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Record Set at 40km Time Trial

Last year I rode a 40km time trial at Kahutara and participants said it was the windiest day they had ever experienced. On Sunday I rode a time trial on the same course and regular riders said it was the windiest day they had ever experienced, including last year! If last year was a record, this the crosswind this year broke it!

I usually take pride in the fact that I can ride the aerobars in cross winds when others don’t. Not on Sunday! The wind was so strong in some places that it caused the shallow Zipp 303 to skip across the road toward the gutter. It was a matter of sitting up and leaning as much weight on the front wheel as much as possible on exposed parts of the course.

There were 37 entries, 9 of these didn’t start and 3 pulled out as they rode back past the school into the bottom section the course. I considered stopping at the school, but remembered that the course was more sheltered in the southern section. I was wrong!

The fair-weather time trialists may think that not riding was a good option. Certainly riding a good time was out of the question in those conditions, but there is a certain satisfaction in finding out what the limits of riding the TT bike in crosswinds are.

No-one broke the hour. The best time was 60:34min. The results for Manawatu riders were: Barry Gilliland second at 61:09min, Andrew Ward fourth at 61:54min, Michael Bradley sixth at 65:15min, Tom Pirie eighth at 65:38min, and Mike Burt ninth at 66:24min.

I doubt those times reflect who was strongest, just who handled the wind better.

The next 40 km time trial is on the same course on 20 February. Windless conditions guaranteed…hopefully!