I’ve been struggling to write anything about my TCR experience this year. Last year the words flowed fairly freely, and I was keen to get everything documented so I had a record of the adventure. This years write up is coming, but it’s just taking a little longer to process it into something that I’m happy with.
For now, I thought I would leave you with a kit list – everything I took with me to Belgium for the start of the TCR, the things I sent home from the start (thanks Thimothy, beers next time you’re in G!RO), and some of the things that didn’t make it with me to the finish.
Too much stuff? 📸: Matt Falconer
Frame: Curve Cycling Belgie Spirit Ti Disc, size 54. Amazing bike!
Groupset: Shimano Ultegra 52-36×11-32, with Juin cable actuated hydraulic disc brakes. Could have done with a 34 up front, but managed with what I had. Brakes were flawless, but I started with old pads that needed replacing on the first mountain descent.
Wheels: Custom handbuilt Noble Wheels, DT Swiss 240 rear hub, Son 28 12mm thru axle dynamo hub front, 160mm rotors front and back, Continental 4000 IIs 28mm tyres, with a touch of reflective tape. These wheels have now done two TCR’s. So happy with them.
Cockpit: Alu 3T Ergonova bars, Alu 3T stem, Lizard Skin camo bar tape, Profile Design carbon handle bars, Profile Design aero bridge mounts (x2), Wahoo aero bar mount (x2 for multiple positioning), Quad lock mount for iPhone 7. Super happy with everything, but could have done with a better bike fit so as not to be stretched out on the hoods and drops. Position has caused bad Ulnar Palsy again this year.
Spares: 3x tubes, 2x spokes, 1x gear cable, 1x brake cable, 2x brake pads, cleat, cleat bolts, chain links.
Tools: 2 tyre levers, 2x Co2 cartridges + inflator, 1x pump, scissors, multi tool & multi wrench, 8x cable ties, spoke key, wet & dry lube
Alpkit Hunka Bivvy Bag and Numo inflatable sleeping mat, RAB Silk Liner. A simple and effective setup. Light, but maybe a touch bulky.
Toothbrush (half, disposed of in Bratislava. Pointless without toothpaste and was past the point of no return by then), wet wipes, P20 sunscreen, Incognito insect repellent (deet free), sudocrem, savlon, 1/8 roll of toilet paper, Kleenex tissues, sunscreen lip balm, melolin gauze. Antihistamines, Nurofen. Voltarol gel.
Notebook with checkpoints, parcourse and route options. Insurance, medical documents. Attaquer pouch for cash and cards, Lezyne pouch for docs & passport, passport.
2x King cage aluminium bottle cages, with a Wolf tooth B-RAD Mounting Bases – 2 Slot to lower the water bottle on the seat tube (maybe 1cm, but makes all the difference). 2x water bottles ~1400ml total.
SiS lemon Hydro tabs and Berocca vitamin tablets – Berocca for the morning, hydro for the afternoon. Super mix of both for the bad diet days! By Romania, as both were in the same tube, they became indistinguishable from each other both visually and in taste.
Nuts – always have some in the bag, the cashew and almond mix I didn’t tap into until Macedonia and it was heaven.
Naked bars – a great way to get good nutrients in and sate the hunger
Bike weighed in just over 16kg with water. Just about everything I took with me, was used, but I have an idea of what I can leave behind next time. Doing so in some cases is more of a calculated risk. At the end of the day, I was happy with what I took, and would take most of it again.
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Last week saw the Guildford Crit, a 0.6km town centre crit that uses the infamous cobbled high street of Guildford as a large part of the circuit and the toughest finishing straight in Surrey. Every year Charlotteville CC put on this awesome race, featuring all different level racing, all raced at full gas. The nature of the circuit leaves you nowhere to hide, technical, tough, fast and short, this course will beat you up and spit you out whether you’re off the front leading comfortably or at the back struggling to keep up. There’s no easy race at Guildford. Whilst the short, technical course is brutal it also offers a spectacle that allows spectators to get immersed in the action and always turns out a big crowd, with the G!RO support crew definitely being the loudest!
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