Race Report – Bournemouth Jubilee Wheelers 42km Open Sporting TT,
Sunday 7th April 2019
By Darren Orchard
And we are off. The first local ‘Open’ TT of the season was held on Sunday morning taking in a 42km route around Lulworth and Wool. The demanding route took in over 1200 foot of climbing and some fairly technical bits of road making this far from a TTers ideal course. The weather was almost perfect with a easterly breeze greeting you towards the final, more exposed part of the course.
On first inspection it was a course better designed road bikes, and on the day there were different sections for road and TT bikes, with TT bikes off first. It soon became apparent that times between the top TTer’s and road bikers would be closer than maybe people had thought.
This course was only going to be won by the very fittest TTer or Road biker. Power to weight ratio was going to count on the long dragging uphill from wool while the more powerful but heavier TT or road bike rider would benefit on the downhill following. There was also the technical Bindon Lane running to Wool that could prove a fast time for a road biker on a aero frame. The only real area where TT bikes gained real advantage was across an exposed flat area on the run up to Bindon Lane. Now put all that together and you have a real sporting course for competition.
On the start line both Jonny Cooper and myself lined up in number 2 (me) and 4 (Jonny). The course consisted of about 2.3 laps.
Being number 2 I was off 2 minutes before Jonny, and as the rider in the number 1 number was a no show on the day it ensure I would be the first man up – no pressure then as the whole field would be chasing me down!
As I left the line I races along the flat, more technical section and checking out my powermeter I soon realised that I would not be able to sustain this pace for the whole race. I was soon at wool and starting the climb. Now TT bikes just do not climb well – they are just not built to do that like a quality road bike is.
Off the Tri bars and fully on the base bars as the hill ramped up. A fairly flat bit gave you time to recover a little, then onto two more challenging hills with much less recovery. At the top of the final hill it was back on the tri bars until a very sharp left turn taking you towards a downhill and past Lulworth castle.
Being a “thicker set” rider I managed to get the 2nd fastest on the down hill. Like I said – heavier riders have a slight benefit at that part of the course! Then through East Lulworth and finally out onto the flatter area of the ranges. I also managed to keep a good speed there – fairly aero and lack of steep hills! Finally another sharp left over some fairly rough gravelly surfaces that were swept as well as they could be as you turned onto the start of the Bindon Lane section and back towards the start. Looking at my time I was surprised at a 26-minute lap. My initial though was I might do a bloody good time today (forgetting that I had more than another lap to go!).
The second lap started again and it felt of that little bit harder than before – as to be expected. The only real struggle was the final sections of the long draggy hill of the course. Once at the top it was once full gas downhill, through East Lulworth and over the ranges back to start line once more. Checking my Garmin showed that my power had dropped significantly but my time was still strong only gaining a few seconds on the last lap time. Now a quick dash to the finish, about another 6km. Then back up the final hill and a dash to the finish confirmed I had done a 1:03:06 taking 4th place in the TT section.
Jonny Cooper once again gritted his teeth and smashed out an effort to be proud of. Still considering what dream machine to ride this year he was riding his older style TT bike that would prove to hold back a really positive performance. Jonny’s minute man came into view at the finish and behind was Jonny’s. Jonny eventually finished in 1:05:47 – and taking 5th place. Jonny, due to his competitive nature is now fully hooked and thinking what he can do to improve – I am sure he will have a great season with that attitude.
So, both MSnG’s riders cam in in the top 5 and that, for our first proper year in TT, is just fine with us!
Full placings to be found here: