Mid Shropshire Wheelers Open 50 mile TT on D50/4 course

RACE REPORT. Mid Shropshire Wheelers Open 50 mile TT on D50/4 course (Prees nr Whitchurch) - round 6 of Shropshire Cycling Clubs Association TT championship. 13 May 2018. An early start. After a tasty 6am breakfast of Porridge with dates and raisins, strawberry yoghurt and coffee, it was a short excursion to the race HQ at Tilstock Village Hall. As always the organisation by Mid Shropshire Wheelers was spot on and what's more they also succeeded in booking good weather for this event - warm but not scorching temperatures, dry roads with a gentle wind from the west. For me, this was my first TT of 2018 and I was keen to test my legs on this 'sporting' course with an interesting mixture of A roads, lanes, long drags and occasional ramps. As the sole Paramount Rider racing here today, I was keen to represent amongst the riders from both local clubs and much further afield. The course takes in 4 laps of a 12.5 mile circuit, which I am told favours road men and women due to its fast sections through twisty roads. Having dusted off my loyal 12 year old TT bike Teri I was keen to find out how her 9 speed manners would handle on this clear and promising morning. She didn't disappoint. Off at 816am, I took the first lap relatively easy. I was keen not to overcook it in the early segments of the race, in the knowledge that on this course a few years ago a rider had misjudged a corner and ended up going through a stonewall and subsequently had to be airlifted to hospital. Well, my wife and kids would not thank me for such rash behaviour. One lap under my belt and my legs felt good. So, I decided to press on and did the first 25 miles in just under 1 hour. The third lap was steady and I was pleased with how I maintained my speed. On the final lap a sly wind made the going heavy. In addition, I found myself stuck in a queue of traffic at the A41/A49 roundabout in Prees Heath. Having to stop, put my foot down and wait patiently as half a dozen cars came through before I proceeded. Watching the clouds float by provided a pleasant distraction. I kept my composure and with just under 9 miles to go dug deep and worked hard to regain my momentum and make up for lost time. And then there was the chequered board and the finish line. 2 hours and 36 seconds put me in 10th place out of 80 riders with the winner Graham Kemp (Team Bottrill) stopping the clock at just over 1 hour and 51 minutes. I was spent, and pleased with a new PB - five and a half minutes faster than my first attempt on this course 12 months ago. I was told after the race, over a hot cuppa and several slices of delicious home made cake back at the race HQ, that I won my category and am looking forward to a nice little cheque in the post. I'm already looking forward to splashing out on the biggest ice cream sundaes I can find for me and my kids with my race winnings. A great day out on the bike. Thanks to MSW for putting on a friendly and well run event. I recommend this event to anybody who fancies trying their hand at a longer TT in the future. PARAMOUNT POWER!

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