Report from the Great Yarmouth CC 25 mile Open TT (BS/13a) on the 22nd May 2016 by Mike Padfield
With rain forecast I was planning on taking my road bike for this ‘sporting’ course in the heart of the Broads. However as is often the case with BBC weather they got it wrong and although the roads were wet in places it wasn’t raining so I decided on my TT bike. Having not ridden it before I drove round part of it and it looked like it would be a tricky course with a few small hills, tight bends and parked cars. Luckily there were lots of marshals (c.20?!) along the route to look out for us and guide us around the bends. Even so riders had to keep their wits about them and be ready on the brakes.
Pre-race talk was of previous crashes, poor road surfaces and busy main roads which made me think “what am I doing here?” At the start a marshal pointed out numerous parts along the course to be aware of but that marshals would be everywhere. Not being familiar with the course road names and places this didn’t really mean anything so I planned on going easy whenever I saw a hi-vis vest!
The start was a fast downhill then a short climb to the junction at the B1074 and left along a bendy section to Somerleyton and then a very sharp left towards the village of Lound with cars parked on either side of the road in places. Four marshals were present here. After Lound there was a fast downhill right hand bend with off-camber and surface gravel in places that was tricky in the wet and then a climb up to the main A143. Here there was a sharp left, avoiding any cars and then south west along an up and down section to St.Olaves with a very sharp left back to the B1074. This was repeated for a second lap with the finish close to the start.
I didn’t judge the course very well and was too fast on the first lap as I was too busy trying to better my ave. speed so I suffered on the second lap. It was tricky to get any sort of rhythm being on edge quite a bit of the time with all the obstacles and frequently getting out of the aero-position. A stopped car past a blind bend in the middle of the road tested out my brakes and ability to control a rear wheel slide. Having made it round ok, all-in-all it was a good morning session with some tasty cakes laid on by the hosts afterwards at the Village Hall.
The winner was Mark Richards of V.C. Baracchi with a 56:54, second Steve Gorbutt of Diss & District C.C. with 57:14 and third Jim Hardwicke of Plomesgate C.C. with 58:35. Fastest lady was Verity Smith of Stowmarket & District C.C. with 1:03:26, taking nearly a minute off the course record set in 2009. John Swindells and Paul Groombridge won the 2-up after they crashed into each other! (see John’s report here: Here)
If I learnt a couple of things it was that TT bikes with skinny tyres and 120PSI don’t go round corners very fast in the wet and it made me grateful of our ‘relatively’ smooth main roads in North Norfolk.
Full results are posted here:
There are also comprehensive photos of all the riders on the Great Yarmouth CC Facebook pages.