The Sloan Trophy Road Race is my clubs annual road race – having run for the last 60 years. To put that into perspective, the Amstel Gold Race, which is considered a semi-classic, has run for the same period. It may be a regional road race but it has history and many good riders have ridden it (David Millar is one) and many more will over the future.
This represents something of an unknown for me – it’s 65 miles long and for many reasons I’ve actually only raced twice so far this season, the longest being 25 miles long. I imagine that ultimately I’ll pay the price for lack of long racing – I have done plenty long rides (60-100 mile) but these do not replicate the demands of road racing. The competition will be a different class too, including category 2 riders and Harry Tanfield – a very talented junior racer (18th in the junior Paris-Roubaix). As this season is a learning process I will get out of it exactly what I want – more knowledge. Hopefully next year I can race more before this point – I missed at least 6 local BC criteriums so far this year!
I rode the course today – weather was shocking – windy and wet; the sort of conditions I might be faced with on Sunday. I wouldn’t mind this as I’ve always felt I love riding in harsh conditions whereas many others hate it. The more dirt in my face, the better.
The profile above doesn’t look too bad – not very hilly. This doesn’t tell the whole story as actually all the climbing comes in the first 7 miles – this part of the course is a real grind, more than likely into the wind. The return journey to the HQ at Stamfordham is quick and will offer some recovery…or just an opportunity for others to attack – who knows!? I’ll try and economise as much as possible and finish – that will be some task. If I go well I’d be extremely happy with Top 20. I’ll write a race report some time next week!