After being injured/ill for most of March, this was my 1st race of the year and my first chance to try out my team bike in anger.
After arriving, registering and meeting my new team mate, Scott for the 1st time we headed out for a look round the course. After the recent dry weather, the course was dry and fast. Although there were no major climbs, a series of steep banks and tight wooded sections were enough to keep things interesting. The most unusual feature of the course was the addition of a BMX track in the latter part of the lap. This proved deceptively tricky; if the jumps were approached too fast they would launch you into the up slope of the next, costing momentum in the process.
At 2pm the combined Elite/expert race was set off with the masters and juniors gridded up behind us but starting together. I got good start and clipped in 1st time but pulled a foot out after a few pedal strokes. By the time I’d clipped back in I had lost position and been overtaken by most of the Elite/experts as well as the leading masters. Luckily the first part of the lap was fairly open and getting held up behind faster starting riders did not prove to be too much of a problem.
By the end of the 1st lap I had reached the back wheel of a pair of riders with Richard Jones 3rd and Scott in 4th. As expected, the leading duo of Steve James and Jason Boutell were well ahead already and Scott and I were racing for 3rd.
Over the second lap I paid for my efforts slightly and dropped off the pace but I recovered over laps 3 and 4 catching and passing Scott before reaching Richard in 3rd place. In the 5th lap I hit the front initially but Richard stuck to me before getting ahead into the main section of wooded singletrack. Coming out the other side I was still in position on his wheel, but I got caught on a rutted corner and went down. By the time I was up and running the gap had opened and I could not get back on, eventually finishing 4th with Scott in 5th as the 1st expert finisher gaining some valuable points towards promotion.
Overall Scott and I was pleased with my ride. Racing on a hardtail wasn’t as painful as I thought it might be. Running tubeless tyres and big wheels seemed to take edge of the hard ground and without rear suspension the bike felt responsive when climbing up the repeated steep banks with out of the saddle efforts.
Trevor reports a win from the Toachim Vets/Mstina series Event 1, the Ciclisti Vecchi Road Race
The C/D age category race was run over 5 laps of the 10 mile undulating Herriard course, South of Basingstoke.
Having moved up into the D category, I had a sense of deja-vous riding in the peloton with so many of the C category riders against whom I raced last year.
The pace was very much up and down on lap 1 as the stronger C riders softened-up the peloton for the inevitable break which came as we crested the finishing climb at the end of the lap. Having gone with all the early breaks, I hadn’t quite got the race legs to go with this break, this being my first road race of the year having come back from injury.
Despite repeated efforts, and coming within about 100 meters at least three times, I was unable to bridge across to the five man break of C category riders.
On the last lap, with nearly 9 miles to go, I and a C category rider jumped away from the peloton and made a last ditch do or die attempt to bridge across to the break. We both gave it 110% and managed to come close enough to see the break cross the finish line, put a gap of around a minute between us and the peloton giving me a win in my first race in the D category.
A brief report on the AW 10 on Saturday
After last year we perhaps deserved the nice weather and a fantastic new ladies course record of 22:20 for Rachael Elliot. Second lady was Mandy Hibberd and 3rd was Jane Morris.
Overall Justyn Cannon continued his run of early season wins, despite some last minute equipment changes, hill climb specialist Tejvan Pettinger had a 4s lead after the slightly uphill outbound leg but on the return Justyn managed to overhaul him and ex-rower Ken Buckley used his extra mass on the downhill to also close right up with Tejvan but didn’t quite catch him.
Evergreen Ian Greenstreet just missed out on the top 3 overall but took the 1st vets prize on standard, with 2nd going to Dave Lazenby and 3rd to Peter Oliver. The RAF were flying high as the fastest team of 3.
A few riders were caught in a traffic jam on the M4 – Tony Parker was particularly unlucky as he ended up with at 23:30 late start while his travelling companion with a later start got away with just 30 seconds.
Photos can be found here:http://www.flickr.com/photos/biker_jun/sets/72157633291217260/
That tiny, mad, pink lady was featured on BBC South Today ahead of her trip to Lanzarote for the Ironman World’s qualifier.
Check it out on youtube http://youtu.be/9-8wilbc-z0
Great work Fay. Best of luck. Next stop Hawai’i.
I managed to live up to the mention in the CTT preview (http://www.rttc.org.uk/Home/tabid/36/itemid/3365/Default.aspx) with a solid ride for 2nd place in the Oxford city Road club event on the Witney bypass course (which is the same course we are using for our promotion in 2 weeks). It was a cold early morning but at least the sun did come out for the race. The wind was gentle but if anything in the ‘wrong’ direction for the course but the cold weather made the air thick and hard for the muscles to get going. A turbo warm up and some well chosen thermals under my skinsuit definately helped and I caught my ’2 minute’ man before the turn. My time of 20:58 was 18 seconds behind the winner Justyn Cannon who has been on very good form so far this year with a few more races under his belt. Results – http://bit.ly/YveFo8
I actually opened my season on the Thursday before with a club event on the local Shurlock Row course, this is 2 laps of a nice quiet circuit and an ideal course for newcomers. On Thursday it was feeling rather mean though with a block headwind down the ‘fast’ straight making it seem like you were riding into a wall. The unseasonably cold weather meant is wasn’t the most fun race but nice to start the season with a win by almost a minute. Results http://www.maidenheadcc.org.uk/node/1083