After a week of downpours in York, I took the train down to south to get closer to the equator. First on the agenda was a crit at Milton Keynes bowl. As our new kit had just arrived, team management had decided it was a good opportunity to double-up the presentation and a night’s racing.
It was a windy evening, but the showery spells seemed to be holding off for the 7pm start. Teammate Corey Ashley attacked from the line and the E12 race got started aggressively. I was keen to get stuck in, and spurred on by the new lycra I launched off the front of the pack with Douglas Coleman (Spirit-Tifosi). After a few laps we were joined by William Scott (Flamme Rouge) and three of us made good ground. We lapped the 3/4 race taking place behind and soon caught riders from our own race.
new kit too slippery for the camera
However,after about half an hour of racing Coleman attacked, remarking “I’m not just gonna tow you to tha line am I?”. I was expecting the Spirit rider to try to shed his companions but we still had nearly half the race remaining so it seemed a little premature for fun and games. I chased on with the Flamme Rouge rider but after I pulled another turn on the front Colleman kicked again and I was officially spat from the break.
To my dismay, the wind seemed to be affecting me a lot more with the absence of two tall lads to sit behind. I was caught by one group but was fairly sure I had lapped them, so sat off their slipstream not wanting to be DQ’d by the commissaires. I then continued to turn myself inside out to hold off the others chasing behind. I rolled in and, although there were lots of bodies across the course, was fairly sure I’d placed third.
I’d managed to get a midweek ten in bolted on the back of the crit, which gave me a fairly draining 320 W normalized for just over an hour. To my dismay however, I was listed on BC website as 10th a few days afterwards. There were no transponders so either the time-keepers or myself were mistaken, but I was annoyed to miss out on points I felt I’d earned.
The following Sunday I entered the Eagle RC road race. Lacking the motivation to warm, I span my legs in the neutralised section as the race convoy left in the 9 am sunshine. To my disbelief the rider in front of me was sporting thick merino socks which were poking out the top of his waterproof-type overshoes. He was going to have some sweaty feet!
I got stuck in right away and managed to get in a small break of four or so riders. We were then joined by a large group- nearly 15 or so! But this was pulled back as the guys in the main bunch panicked at the size of the break. I attacked on the second time up the climb to the finish line to claim the first prime. £5 was a nice contribution towards my entry fee anyway.
Instead of sitting up, I decided to push on and see if I could get up the road in hope of a chasing group behind forming. As I’d taken 1:40 out on the main bunch, it took a whole lap away solo before I was caught by about eight chasers.
We built a fair lead and it became clear the winner would be one of the group. A few riders began to voice their opinions that the pace should ease as there was no need to press on away from the peloton. One guy started complaining that he “was 40” on the climb, and had stopped pulling turns. I attacked again and this managed to drop the riders who were hanging on.
I pushed on again up the finishing straight to take the second prime and a lap later attacked in similar fashion to get away with one other for the last lap. We worked well together and soon the chasers had given up. I opened up my sprint early, nearly 1k to go and managed to bring home the win by a fair margin.
Last week I was contemplating moving towards some time trialing after seeing little return from my efforts in road races. However it seemed that adopting some testing tactics in road races has payed off instead!