Ian Mountain Memorial RR - 30th June - 56 mile road race - 2nd!!! - Kieran Hotson reporting:
After Thursdays ride at the nationals, I had just been ticking the legs over and trying to keep my head up and went into this event desperately looking for a good result to pick the morale up. As it turned out, that's exactly what I got.
An early 9:30 start to the race in Wakefield meant an early drive over from Grimsby but when I got there I was greeted by a warm beautiful day as I had a little spin to check out the rolling 6.4mile course around the outskirts of Wakefield. The course consisted of a small punchy hill about 2 miles into the course followed by a twisty descent through a village then running onto a long 1.5 mile draggy climb along a dual carriageway before dropping back down again and a bit of flat before a punchy climb inside the last km to the finish on a country lane.
Once the flag dropped out of neutral it didn't take long for the race to start kicking off. Plenty of moves coming and going in the first few miles as I monitored the front of the group keeping an eye out for a dangerous move to go with. The first time up the long draggy climb was when things really started happening with the group getting strung out and a few splits happening as I keep up there waiting for the move to go then getting in it. The move went and 6 of us got a gap and pushed on. Unfortunately that move didn't stick too long and we were brought back. The group then stayed together for a couple of miles until we hit the next climb up to the finish. With a few riders including myself punching hard over the top of the climb and pushing hard on the flat was enough to break the front of the group and cause a bigger split of 8 riders including myself. Looking behind me the gap was good and growing so I pushed on with the group of 8 all working very well together we settled in for 50 miles to go of through and off. I didn't contest the first prime of the day on the second lap thinking more about driving the break on and not upsetting the flow too much with a fragile gap. As did most of the other riders. On the end of the 4th lap however we had a much more healthy gap so I decided to try and get a prime in the bag. Leaving it as late as possible to hit out And took the prime successfully then settling back and getting the flow of the break going again.
As the laps ticked over the gap grew steadily just going over a minute with 2 laps to go so we had enough time to play with on the last lap. As we hit the finish climb for the penultimate time there was a few digs from the break to split things up and three riders got a gap on me as we took the bell. Working hard with one of the other riders we managed to pull them back and the 8 man group then stayed together all the way to the last time up the finish climb were I attacked hard from the bottom of the hill catching the group napping with one other rider going with me. I passed him as I went over the top of the hill with 150m to go thinking I was going to win then almost out of nowhere I was countered by one of the other riders who must've jumped on my wheel as I went. As
He jumped past I just couldn't hang onto him and had to settle for a solid 2nd place. A great day out for sure.