Earlier this month Vitus Bikes Pro Marcus Christie smashed the Irish 100 mile TT record by over 7mins. Up against some tough competition, Christie managed to knock the 100 miles out in a time of 3hrs 27mins and 11secs. We get the run down on how the race went from the Irish Pro.
Coming back from the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow (Ed. Christie took 13th place at the TT) all kinds of thoughts where flowing through my head, I’ll start rowing, or go back to athletics- even though I’m carrying some injury! I came home from the Games, and I think my friends actually thought, “He’s finally flipped, this guy is crazy!”
I kept riding my bike, it still remained the perfect escape and I would forget my problems for a few hours at least. Then I started doing the TT league again, I think this sparked my motivation to get the finger out properly once again and it also allowed me to see some old friends like Nigel Quigley (who always chirps on about my weight) and the lads down at Roe Valley Cycles.
The TT league or (super 6) as it’s known, is full of guys chasing perfection- their latest “PB”. One man stands out for me, John Madden.
A super VET in the best sense of the word, he holds National Vets records in every distance as well as being a principal of a secondary school. I think that demands respect!
John encouraged me to keep tackling Dave Mc Cann’s National 10 record and to keep coming to every time trial. A month ago I came within 15secs of that “10” record, with an 18.36. But secretly I had my eyes on the 100 National Record for a few weeks.
I remember Martyn Irvine and the guys used to slag me when I was on the track programme as a junior, that I should do the 100 TT (it actually gave me a chuckle on Sunday when I missed yet another bottle)
Since the Games I’ve dropped nearly 6kg’s and my power has gone up, I went back to what works for me, just riding my bike with no stress. Long aerobic rides with Zone 3 and Zone 4 on climbs without a seconds thought has always come up trumps with me.
The current 100 mile record stood at an impressive time of 3hrs 34mins set by Bryan McCrystal. In truth as I approached the event with the 100 being an unknown animal for me, I really didn’t know what to expect! I thought to myself driving up to the event, this is going to be a barrel of laughs, chomping my 58 chain ring for 100mile rolling along at my fastest cruising speed, nothing to worry about but the endless open road ahead. When I arrived, I searched frantically for a helper to feed me. To my luck I found a kid new to cycling from Ballymoney, who was up for the task! I warned him “Jason you will probably see my trial of snots beating up the road, before you see me”!
I quickly stuffed about 6 gels into my skinsuit, many of which were never found! We where off, I had the perfect minute man in John Madden, I caught John after 6 miles and I thought to myself I’m on a ride today or else I’m going to need an ambulance at about the 70 mile marker! It really was all or bust.
As the laps ticked by my main concern was trying to grab a bottle from the feed, this was an even contest at the end of the day, with about 3 collected, 3 dropped. Although my panic to grab a bottle was unnecessary, as I only took about 2-3 gulps from it, before seeing Jason again- throwing away a bottle 3/4 full, trying to recollect a full new one. A truly pointless process
I was on top of everything at 70miles, then started squeezing the last 30mile, I started fading at about 85mile, another 2 bottles may have prevented this, but I’m just thankful I didn’t totally park the bus!
When I crossed the line and saw 3hr 27mins, relief was the main feeling flowing through my body, as well as glute muscles that refused to let me sit down. I think this result shows I have an engine, I know with a few fine tuned tweaks over winter and improving my power to weight even more, next season I can be competitive. Although at this point I honestly don’t know what the future holds for me. I would love to give the road another crack particularly stage races, and try reach my full potential in the time trial discipline. I would like to congratulate everyone who took part in the 100 mile TT! Once again a massive thanks to everyone for all the well wishes! That always means a huge deal to me.”