2022 Midweek TT Series - Weeks 9-11 Report - Didn't think I'd be writing this on the A66

28 July 2022

It has been a few weeks I admit. Smidge busy. You want some respite from what seems like the worst talent show Simon Cowell could ever have thought of play out before our eyes. I hope High Priestess Empress Truss doesn’t read this in a few weeks. It’ll be a bit like having the crazy cat lady from the Simpsons becoming PM.

We have a bit to catch up on (scratches head, checks results, tries to remember which roadworks were which). I am writing the beginning of this in the car – don’t worry, I am in the passenger seat. No data signal and my poor memory will likely mean this is filled with bigger plot holes than a Michael Bay movie. The country roads and my Dad’s Skoda, which seems to have the suspension of a grand piano, could also mean the report will be filled with a higher number of grammatical errors. (Genuinely just spelt grammatical wrong). Also, because of the above if it looks like I’ve just mashed the keypad with my face at any point, I hopefully haven’t, we’ve probably just gone over a pothole. You’re just lucky my Mum isn’t driving; she brakes so hard that the report would have looked like a Jackson Pollock painting in word form.

Customs of course dictate this next section to be the bit that has nothing to do with the racing whatsoever. In terms of current affairs I suppose the main change is that the Alexander Pfeffel or whatever name with seventeen component parts he has, is on his way out. Who’d have thought he’d have got caught out lying. About as surprising as Wout van Aert winning the green jersey. Says the guy who didn’t put him in his fantasy team. Man oh man.

From a Trump impersonator to the real one, the January 6th commission is getting all a bit squeaky bum time for The Donald. I really hope when he gets sent to jail, they deliberately colour match the orange of the prison jumpsuit to the orange of his face.

The biggest news in the cycling world is of course the Tour de France(s). The male edition, interesting choice of phrase there Dan, seemingly went down well. I probably should reword that sentence, but I am not going to. Simultaneously exciting but entirely predictable at the same time. Guy with the best team around beats guy with no team left. Geraint Thomas rode own race 4 minutes behind and then no other GC contender was in the same postcode. I’ll just make sure I put Roglic in my Vuelta fantasy team.

In any other year Jumbo-Visma’s dominance would have fielded a mountain of doping questions. They’re lucky they race in brown mud splatters and not black and blue. I think we can safely say a few eyebrows would have been raised, if, in another edition of the race the green jersey dropped a 2 time Tour de France winner going up a mountain. Can you imagine Sagan dropping Contador going up Hautacam? Still, I suppose it is a new era and all that, and one cannot speak ill of the Wout.

Another important update is, of course, that the wedding is only (checks calendar – not for the ACTUAL day, I know that guys, just how MANY days it is away) 17 days away! Bloody hell. Our spare room, in theory there are two spare rooms but one is a bike room, is now better stocked than the average pub. And the next two weeks will be watching the Monzo Wedding Pot dramatically reduce as we see many a thousand of pounds disappear to various suppliers. If anyone wants to make a guess on how many times Mum will ask ‘is there anything I can do to help’ or ‘are you sure you don’t need more of X’. Double figures will be a safe bet.

Almost forgot as well, I got tickets to see Springsteen at Murrayfield next year. My tour of watching ageing rockers tour continues!

Coming to the racing, I have weeks 9, 10 and 11 to inform you about.

Week 9 – Roundabout 10M TT, mainly because of, you guessed it. Roadworks. It was a windy evening, I spent it marshalling at the Haddington turns with George Harrison and Travelling Wilburys blasting out, so I had a great time. Only the 18 participants that evening. One of my abiding memories from that night was how fast Xander Graham took the first left hander at Haddington. Maybe he just ‘looked’ fast spinning his legs quicker than my washing machine. But as we know with Xander, he is fast. Xander was the only junior that evening and finished in 27:08.

There were three women racing that night, it should have been four but Abigail had ‘car trouble’. We can be as adventurous as we desire with this. Did she lock herself out of it, did she fill it up with diesel instead of petrol or was it made in Italy and thus has broken down? Jane Stevenson of ERC was 3rd fastest in 29:25. Sarah Scott 2nd in 28:00. But comfortably the fastest, 9th overall and the fastest road biker was Beth Harley-Jepson in 25:16.

The top five all went under 24 minutes. Steve Canney was 5th in 23:54. Then the Big Four were all under 23 minutes. I was timing them and the lead fluctuated throughout. Matthias Wuest finished in 22:50. John Waller was pipped by 1 second into 2nd place by Sandy Waller (more on their close battles again soon). John finished in 22:17 and Sandy 22:16. But a few seconds ahead, taking the win with a strong final leg was Daniel Cain of GTR in 22:09.

Full Results here – Week 9 - Results

Week 10 – Normal standard old school Tranent 10M TT. You’ll never guess but roadworks stop us from doing this course again this year. Many spotted the extra set of traffic lights coming in as you exit Macmerry, so the Tranent 10, could be no more, but we’ll see. I joined the family Howie outing by timekeeping the 27 entrants.

Tandems and 2 ups mixed things up last week. Paralympic medallists from Rio 2016 Hazel McLeod and Alison Peasgood were using this as a vital part of their Commonwealth Games training. Best of luck to them both in Birmingham (assuming their event is in Birmingham and not in somewhere 200 miles from Birmingham). Alison and Hazel finished in 22:02. They were chased by Jack Peasgood and Tom Hodgkinson who finished in 24:13. Sarah Emslie and Laura Faithfull rode as a 2-UP finishing in 27:07.

All in there were 9 female racers last week, which is a nice increase. Yolanda Solans ERC’s Women’s coordinator was 3rd fastest in 26:58. Just ahead of her was Jane Stevenson in 26:51 and fastest, as well as fastest road biker was Sarah Scott of ERC in 25:45.

The top six all went under 23 minutes but it was really a tale at the top. The top two were nearly a minute faster than 3rd place. David Henderson, Steve Canney, Alan Dean and Matthias Wuest made up 6th-3rd.

We had a top two, but no second place. You could see John Waller was finishing strong and Sandy was just holding on, turning his 62 tooth chainring. Chris and I were timekeeping and one of us said 18seconds, the other 19seconds when Sandy finished. We’re talking photo finish stuff. A tie was agreed on with both riders finishing on 21:18. There has been a close & friendly battle between the Waller’s, John and Edinburgh time-trialling’s most eligible bachelor Sandy, each week.

Full Results here - Week 10 - Results

Week 11 – Left turny, righty but don’t turn righty tighty, 10M TT. If driving across Cumbria is anything to go by it looks like a nice evening for the 23 riders that signed up. Thank you again in advance to the volunteers – Abigail Corsie, Paul Rigg, Chris Allen, Leahn Parry, Warren Crombie and Basil Monks.

Thanks again to Abigail for sending the results through yesterday evening. 4 DNS’s which left 19 racers last night. I can’t comment too much on the weather conditions, I mean I COULD ask or google it, but I’ll just assume it was nice from the pictures I’ve seen.

Of those nineteen racers there were five women. Which means they can all say they got in the top five, result. 5th was Zofia Lisowski in 30:01, 4th Nina Tomlin in 28:23, 3rd Yolanda Solans in 27:48, Jane Stevenson was 2nd 27:25 and the fastest last night, a regular victor was Sarah Scott. She was also the fastest road biker, finishing in 26:35 and also 8th overall.

Xander Graham won the battle of the younglings, the many corners obviously suiting his abilities. Just imagine how small his turning circle is! Xander finished 7th overall and in 25:57. Alasdair Easton was a minute or so back on Xander in 27:10, though not victorious in the battle between who’s voice drops first, he was at least victorious in the Easton family competition. His Dad, Eric, was just over 30 seconds back in 27:47.

One notable result was that Steve Canney finished in 29:47. I can piece this together; I think Steve took his own course. Which is especially impressive, considering he took the wrong turn the last time we did this course too. If he rode too far last night and rode a short course last time. It would mean at least the net effect is pretty much 20 miles.

I can see Chris Howie’s altitude training weekend in the Alps prepared him perfectly for the flat 10mile TT. I called it an altitude training weekend, some may call it a cycling weekend away from the kids. And Edinburgh’s weather and potholes. Chris was the 2nd fastest road biker, 9th overall in 26:44.

Three of the top five were all within a minute of each other and in the 24 minutes bracket. Alexander Rollings was 5th in 24:53. Neil Glover, using his local knowledge to effect, was 4th in 24:16. Michael Perkins was 3rd in 24:05.

The top 2 were under 24 minutes but split themselves by nearly a minute. Simon Archer came 2nd in 23:17. Yet comfortably ahead, maximising the opportunity provided by John Waller’s absence. Was, find him on Bumble, Sandy Waller in 22:27.

Full Results here - Week 11 - Results

Many thanks again for all volunteers and racers these last few weeks. It’s been especially difficult this year with roadworks leading to a lack of consistency. The Macmerry roadworks do begin on 1st August which, assuming nothing else happens, it’ll be a mix of Left Turn 10, Roundabout 10 and the Yak HC to finish.