Sunday…Conditions…less than perfect.
After racing on the limit the day before, I didn’t think that I’d have the legs to pull off anything amazing. And didn’t feel too great before the race.
We arrived to the circuit early, my Dad was racing in the 4th cat race in which he came 12th or 13th. We were not too sure. There was a lot of sitting about waiting for the start of my race. And hoping the rain stayed off. Whilst warming up the front wheel I had planned on using broke and was forced to ride my Dad’s front wheel, a 32 spoke 25mm tyred audax wheel. No matter, I got on with warming up. I felt stiff. So stiff.
Rolling to the start line it was very apparent that the wind had picked up from Saturday. With a strong tailwind up to the finish, and a brutally harsh headwind for the whole back straight. On the line we were told the race would be 45 minutes plus 5 laps instead of the usual hour. So I thought due to the shorter nature of the race, I’d attack off the line.
Race : I attacked off the line. And immediately got a gap. The bunch showed little signs of chasing. After a lap or so I was joined by Series leader Lewis Atkins. I pushed myself to the limit on the back straight, knowing that the bunch wouldn’t keep a constant pace through that part of the circuit, and I sprinted the corners also knowing that 30 guys can’t corner as fast as two!
The gap quickly rose every lap with the distance going from 30 seconds to around 1:30. We both pressed on through the wind and the drizzle that had started to sweep in.
Lewis was hoping that his team mate Marcel Six would take the spot for 3rd from Tom Smith who is second in the series, just to give himself a bit more room in the standings. At around 7 laps to go a group of three riders shot off the front of the bunch. Containing Marcel and Tom. This wasn’t a worry to Lewis and I as we had just under a laps lead.
On the final lap, Lewis had agreed not to sprint it out. Seeing as I had done the majority of the work to stay away. However there was a misunderstanding with how the finish would happen. I thought we were going to pretend to sprint and sit up just before the line and finish hand in hand. But lewis didn’t hear me say the sprint bit and I misunderstood what he’s said. So I kicked at 50m to go, sat up looked behind to see he wasn’t sprinting also. He had time to come back up to me but chose not to.
I sat up and crossed the line. Arm raised. Job done.
So I’m now definitely 3rd in the series. And not that far off 2nd (watch out Tom!)
I think what gave me the energy was my Mum’s corn beef hash and tuna sandwiches. Definitely my pre-race meal from now on.