Driving over to Castleton from Altrincham is always a nightmare, trying to get through Stockport at rush hour, but the closure of Winnats pass made me very late, bringing with it a danger finishing the event in the dark.
The wind at the top of the pass looked very strong and I made a mental note of its direction ready for a route decision at the start. Although there was a good turn out at the event centre, the public car park in Castleton, I didn’t have to queue and managed to get started by 6.30 in the end. Thinking of the SW wind I set off on a clockwise route clearing the controls as I went but decided to leave the one on Mam Tor itself, which perhaps was a mistake and as being worth 15 points I should have left a 10 pointer out instead. The wind on the tops was horrendous and at one stage I found myself leaning right over into it in order to avoid being blown off the bike. Coming down off of the last hill I decided I just had time to grab a last 10 point control If I wasn’t more than 6 mins late. Coming in at 2.05.35 I perhaps cut it a little close but still ended up 3 points better off.
With a week to go till the selection races for the National Team I deliberately didn’t push too hard on the early climbs and didn’t take any chances on the descents, so was quite happy with 5th.
Results available on Dark and White website –