts of encouragement really did help to lessen the pain of the event. When we passed them the second time, the encouragement was just as vociferous, and again just what was needed, especially with the hardest part of the course laying ahead of us.
The 20 mile marker was passed, and we were still riding well as a team. By now the turns on the front were longer for the stronger riders, but that’s the whole point of a team time trial. It’s about getting round as a unit. It’s far too easy for the fastest man to make the team slower overall.
One final pass of the fan club, and we were into the home straight. A last big push for the final 5 miles or so. As the fatigue took hold we were getting more and more ragged. With about a mile to go the elastic finally snapped for our 4th man. With the time taken on the third man over the line though, this wasn’t a problem, and it was time to empty the tank in the race for the line.
Barely able to shout our numbers as we crossed the line, it was over. With legs screaming for mercy we rolled back to race HQ. The fan club followed and spirits were high. Congratulations were offered all round, and it was even better when we learned that we’d beaten our target time. Only by 6 seconds granted but every single one counts. For the record, we were 17th on that day, and covered the 50 kilometres, in 1:24:54. A thoroughly respectable result.
As we de-briefed over well-earned beer, the conclusion was that our first competitive outing had been a resounding success, and it would certainly not be the last.
Vive la Velo