Following on from Tims post last night, this one has a similar theme!
I skipped work early and pedaled out the 15 or so miles to the first round of the Bath Cycle Races with Steve. This is a series of 5 races, I thought I would test the water with this one before entering any more. The circuit runs around Baths victoria park, which you can see in the diagram Kieran sent me below.
It also has a draggy climb up to the start finish and a fairly fast descent that ends with a hair pin corner (visible in the bottom right of the shot above).
After lining up for the start in a fairly good position we then all had to move back to the start/finish line (pretty obvious really), this put me right near the back of the bunch. It was a 30 minute race (Commissaires call dependent on available light, mindful the E/1/2/3 had to race after), with a neutral lap behind the car. This was a good shout as having had a ride round earlier there were some parked cars on the rapid downhill section, making everyone aware made it a lot safer.
The pace was completely furious from the off, even the netural lap. Due to the short nature of the circuit there is little / no time for recovery. With a sprint out of the hairpin and then people trying to break it up on the climb. The downhill was over and done with so quickly there was no chance for your HR to recover.
I quickly figured out the course suited me, moving up on the ‘climb’ (which isn’t really a climb, just a sapping drag that the other regional cirucits dont have) fairly comfortably as I needed to, within 2/3 laps I was near the head of the group. The elastic was stretching after the first lap, Mark who was watching said 4/5 riders would go out the back door every couple of laps.
The main area that let me down was my speed through the corners on the descent and taking a cautious line around the hair pin, not wanting to get caught by people diving down the inside.
Coming into the last lap I foolishly decided not to move even further up the bunch on the climb, this meant that as we completed the final descent and the leaders opened it up after the hairpin I was just too far back to pass enough people on the climb to get in the points. I crossed the line in 12th, as the first 4th cat rider. This is actually my best finish yet but left me with more of a sense of dissapointment then happiness!
This was confirmed on the final results, as all our bikes where fitted with timing chips. A nice touch, though it has left a dirty sticky mark on my fork leg! Full results at the following link; Bath Cycles Races 3/4
The guy who won pulled off a text book manoeuvre by lunging his bike in a sprint under the lofted arms of a rider who thought he had it in the bag. A win margin of 0.004 seconds, save your celebrations for once you have crossed the line!
As soon as I got home I entered the next two events. Things to do next time; DO move up, DONT carry a bottle (under half an hour, what was I thinking).
Thanks to all the organisers and volunteers for another great event!