So what will 2102 bring? I’ve now had 2 years racing, and feel my strengths remain TTs and on the track. However I feel as if I’m improving my tactical awareness on the road, and one of my 2012 objectives is to try and get a podium position in a road race.
I suspect I won’t get the same opportunities to race as regularly as in 2011 due to work and other commitments. Hence I’m not going to target any particular league in 2012, but will be picking and choosing my races in the vets TT and Road Race and Swords Leagues. I’ve taken out an A4 licence for 2012 (I’ll need it for some of my track plans), and will be interested to see if anyone puts on any “Over 50” races (which received approval at the recent CI AGM). I’ll also be looking to get down to Sundrive, particularly for the Autumn track league.
I’d like to improve my TT times for 10, 25 and 50 miles. I was within 4 seconds of 24 minutes in the 10 mile in 2011, and would at the very least want to try and break through that barrier. My best 25 mile time is 63m 32s, although I never had the best weather conditions over this distance. With one or 2 adjustments I would hope to get under 63 minutes. I’ve only done the one 50 mile TT, and if I try it again next year the time will be heavily dependent on conditions on the day – if decent I would like to get under 2h 10m. RobFowl has been promising to drag me up North to try some of their TTs – the roads they use are apparently much more conducive to fast times than those down here.
The plan is to up the distance over the next three months or so. I’ve been doing around 200km per week over the past couple of months or so, and will be looking to increase this to 250km (including road, track and turbo) to give me a solid base for the next racing season.
In terms of the track, I need to focus on starting to improve my times over the shorter distances, and will be looking for a more specialist pursuit bike given this is my strongest discipline. This brings me to one of my main objectives – I would like to defend my Vets pursuit title, and if they run them I would also like to attempt the European Masters Championships. If that goes well I would then like to give the Worlds in Manchester a go in October – it’s a bit of a busy time work-wise, so I would probably only be attempting the pursuit. I know a medal is well out of my reach in the Worlds (I’m about 25s outside based on my Sundrive time, but should be able to get closer on an indoor track), but I would like to see how close I can get.
One tool I’m looking to help with my track preparation is the Wattbike – a power measuring turbo designed in conjunction with Team GB. The only thing that’s missing is actual air resistance, but it does a good job of mimicking track riding very effectively. The only thing it can’t replicate is starting which is the weakest part of my track technique. However having used it quite a bit already it does allow me to practice pacing, particularly for the 2k pursuit, where it’s not easy to get a track to yourself to practice (I’ve only done 2 of these, both competitively in the IVCA championships)
... oh, and hopefully I'll have a new road bike in time for the racing season