Today I did the E1234 Surrey League Road race in Ottershaw. Minus two degrees when I left home! So Arm warmers and a lot of warm up oil were needed!!I Arrived stupidly thinking that there would only be twenty or so riders on line line. Oh was I wrong! Sixty plus riders. And a couple of teams rocked up. We rolled out onto the course, I’d previously thought I’d never done the course before but I had! A rolling four mile circuit with a drag up to the line.
The race started off at a steady pace, no one brave enough to test the waters. After the first three laps things started to get a bit more lively with a couple of riders chipping off the front. Nothing stuck for long. With 8 or so laps to go I put in a dig. I got away and caught up with a rider who was already away. We continued to work together to stay away for two and a half laps! As we got caught by the bunch, a flurry of sharp attacks came from Team Windymilla (aka the boys in pink) , who had been controlling the race. I had to dig in deep not to get dropped from the front group of riders. With three laps to go Alex Higham the South East divisional Champion stormed off the from the bunch, he was quickly brought back. No one was going to let him go!
With one lap to, the race was together. It was coming down to a sprint. One hundred meters before the final 90 degree corner there was a crash in which four riders came down. One seriously injured and needing hospital treatment. I went into the finishing straight in 10th wheel, But moved around a number of riders to take Lewis Atkins’s wheel, a local rider known for a sharp sprint.
400m to go, the last rise starts. No one has started the sprint. . .
350m to go. Lewis swung off , leaving me with no wheel to follow. .
300m. I go for a long one. Sprinting slap bang in centre of the road. .
The length of the sprint clearly caught a large percentage of the riders unaware and a split happened in the bunch. I could see Lewis under my left arm, waiting to pounce. For a moment I thought he wouldn’t come around. Until the last moment, he burst around me to take the race by two meters. Who was second? With only inches between the top five riders, some deliberation had to occur. I was 4th.
Now to get the last few points of the season to get my first cat license before the end of November.
Should be good! And hoping for bad weather next week!