Punchbag - 53x11 Mckay


This weekend’s jaunt took me over to North Newbald, a village north west of Hull/south west of Beverley, where the Peter Taylor Memorial Road Race was to be held. I headed over with Ben Gibson in the glorious early morning sunshine. I was a little preoccupied at the start, worrying about where I’d mislaid my bike computer. I was fairly sure I’d left with it, but it had mysteriously vanished when reaching North Newbald. Ben is a very organised guy and as a maths student, had done his calculations right and we arrived with plenty of time. We drove the course, which included a noticeable drag up to the finish line. I was sure it would be even more noticeable racing up it. Bewildered with an abundance of free time after signing on, I rolled around pretending to look like I was warming up in an organised manner.

Once the flag was dropped, the race got going aggressively as usual. I was keen to get stuck in myself and gave some digs to test out the legs. Legs seemed alright, but not good enough to distance myself from the pack. As we raced onto the climb for the first time, Kit Gilham rolled off the front, a local hitter in York who I’ve trained with many times. Alarm bells in my head started ringing. I was about 20th wheel and boxed in on the inside. Unfortunately all those ahead of me just let him ride off with a couple of others. I spent the next two laps giving it the beans in an attempt to try to bridge across in various small groups. But the peloton were reluctant to let anyone else up the road. This lead to a fairly stop-start tempo and the trio out front built a strong lead.

giving it beanz

After a particularly lively ascent of the climb, I had to come around a guy who had opened up a gap in front of me. Sprinting onto the last wheel for all I was worth, I managed to get across. Glancing back I could see the split in the field growing in distance and although my legs weren’t pleased, I was the last rider to make it on. A close shave!

However the negative style racing commenced on the back section of the course and the two groups became one coming into two laps to go. It again frayed on the climb, with the fatigue of five ascents taking their toll on plenty of riders. Steven Guymer (Feather Cycles) really hammered the front of the group and I held on for the ride.

Holding on

On the final climb, I was well positioned but was lacking the explosivity to out-sprint Guymer and four others. On my calculations this placed me 9th (results TBC).


Back at the HQ I was pretty gloomy. Another race, another missed break. Still can’t sprint. Same old story really. A combination of sandwiches & cake in the HQ eased my temper and when I bumped into Kit on my way out it turned out he’d won! Class act.

Race savagery rating: 7/10
Result: 9th
Learned: mark the big guns

Thanks to Hull RC for putting on a great event and Cav’s Dad Photography for the photos.

Bike computer was under Ben’s car seat.