Since my last post I’ve raced five times in the past couple of weeks. Four of those have been around the York Sport circuit, just a five minute pedal from the uni. The First was the start of the three-week student series (put on by the the university cycling club – http://www.uycc.co.uk) on Wednesday afternoons when everyone else is hard at work. Despite this, the E12 had a strong field including a large showing from Brother NRG, the northern powerhouse of domestic UK teams.
The first 20 minutes was well defined by Rob Gray (WHEELBASE/Altura/MGD) as”bitch slaps” – sharp attacks which were shut down one after another. However the elastic then snapped and I got away with two of the Brothers. We made good time and it became apparent that we would contest the win. I led out the sprint, defying physics and moving backwards… 3rd- still a podium was a good start to the series and given the field I was delighted.
I was ill for the next week’s race and rested with my first road race of the season – the Roy Thame cup the following weekend. I started still not feeling 100%, and to further bolster my confidence my shoe buckle broke during the warm-up.
But in the race I felt good, despite the speedy 26.5mph average, but proceeded to miss the breakaway as usual. I managed to negotiate the worse tarmac on a circuit that I’ve ever ridden (a bit like swiss cheese) to position myself well coming into the final. I must’ve been about 10th wheel coming into the final km but yet again when the sprint for the minor placings started, I simply drifted backwards – confirming my inability to sprint.
With this in mind, I knew I had to change my tactics for the next York Sport race on Tuesday evening. I made the breakaway of nine and when two got away with seven laps to go I attacked a few laps later. I managed to hold off the rest of the break and rolled in to claim the bottom of the podium again.