Last Thursday myself & Adam were the only 2 of the BSCC gang stupid enough to brave the wind & the rain up at Castle Combe for the second in the summer circuit series. I thought I’d ridden in bad conditions before but this was something else. The wind was unbearable.
The race is for cat 3 & 4 riders, my first as a cat 3 & our first race with cat 3 riders this year. The bunch split early on, the pace was pretty fast & the crosswinds even faster. The front pack got smaller & smaller over the first half of the race.
The conditions got the better of Adam & he was back with the second group, I hung on the the back of the lead group, literally hung on with everything I had. A 3 man break left us in their dust (water) & about 12 of us raced the remainder of the 17 lap race together, battling with the elements.
The bell went for the last lap & to my surprise I was still in contention. Sprint finish time & I fought the finish line headwind, coming 5th in the bunch sprint so 8th in the race. Another couple of points in the bag for me. Fingers crossed the sun shines for our next race.
This week the Bristol South Classic League heads to Chew Valley Lake. If Bird Watching and Time Trialling are your two favourite things then its not to be missed.
After a successful few weeks at Aust on the 5.2 mile course, where pb’s were flying around, there will hopefully be some more fast times around the lake.
Tim and myself both set new pb’s at Aust, with Tim not being slowed by using his road bike, maybe that helped with his recent circuit racing exploits!
I finally went under 12 minutes with an 11.46 on the final evening!
This week us Cat 4 warriors took on the battleground that is Ilton for the first Team Tor circuit race of the year. Conditions were a whole lot nicer than our last visit, with full visibility in the evening sun. This report isn’t as lengthy as my usual ones, but it gives a brief overview of my best race so far.
Ed & Adam rode strong at the front of the pack throughout the race, with Ed keeping the pace high especially towards the end with a couple of solo breaks.
Myself & Mark sat in the bunch most of the race, I had a pop at the intermediate sprint lap, maybe got a top 5 in that.
Coming into the last lap & Mark hopped onto my wheel, we bossed it through & around the bunch all the way to the last turn. It seems some riders got a little sketchy when they saw the red & gold train steaming through.
I looked back & Mark was no longer on my wheel, I realised I was the first of the BSCC boys coming in to the final straight, so I did what any aspiring sprinter would do & put in a final effort for the last hundred metres to pull away from the bunch, and turns out nobody else kept up. I’d won the race!
Words can’t describe how happy I am with this, hence the short-ish report. A massive thanks to Ed, Mark & Adam for all their help & motivation through this race. I’ll be a Cat 3 rider next time I race, sh*t just got (a little more) real.
2 weeks ago myself, Ed & our friends Mark & Adam took part in our first circuit race of the season. It was Ed & Adam’s first race on road bikes & they were understandably nervous about what lay ahead of them but we were all pretty excited about the first race, especially after the fun I had last year.
The conditions for the race were without a doubt horrible. It rained the whole way down to Ilton & this put a downer on the whole situation. We kitted up & got on our bikes for some sort of warm up about 10 minutes before race start.
The first half of the race was pretty messy (for myself at least) with my only goal being to stay towards the front of the bunch & finish with the masses & I’d be happy. I kept towards the front for the most part, which I was happy with, but any plan to ride as a team seemed like an impossibility in the conditions with the number of riders (around 60).
Coming in to the last lap & I felt like I had a little something left in my legs, a 4 man break had gone earlier in the race but 2 riders had dropped off this & I managed to bridge to them. We rode as a 3 man group for the first half of the last lap, I eventually got boxed in by these 2 riders, with the main group catching us soon after. I knew I had to get out of this situation or my race would be over. I managed to squeeze through a handlebar-width gap & got on to the front of the bunch, not ideal but it was better than being trapped. After a short time killing myself on the front the bunch caught up. Luckily at the front of this group was Mark, who had Ed right on his wheel, I tagged onto the back of Ed’s wheel & we rode the last couple of corners in a train, as a team, after an hour of us each riding on our own. After some amazing riding from Mark, coming in to the last corner I broke away from Ed’s wheel. I came out of the last corner in front of everyone, the 2 man break was just crossing the line, but I knew if I kept up the speed I had I could possibly have a chance of doing well in the sprint finish.
I actually got out of the saddle & pedalled almost certainly harder than I ever have before. Crossing the line with a feeling of elation & desperation. I say I crossed the line but due to the conditions I don’t even know where the line was. Anyway, 4 days passed & the results were posted online. Turns out I had won the bunch sprint & come in 3rd place after the 2 man break. Result. 7 points in the first race of the year. I’ll take that. All thanks to the brand new BSCC skinsuit no doubt.
This weekend sees myself & Ed take on our first circuit race of the season. It will be Ed’s first ever road bike race & my first race in what will hopefully be a full season of circuit racing. We’ll be racing alongside a couple of other Bristol South boys & we’ll all be sporting the awesome new BSCC kit, designed by our good friend Ade Ridley. Here’s a peek at how great this new kit really is:
This weekend was the first Bristol South CC open event of the year. A 25 mile time trial held on the U17.
With sunshine and warm temperatures, this was a huge contrast from just over a month ago for the Severn RC 25, where it was snowing.
I was aiming for as close to an hour as I could get. I rode a 1.03.43 in Febuary, so had some work to do, but was aiming to at least better that time. With temperatures above zero I was in with a chance.
After a painful ride with some adjustment needed to my saddle angle, I’d managed a 1.01.06 I was really pleased with this. With PJs super fast time and Dan Kempe a few seconds behind me, we had got the team prize for Bristol South! I was 11th of 54, nearly a top ten in an open! Dan B was riding his first ever TT and put in strong time on a spinny 90 gear inch.
Wednesday evening saw the first of many Bristol South midweek time trials. It was to be my first TT of the year, I was reluctant as to whether I was going to race or not, but as the opener is only a 5.2 mile out & back I couldn’t not do. I opted for racing on the geared road bike, rather than the fixed gear TT build I rode last year. This was firstly because I had a 20 mile ride planned before the race, and secondly because I hadn’t bothered to get a bike together.
I had no idea whether the gears (without TT extensions) would make me faster than last year or not. I dug out my time from last year & was aiming for a PB. When we arrived at the meet point it was apparent it would be a hard night for everyone as the headwind on the way out was next level, and average speeds on the way back were 3-4mph faster. Mad on such a flat course. My time came along, I battled the wind on the way out with my average speed being less than 20mph, I was not happy with this so knew I needed to up that drastically on the way back. Luckily that crazy headwind was now a major tailwind giving everyone a physical & mental boost on the way back. I spent most of the time in My biggest gear & out of the saddle, I felt super human for those 7 minutes. I chased down our good friend Adam who set off a minute before me on his first ever TT, and I managed to catch him literally just before the finish line.
I put in a time of 14:20, not a PB but decent in the conditions. Ed bagged himself a 12:28 in his new red garms. A big shout out goes to Adam, Dan, Cuff & Hana who were all riding their first ever TT is the least favourable conditions. Here’s to many sunny races this summer!
Venturing to a race by train seems like a good punk rock DIY way to do things.
However after a day in the gutter even a short 6 mile ride back to the station really tests you to the core.
As we came on the final straight towards the finish a rider from Liverpool turned to me and said ‘Imagine if this was Milan – San Remo, only 200 K to go’, well that 6 miles felt like 200 K.
Was it worth it? Of course it was, a lot of hard work paid off and a team mate took the win.
Living in a place like England in the winter sometimes you actually forget what the sun & warmth feels like. I was lucky enough to spend a few weeks in New Zealand & managed to put in a whole lot of miles on the bike, making the most of the summer conditions. So in stark contrast to Christian’s recent post I thought I’d share a few of my favourite photos from my rides down under.
This was my second 10 of the year. I was aiming for a low 23.
After expecting it to be very wet, the rain stopped for the racing. I went off slightly too hard, then settled into a rhythm as best I could. There was a very strong cross wind, which had a headwind bias on the return, but didn’t feel like much of a push on the way out!
I’ve realised after riding the Severn RC 25 that a 10 mile TT is not actually that far, I know this is fairly obvious! So kept on pushing without trying to save anything for later.
I was really pleased with my 23.09.
The best part of the day was that my grandparents came to watch. Having held club records and 3rd place in a national 50 TT between them, I’ve a lot of catching up to do!