I entered 2 races this week. Given the intensity of the Bath races i figured it would be a good test to ride the Team Tor 2000 Circuit Series Round 2 afterwards. I had done no racing the previous weekend so topped up base miles with some climbing in the Mendips and the BSCC club run.
The race followed a very similar pattern to previous weeks. I moved up after a couple of laps on the climb to sit around the top ten. PJ who was in his first bunch start race was looking comfortable near the front, his report is here and is well worth a read (along with every other post on there), you will get an idea why from the picture below, he was on the attack with Mike Kiss when this happened;
During the commisaires briefing we where told to keep an eye out for an old lady who had gone missing from a nursing home and enjoyed visiting the park. I reckon PJ spotted her, took his eye off the corner and decked it….
I found it much more comfortable to sit in the bunch again this week, it really does get whittled down quickly as the elastic snaps so if you are towards the back you will be made to pay for your positioning.
I was in a good position on the bell lap and as per it always goes bonkers. Kudos to Bristol RC ride Matt Franklin, he took a flier out of the hairpin but was passed by a few people on the climb, a brave tactic to try. Also kudos to him for riding the 3/4 and the E/1/2/3 races every week, thats a serious work out.
As the sprint started to unfold I held off abit, the previous weeks some people had gone far to early and got reeled in. I sat by Kieran from VC Bristol as I know he has a strong and fairly long sprint. When he went he punched through such a small gap that closed so quickly I could not get his wheel. Once he had gone everyone started to go for it. He had 4 bike lengths and looked behind somehow got himself in a tangle and hit the deck hard.
This split the remaining riders two ways round him and I held on for 7th, more points!
You can see the crash happen in the video;
Kieran broke his hand (possibly from his rage hit of the floor?) so I wish him a speedy recovery.
First off apologies for the lack of pictures here, I only read books what gots lots of pictures so I sympathise with the lack of in the following essay.
I had tried to convince myself during that day that I would sit in the bunch and pick my moment to attack. As a team we had a goal of Mark gaining intermediate sprint points as he came first in round one, Tom was also riding. Due to the wind direction we went anti clockwise as opposed to clockwise round the circuit like the previous race (this is to stop ridiculously fast twitchy 4th cat sprinting, like below).
Turns out I didnt convince myself very well, got pretty bored of sitting in after 1.5 laps so I bridged to a two man break in the cross wind and Mark joined me, we drove out a decent gap but the bunch is so keen in the tailwinds there that we got reeled in as more tried to join.
As soon as we got sucked in I went again. Joined again by Mark and a chap from Team Tor who appeared to have a similar attacking attitude to me. This was a much shorter break and was easily shut down by the peleton.
On the intermediate sprint lap I bridged to a solo RU Training Today rider who had been out for about half a lap, Mark came with me again as did the Team Tor rider. We had about 3/4′s of a lap to go to the intermediate sprint and Mark got 2nd, goal acheived. As people began to sit up after the sprint I looked behind and the gap was massive, half of the breakway was cooked but we pushed on anyway and where away for quite a while.
As we got caught on a tail wind section again Tom rode to the front of the bunch and said ‘dont worry not chasing you down this time’ (as he has done previously). I told him now was his chance to make a break as other people had been working pretty heavily to get us back. He went with one other rider as me and Mark sat up into the bunch. Big respect to Tom as he really drove the break for 1.5 laps, working harder out of the two, but in the end but got pipped on line. He gained enough points to make it to 3rd Cat, a great effort.
As the sprint started on the final corner I satup and drifted back through the bunch, domestique work done in a 4th cat circuit race?!?! I definitely got a good work out from it.
It was essentially a perfect team race, not entirely pre meditated but formed on the fly as the race unfolded. Probably my most enjoyable race to date.
Next week is Bath Races Round 4 and the club road race, 9 BSCC take to the start line, I guess we had best try and light it up….