I’ve never been the best of descenders, but after breaking my collarbone on a fast descent back in November (I was practicing taking corners faster when I came off!) and then another spill in Mallorca last week, my confidence has taken a big dent. I now descend like a little old lady and it’s getting me incredibly stressed. I was so tense descending down from Midmar today that my forearms hurt with the effort. People were passing me, and I was then catching and passing them on the flat. It’s bloody annoying.
The other big thing from today’s race was a major schoolboy error from me. I’d checked the forecast, which said winds up to 16km/h. When I left Inverurie it was flat calm, so as I was riding over I put the deep section wheels on my TT bike – 82 on the front and 101 on the back. On a calm day that would be a really fast combo for me. However, the wind got up, way more than was forecast, and my wheels turned into sails. I was being blown all over the place! Not great when you’re already a little unsteady on the bike!
I got round in just over 51 minutes, average power of 268 watts, and a nice high average cadence of 92. Considering I was freewheeling on the descents, I’m pretty happy with those stats.
My shoulder held out okay, although I need to start bulking up the muscle and have a session booked with Ewan Murray on Wednesday evening. That’s bound to help. I also haven’t done any core strength work over the winter as a result of breaking my collarbone, so that needs worked on too.
I suppose what today’s race has done is put down a marker for where I am on my road to recovery. The legs are fine, my weight’s lower than last year, but I’m not ready to race properly yet. Another month will make a big difference. I’ll be stronger, lighter, and with a lot of practice, much happier on the descents.
I’ll also not make that mistake with the wheels again. D’oh!