The National 24 hour TT, I knew it was coming, I kind of knew what to do. There is no doubt that this was a physically tough feat to start with, racing against the best in the business.
Lets start from the beginning:
We arrived in Liverpool to our host for the weekend. I'm incredibly proud of the support crew I had, Jimmi Nicholls and Ele Suggett. Two friends and two people who know how best to look after me. I knew I was in safe hands and I knew they would do what was best. We prepped for the big day on Friday night, eating up well and attempting to get an early night.
Arriving at the start I signed up, prepared the bike and ate. The National 24hrs have been going close to 100 years. There is a great heritage and history to the event with people of all ages there ready for the next 24 hours. I was nervous but I knew what I needed to do. I ate, drank and psyched myself up. The sun was shining, it was warm.
Away I went. The first hour or so a complete blur. The drinking and eating strategy was working well and I was feeling comfortable (minus loosing a water bottle pretty quick) I knew I needed to drink a bottle every hour and eat every 15 minutes with the aim of coming in for some hot food 4 or 5 times over the full 24 hours. The target was to average over 25kph. I was comfortably averaging nearer 35.
As the race went on, the conditions greatly deteriorated. I was having to come in more often, for more kit changes and to warm up. My health became a serious concern with me struggling to warm up. Aches and pains got worse, I became more and more pale and cold. Eventually in the early hours of the morning, Jimmi decided to pull me from the race.
It hurt, it was a huge confidence blow, I spent several weeks contemplating if long distance riding was for me. I needed to spend some time to myself, understanding what happened and why it happened.
Simple answer is that sometimes these things do happen. We are not super human. The most important thing was to understand this, use it as a lesson to learn from and move on.
Theres plenty more opportunities to have another crack.
Watch the chat I had with Francis Cade after the race here: