When, on a whim, I bought my first road bike in order to commute from Harrow to Tottenham Court Road I never thought it would lead, 25 years later, to me gunning down Pen Y Ghent in hot pursuit of my long time nemesis and and long time team mate, Ian Wellock. That I caught him on the road to Helwith Bridge and that he then out sprinted me to the line ranks as a minor frustration when set against the exhilaration of a spill free, puncture free, fifth Three Peaks.
Whilst my time at 4 hours 46 mins was the slowest of the four Condors riding it was only two minutes slower than my fastest time set a decade earlier. That, this year, I had to queue for 12 minutes whilst the bulk of the field clambered, one by one, over a stile on Simon's Fell ranks as a rather more significant frustration, as a clear run might have put me close to my ambitious target of sub 4 hours 30 mins
Notwithstanding Grimpy's earlier post he seems to have had a pretty good ride although amazingly his time of 4 hours 23 mins was only good enough to win him third place in his age group. Was is beyond doubt, is that Robin's ride, finishing his first Peaks 43rd out of a field of 450 riders, was impressive and suggests that with a bit of cyclo cross specific training he could be pitching at a top twenty finish. We'll have to see if he's got the Three Peaks bug; if he has he'll know by now as already he'll be mulling over strategies for shaving seconds and minutes from his time. Revealingly, on last Wednesday's training run, he did offer up the view that he could "probably improve his time by 20 minutes with the correct training" - maybe we'll see him back next year!
The bug seems to have got me again. I've already carried out a forensic examination of the split times, (for the first time an electronic timing system was used) and this reveals that I improved my position by from the top of Whernside to the finish by 15 places. So, the stamina seems OK - all I need to do now is work on a quick start and getting to that bloody stile before the traffic jam.
Richard (The Vicar)