ERC 2021 Midweek TT Series - Week 3 - C.K. Watt?

17 June 2021

I think last night can be, initially, summed up by two things. The first of which is that for some unknown reason, I, the person who is supposed to be steering this particular ship forgot how to get to Tranent. I started cycling in completely the wrong direction. If I hadn’t twigged any sooner, I could have been standing outside Humbie Hub and wondering where everyone was for the TT. I know I’m beginning to lose my hair but didn’t realise I was losing my marbles too.

Secondly is that we had over forty people sign up! That’s fantastic. We’ve had a week or two of 30 people, max, in the past but this year we’ve gone 32->36->41! The other thing about over 40 people signing up is, that ever since I saw we were on the cusp of 40 I haven’t been able to get the Mr Richards episode of Fawlty Towers out of my head.

- "I ask him for my room and he tells me the manager is a Mr. Watt, aged forty."

- "No, no, no, no. FAWLTY!"

- "He's faulty? What's wrong with him?"

My week, (because if this isn’t also a weekly diary then I don’t know what is,) has been a good one.

Topped the road bike standings last week. Got my first Pfizer jab on Friday. Also got offered a new job on Friday. Then I got engaged on Saturday!

I wonder what’s going to be easier – organising a TT series or a wedding. I suppose there’s pros and cons of each. At least organising a TT series, I won’t have my Mum insist that I must invite my embarrassing Aunt Belinda who works in the International Sale of Pots & Pans. But equally, if I am late for my wedding, I don’t just miss my start time - I may end up wife-less.

Life gets in the way of racing of course and we had a couple of unfortunate DNS’ last night.

Rhys Edwards after becoming the Scotland National Youth TT Champion at the weekend (congrats) was certainly no longer considered fresh and thus forced to rest.

Jonny Noblett’s wife was unwell and asking himself the eternal question of ‘should I stay, or should I go (and race)?’ – Jonny, probably, chose wisely to stay and look after his wife. Husbandry tips I will be taking note of.

But ‘DNS of the week’ has to go to John Waller who skin-suited up and ready to leave had to take a last minute, unexpected, work conference call. Let’s all take a moment to picture John, who works in the legal profession I believe, in his EH Star skinsuit distilling legal advice. I don’t know about you but the sight of my solicitor in an aero helmet and skinsuit during a zoom call would be extremely confidence boosting.

It also gives me the opportunity to, in case you hadn’t seen it, point you in the direction of the lawyer in the US (where else) who couldn’t get rid of the cat filter during a zoom call with a judge.

Okay to the racing, we had 6 non-affiliated participants last night. Which is great, always to love to see new faces. But as of next week please be aware the ‘come & try’ period has ended and you need to be a CTT affiliated club member to participate. I’ve sent an email but let me know if you have any questions.

Special mention to Harry Hilder, who came 31st in a time of 27:30, you know why I’ve mentioned him don’t you. You must do. C’mon. There’s only one way to find out……FIGHT!!!

There were 4 ladies participating last night, which is also an increasing number, keep it up – remember the signed Elinor Barker Team GB Skinsuit is up for grabs to the winner of the overall female competition this year! First timer Emily Catmur was 4th with 29:05, Kelly Rhodes (who took a tumble during some post-race mingling, hope you’re OK, though it did look like the equivalent of a two footed slide tackle upon one of her rivals) was 3rd with 28:18. Sarah Emslie 2nd with 27:40 and Sarah Connolly of Rapha CC, in the pure embodiment of Rapha, radiated minimalist style and powered to 1st place in a time of 25:34.

I thought more words should be given to the mid-table, the Everton’s/Crystal Palace’s/Burnley’s of this world who may get over-looked. A few performances of note would be young Xander Graham, aged 12, who has both the best Instagram handle out there – Xan_der_Poel and a Dad who’s videos & pictures of Xander have more coherent production value to them than a Michael Bay movie, finished in 23rd place, a PB by 58s, in a time of 26:29. Alasdair Easton, aged 13, also did his fastest time of the year, 26:31 & finished 28th overall.

Josh Dow PB’d by over 8 minutes, finished 22nd overall in a time of 25:25. PBing by over 8 minutes is a great effort, until you realise that last week in an effort to set a benchmark to beat he decided to stop at the shop in Macmerry for a mini milk.

Chris Howie who from now on will be always the 24th man to set off, regardless of whether we have 24 riders or not, was 18th in a time of 24:38.

Cameron Adam, aged 15, showed a few of his elders how it’s done (these bloody whipper snappers ey.) Finished 13th overall in a time of 23:56.

Road bikers, now we’re talking. Yes, I did win the road bike category last night & finished 11th overall in a time of 23:37. I was a smidge slower than last week - showing that cursing at a headwind makes you go faster. Ross Taylor, 24:17, was 2nd fastest road biker and Neil Bell 24:25 was 3rd.

As we enter the top 10, all of whom were sub 23mins. The top 3 being sub 21! David Henderson 22:35, Mark Anderson 22:26 and Lewis Hutchinson 22:00 were 8-10th. Joint 6th in a time of 21:36 was Ian Dobbie and Leahn Perry – kudos to Leahn as he makes the trip up all the way from Worcester each week. Oliver Teenan 21:34 was 5th, Joseph Perkins 21:10 was 4th.

And so, to the top 3, as Professor McGonagall says – ‘why is it when something happens, it's always you three?’ Alan Dean was 3rd in a time of 20:59, a time usually quick enough to win.

2nd was Sandy Waller, a 10M PB for him, but I think the joy he exhibited at the finish was mainly because he finally beat Alan. Sandy finished in 20:48.

1st, and a hat-trick of wins, was Coach Rory Downie, in a time of 20:24.

Many thanks of course to our volunteers last night - Karolis Dedura & Simon Russell for timekeeping, Alan Burke for signs & marshalling and Gerry McGuire for all round cat-herding/marshalling/timekeeping. I must of course mention Gerry for donning in his finest Michele Ferrari tracksuit.

We move to a block of 15.5M TT’s next week! Please scrub up on the course (I will send emails out with the startsheet etc). It’s the same as the 10 but we do the bottom half of the course twice. Twice the drag and headwind. Fun times.

Full results here - Week 3 Results

See you all next week

Go well