Now we no longer go to work and return home in the dark (a desperate existence) midweek races have commenced.
It was a contrast to the other event I would have attended tonight, the Boikzmoind chip shop ride, this serves to highlight how my riding has progressed/changed over a very short period of time! Hopefully I will make it to one of Gavs rides soon.
Wednesday saw a circuit race at the Ilton circuit which is around the perimeter of an old Second World War RAF base. This was the first in a series of these events (every 3 weeks) organised by Team Tor 2000.
I, along with Kieran and Mark entered the Cat 4 only race. The wind was really up today (partially a good thing as it blew threatening clouds away quickly), due to the shape of the circuit this can have a big impact on the racing. For example there was a block headwind on the home straight and a couple of other sections. Kieran provided us with a tactical diagram via email at work this morning.
The bunch settled into a rhythm fairly quickly with not much going on, I sat around the back of the bunch for ease of moving sides in the wind.
Half way through the race, just after Mark had taken the intermediate sprint, a guy from RU Training Today CC broke off from the bunch and proceeded to ride away from everybody and not get caught. Very strong move to pull out a gap and hold it for that amount of time, kudos.
I took a couple of flyers off the front to try and bridge to a couple of other attackers but nothing stuck. I attacked into the head wind (as per Kierans attacking diagram) where the bunch was less willing (read, not willing) to work on the front, but everything kept coming back together on the tailwind sections. Pretty negative racing that allowed the lone guy to stay away. We can’t have been going that slow though as we nearly got the 3rd’s who went off in front of us on a couple of occasions.
Knowing I would not have anything in me for the sprint I led the bunch into the last two corners, ramping up the pace a bit hoping that Kieran and Mark would be behind me. Turns out Kieran was content to cruise in from the back, Mark however was right in the mix. It is interesting watching a sprint into a headwind open up, it looks like everyone is pedalling in treacle. Mark swung to the right as he got up to full gas, looking strong for the finish. Unfortunately he was unceremoniously cut up by another rider, forcing him on the brakes and to drop back a few places.
Going to enjoy riding these midweek races to try out a few different things during the race and help boost experience! Once again I felt like improvement was made.
Next week in the quest for experience and points its the Bath Crits!