My next race would be on the 7th of April. Its funny, I had such a good feeling about the day before and on the morning... we got there and did the usual. do a lap of the course (in the car). The finishes seem to be going on a trend of uphill finishes in the Surrey league. clearly to make it easier to pick out who came where. The course wasn't very technical with a fast straight decent and a 25% climb finish for 400metres. Which seems like nothing but its something! game plan was that i knew anyone that tried to get in a small break would end up dying and never stay away. which gave me peace of mind and to keep an eye on a few riders and large breaks occurring. The best race ever. There was not one moment where I was struggling or in massive pain. Like I guessed nobody was able to get away and with 1 kilometre to go (about 200metres before the climb) I went but the unusual thing about my attack was that I just road away. No kick, just pushed harder than kept a very hard pace up the climb to make sure I was at the top first. I was. then with road going slightly downhill I had plenty of time to raise my hands. sort-of :D
and a spanking 30 bcf points towards my chase for my 1st cat licence.
the next weekend. my first 10 mile TT since I was a 1st year junior. (and since I became full time)
A few rides on my new TT bike Shiv 2012 to get used to the feeling. The goal was to just go with it, not worry about times and just treat it like my usual 20 min power profile tests that my coach (Adrian Timmis) has me doing. Started hard and caught my minute man in the first 2 mins of my own TT! got into a rhythm of my wattage and felt pretty good! :) got to about 2 k's to go and I was starting to suffer and it felt like 'just in the next 200 metres than it'll be over' kind-of thing. finished and I was empty! I came 3rd on the night with my time of 21:45 satisfying enough. On a very strong headwind finish which I didnt expect.
On the group ride where I ride with the Norwood paragon I was flying. first 2 hours very steady as always. But on the way back It was like a race but I felt super strong and was able to easily drop all the other riders from just pushing a big gear. did an extra ride on my own afterwards.
the next weekend race, Les Ingmen memorial. The event organised by Norwood paragon would be on the same circuit as where I finished 3rd in the Surrey league (see previous blog) This race I was ready and felt confident from my last road race win. on the start and neutralized I followed a rider who I feel Is extremly strong and who is doing well this year Andrew Griffiths. He looked keen to get something going early on and I sat on his wheel as he went hard!! stayed with him but all it did was string the bunch out :/ I kept close to the front and probably put too many numbers to follow on my top tube :P here is a picture of one of the hard attacks I tried to get with
this group came to no use and came back after about 6 ks of hard though and off
when we came back Matthew Higgins, Wouter Sybrandy, James Moss and a felt rider (who ended up getting dropped). Later in the race on the climb with about 4 laps to go a group of probably 11-12 riders? attacked on the climb and I was bit too far back for it as it was just a snap in the top of the peloton. So off I go in a all or nothing desperate attempt to bridge the gap. I was going full on and even though they organised fast! and made it really difficult for me to get closer. Then I came to a part where I was maybe 6-8 bike lengths off the back. but I was dying this is after a good 5 k's as hard as I could (of what I had left) then I noticed I was getting further off the pace and I just couldn't... :( so I sat up and waited to get back into the bunch. It took at least a good 50 seconds before I was caught. I knew that was the break and for me that was race over... Even though other riders got away I was tired from the whole race and a little sad as I knew If I was higher up the bunch I would of been strong enough to stay with them. 2 laps to go and the 'snail pace peloton' was ridiculous. So I jumped away with 3 other riders did a steady though and off till the finish and out of frustration I won the sprint between us (sigh). 29th but so far my best result in an E/1/2 road race (out of 3) so all good! always next time!
The next race was on the 26th of April and was the first Surrey league Handicap of the year. which meant that It Is now a year since I started road racing. The idea of the day was training. the organisers gave the first group (the 4th cats) a ridiculous gap of I think 7 minutes? nearly a lap head start! but was good fast through and off work and made me feel much happier. It was a fun ride and came 3rd in the 'everyone except the 4ths cats' bunch sprint.
the 28th of April and I wasn't expecting an extremely tough race as it was a 2nd cat race. oh I was wrong...
the car park was a mud pool! and im not joking! everyone who I spoke with said when they drove in they thought 'oh s**t' bike together and watch a bit of the women's race but they didn't really give us any time to warm up. We were off, round the first bend and went crazy fast! didn't even get a chance to warm up into it... a group of 5 got away but I couldn't even begin to start thinking of bridging the gap! I was dying! out of every corner our group had a sprint. Something which I struggle with. (the constant attacking out of corners). As the race went on and the rain heavier, I started to feel stronger and better able to the circuit race. on the sprint for 6th I won. just wanted to get home, cold and wet. character building? I think I have had enough of that this Winter and this very very wet month!
I'll try and make this a monthly thing unless I get better suggestions?
Thank you so much for taking the time to read though :)
In next months blog I'll most likely talk about the following:
- South east regional RR
- lots of 2nd cat road races
- mid-week goodwood and handicap races
- A new much stronger than me training partner!
Lets hope for more of these below! :) (being pulled over by some photographers)