As I’ve suggested before I’m no expert time-trialist, but there are two things I’m pretty sure you should do.

  1. Go the right way!
  2. Avoid getting hit by birds!

Saturday was the Harrogate Nova 24 time trial, close to the A1, not far from Ripon. In fact road works put pay to the original course and a change was made to the backup course. This will billed as a 26 mile event, but ultimately turned out to be a tad over 27 miles.

The weather was cold, wet and windy. As I approached Sharow Cricket Club (the HQ) the drizzle turned to proper rain for a while and it was clear the weather wasn’t going to offer any assistance. The course was two laps of a mixed circuit that included some dual and single carriageway and some great back roads. Whilst not pan flat with a few rises here and there is was certainly a lot flatter than last week’s outing at the Circuit of Ingleborough.

Harrogate Nova 26

Harrogate Nova 26 Course

Due to the course change the HQ was actually around 3 miles from the start and post some local warm-ups and a bit of chat I realised I needed to get moving to the start and had to ride pretty sharpish, arriving only about 90 seconds before my start time.

The first part of the course runs down the A168 next to the A1 and really should be one of the fasted sections. However, with the strong westerly wind that had a bit of southerly too it wasn’t exactly free-flowing.  After cutting in through Kirby Hill, which is a pretty quick mini-descent the north Boroughbridge roundabout was reached. The marshals clearly said left at the roundabout, which I took, but I then missed the immediate second left and started heading in the wrong direction. Thankfully I was spotted and after some loud screaming and a u-turn I was back on my way. At this point (heading north-east) the wind was with you and it felt good. The roads were small and the sweeping bends with the odd small rise and dip kept things interesting. As I rounded one corner I saw a pheasant (well I think it was a pheasant, but I’m no twitcher) next to the road. I noted it and gave it a little extra room, but as I passed it I must have spooked it and it started half flapping and half running straight towards me! It then took off and hit my back quite hard. It ripped out a couple of the pins from my number, but fortunately didn’t become any more entangled than that and with a cursory look back I saw it had reached the other side of the road. Pretty lucky really!

After a change in direction and a stretch up to Asenby you dropped onto the A168 again (dual carriageway at this point) and hit the solid 15mph wind head-on. Fortunately the section was probably less than 2 miles long, but it was hard.  It was then up the off-ramp so as not to end up on the A1(M) and all the way round the course again with the only difference the second time being you needed to remember to take a right at the last roundabout to the finish.

I really liked the course and felt like a rode a bit better than I had the previous week.  With the extended course and the difficult conditions Joel Wainman (Team Swift) 59:36 and Nigel Haigh (Strategic Lions) 59:51 were the only riders under the hour. I recorded a time of 01:05:17, which saw me place 11th. Given that a few less seconds would have comfortably seen me in the top 10 I was pretty pleased with that.

Many thanks to Harrogate Nova for organising the event, which went fantastically (good cake after!) and thanks also to Samantha and Carolyn for some great photos. Followed up with a great club ride on Sunday it was a great weekend on the bike. A couple of weeks off from racing for me now, but we have other VC Bradford members racing next weekend. Link to the Strava ride is here and a few picks and full results below.

Joel Wainman

Joel and the rest of the Team Swift riders were out in force and looking good.

Harrogate Nova 26 Steve 2

The road surface was pretty good in most places.

Harrogate Nova 26 Steve 2

Need to get the head flat and down more!!


[table width=”80%” align=”center”]Pos,Rider,Club,Time

1,Joel Wainman,Team Swift,00:59:36
2,Nigel Haigh,Strategic Lions,00:59:51
3,Rob Partridge,Velosure Giordana RT,01:00:05
4,Julian Ramsbottom,Pedal Pushers,01:01:10
5,Mark Wolstenholm,Team Swift,01:01:16
6,Andy Jackson,Team Swift,01:01:39
7,Nick Rogers,Team Swift,01:04:04
8,Paul McDonald,Yorkshire Road Club,01:04:36
9,Simon Cave,Harrogate Nova CC,01:05:12
10,Matt Stell,Ribble Valley CRC,01:05:15
11,Stephen Ayres,VC Bradford,01:05:17
12,Ged Millward,Ilkley CC,01:05:41
13,Martin Flanagan,Team Swift,01:05:51
14,Andrew Pearson,Huddersfield Star Whs,01:06:11
15,Andrew Askwith,Bridlington CC,01:06:26
16,Stephen Wood,Yorkshire Velo,01:06:34
17,Paul Taylor,Richmond Tri Kudu,01:07:26
18,Mike Worden,Harrogate Nova CC,01:07:48
19,Ian Galbraith,Drighlington BC,01:08:42
20,Robert Senior,Harrogate Nova CC,01:09:11
21,Duncan Sleigh,Clifton C.C. York,01:09:15
22,Robbie Harcourt,Stretford Wheelers CC,01:09:19
23,David Leckenby,Ilkley CC,01:09:50
24,Paul Di Mambro,Ilkley CC,01:10:28
25,Chris Harris,Holme Valley Whs,01:11:00
26,Richard Booth,Hartlepool CC,01:11:22
27,Mark Yale,VC Revolution,01:11:36
28,Kris Howes,Albarosa CC,01:12:14
29,Richard Durham,Team Swift,01:12:57
30,Roger Bromiley,Harrogate Nova CC,01:13:08
31,John Sanderson,Clifton C.C. York,01:13:21
32,Paul Targett,Pendle Forest CC,01:13:27
33,Darren Stringer,Kirklees Cycling Academy,01:13:38
34,Mark Burtonshaw,Team Swift,01:14:08
35,Mike Potter,Scarborough Paragon,01:14:12
36,David Cook,Rockingham CC,01:14:58
37,Alison Sarmiento,Harrogate Nova CC,01:16:19
38,Dave Cook,Clifton C.C. York,01:16:19
39,Mike Hutchings,Harrogate Nova,01:17:36
40,Greystone Small,Bridlington CC,01:18:52
41,Mike Cole,Huddersfield Road Club,01:21:30[/table]