I had a great week of preparation for the race, with a great mix of rides to open me up and gentle rides to feel fresh. on the night of the race i had a bad night sleep and was worrying about the clocks going forward and if my phone would change etc etc.. but also of course how i would cope mixing it up with some great riders. woke up with a very bad broken sleep at 5:45 and was afraid to go back to sleep! so i just made sure I was ready. stretching and a good breakfast and off down the M25 and M20 to Kent! fell asleep in the car and woke up and we we're about just under 2 hours to spare which was great. the reason being so because me and the taxi driver (mum lol) grabbed a outline map of the course and did a lap! past a tough looking climb and a long fast decent. one of the first few riders to grab my numbers we had a nice chilled getting ready for the race. half getting ready Team UK youth roll up with the van and very nice looking kit! afterwards IG-Sigma sport too! was amazing to think that quite a few of these riders are riding on the continent and big big races in England! onto the neutralized, made sure i was up to the front 30 at least in the big field of 80. Flag down and a very very obvious change of pace and the start of the race. attacking left right and centre mainly from felt, sigma and UK youth and at least one of their riders got into the bi break. the Breaks generally happened around the first major climb and to be honest I felt as though i could of gone with it, I was very comfortable! but i had a clear mission in my head... DON'T GET DROPPED! :) so i stayed in the bunch and watched a big break go. UK youth and sigma sitting on the front clearly slowing the pace of the bunch to allow the breakaway and their riders more time ahead. I was really enjoying the race for the first 90K's and really liked going around the bunch seeing the big teams around me like Andrew Griffiths who has won the U23 national TT plus many many big races. Wouter Sybrandy who is such a power house and raced the Tour of Briton and achieved high respectable medals at the Senior TT championships. Anyway hint of star struck. Then after the 90K mark we were told to stop!? with confusion as to why we (the bunch) though there must of been a really bad crash. So I and a few others dashed for a quick piss. probably waited for 15-25 mins and found out that the breakaway overtook the lead car. I dont need to tell you whats wrong here but the commissionaire wasnt happy! But after a long debate over what should happen they were allowed to resume as per nothing happened! the gap was given there minute and 48 seconds including to chasing riders with a minute and we were off and i thought it was great as I am probably one of the youngest riders in the bunch I thought I wouldnt be as stiff as the older riders. oh how was I wrong! for some reason the bunch after seeing the breakaway felt the need to umph the pace on and it really did. still comfortable and giving mum the sly thumbs up letting her know im fine. Last lap (20k) and how painful of a lap it was! after passing the bell i decided that i'd have a dig on the tough long climb half way though the lap and i knew others would follow. So I did and success! I was away and with 3 other riders! :) got over the top and continued for 4-6 k's and after giving such an effort to get away i saw no hope and waited for the sprint... at 1 k to go another rider attacked. He made it very obvious he was going to though so i jumped onto his wheel pronto. but with 300 metres to go he was caught and so was I. I thought with my ability to have another big kick i might be so lucky to grab and BCF point or 2! but as Adrian has told me think of your attacks as match sticks in t=your pocket, once you've used them up there is no more to use. This was seriously the case for me and I just had jelly legs and I had a swarm of riders passing me... shame but overall really happy with the race, probably placed around 30-40th place in the end. asleep in the car back did an easy 20 min spin at home on our flat mountain bike trail course and felt better.
In hindsight I should of probably had a go for the breakaway. But, lots learned and a race next Saturday (March the 31st) where hopefully I can get a proper good result in. Fingers crossed!! :)
me ripping the bunch apart on the race before Wally Gimber in the surrey league 2nd cat race! :-)
bring on next week!