Of all the objectives I had for the 2018 season, the only one I missed out on was riding a 21 minute 10. I had hoped for a ride on the V718 at Hull last year but the course was banned and the best I managed was a 22:05 on the M101 course in teh Cramlington event last April.
The forecast was for warm and still conditions, and with a latish start time of 9:16 I struck lucky with a fast course on a fast day.
Off the start line I tried not to put too much effort in as it isn't far to the Three Horseshoes roundabout where you have to make another effort to get up to speed down the slip-road. With a clear run at the roundabout I was quickly up well above 30 mph with a slight tailwind. I managed to keep my speed high up the drag after Kitty Brewster and didn't really lose any speed until the uphill click before the River Wansbeck, even then barely dipping below 22 mph. Indeed the irst 5 miles were completed in 10:20 at an average speed of 29 mph!
I got lucky at the turn, with no cars behind me and a clear run onto the roundabout. The return leg was surprisingly quick - again barely dipping below 22 mph on the hardest uphill sections. The last mile is the hardest part of the course, especially with a headwind, so I held a tiny bit back and then managed 24 mph up the drag to the finish. Last year the 21 minute ride had slipped through my fingers at the end but not this time!
Not just a 21 minute 10, but fastest from my club on the day and 29th out of 109 riders. My fastest 10 since 1997, and second fastest ever. Delighted with that!