After the painful intensity of Saturday’s time-trial, the fact that Mike & I had also signed up for a 100 mile sportive the next day didn’t seem like such a big deal.
The 20k time trial was a great event and there was also something nice about having participated in a cycling event but still having the best part of the day left to enjoy yourself. We spent Saturday afternoon with our ladies, out and about in the Cotswolds and ensuring not to lose athletic-focus by ‘carb-loading’ with several fine local ales. There was a bit of banter on the assumption that I had stolen a few seconds off Mike, much to both of our surprise. We were unable to find any official results from the TT online so we went into Sunday’s 100 mile event thinking that he needed to recover about 3 seconds on me.
We rode the first 30 miles with Tom and Chris who were doing the 60 mile version. At the first feed stop we had a quick bite and then departed with Tim on the 100 mile route via Cheltenham. It was a hilly extra 40 miles and we worked as a team.
I’d been waiting for it to happen and finally, after nearly 6 hours it did – Mike went for a break for the finishing line. Although, actually it might have been me who started it. All I remember is that the two of us were suddenly taking it in turns bursting to escape and then laughing when we looked behind and saw the other stuck on our tail. It ended with me flying through the grounds of Blenheim Palace thinking I’d done enough to escape, only for Mike to sprint past me with a few metres to go and then thank me for ‘leading him out’.
We had to wait until Monday evening for the official results to arrive. First was the 100 mile sportive – Mike had snatched the 3 seconds we thought he needed, finishing in a time just shy of 6 hours. Then the 20km TT results came in and I had finished in 33:50 to claim 9th placed novice in the 300-strong event … and 6 seconds ahead of Mike. So after six and a half hours of riding, we were separated by just 3 seconds. Great fun and incredibly close.