I found this sportive ride on the web couple of weeks ago. The organizer was Evans Cycles and the course looked really interesting. "Why not?"- I thought and did my entry quickly online and waited the day.
I woken up early, 4:30. I felt a bit tired but it was normal, because this day was my last training day before my rest week, after 3 weeks hard training and nearly 1700km. I thought this sportive can be some nice training ride. I planed to catch the 6:07 train from Croydon. I had breakfast and a quick forecast check. I chosed summer top and short with arm and knee warmer(I had to realized later, this was a mistake!).
Short ride to the train station. Little incident was on the train, too much cyclist on the board, but Southern handled the problem well and we got an other train.
The event center was well organized, I got my start number in my hands after 3 minutes.
I started the ride around ten past seven.
The course was really good, but the weather wasn't. It started to rain after 35km, and some English monsoon arrived and followed me with some 35-40km/h wind on the next 120km. I wasn't able to open my energie bars or shift on my bike, because my hands were ice cold (I rode the whole event with 2 energie bars and a bottle of SIS drink). But I just rode and rode and enjoyed! The course went over 10 "major" climbs. Every second was a pleasure, but I could share just with myself. I didn't meet anybody, who wanted to ride with me.... couple of guys tried to keep up with me before we went out the second loop, but it was a joke... (Sorry, I was tired, but why should I ride with 26km/h when I can ride with 30km/h...). Basically I did a long time trial.
The rain stopped on the last 30km, but the wind didn't give up.
I finished with 6 hours and 26 minutes. I am really happy with this time, I think it is acceptable after 3 weeks load and considering the bad weather conditions.
The organization was excellent, really good course, amazing feeding stations and nice goody bag after the ride. I will be there again in next year!