I’ve been putting off writing this post, mainly to save myself the embarrassment of people knowing what really happened at Hillingdon last week! Most of you’ll know that I came 2nd and most of you have probably seen the pictures. And yes I was a mug. But it seems I’m not the only one to of made the “celebrating early” mistake, with Laurent Mange believing he had won the opening stage of the Tour of the Med, only to discover Thomas Voeckler popping out from under his raised arms. I have to say I’m glad I didn’t do a full on celebration!
So…the race…started as usual with an early attack from me. With this Sunday’s Perf’s Pedal race on the mind I wanted to get in a good tough race to prepare the legs for the kicking I am likely to receive. I was away from the race for around fifty minutes whilst being chased by a group of 8, containing the strongest riders of the series. At times I thought I’d stay away for good, but the wind sped up, and I slowed down. And inevitably I was caught. The weird thing was, as soon as I got caught I felt fresh and ready to go again, straight away! Maybe that was down to not having to constantly change pace like the chasing group had.
With 2km to go I attacked hard up the hill, putting the group in difficulty once again. But the move was short lived and shut down by Jerone Walters (Sigma Sport).
One lap to go. The usual last hope dash for the line came from Sandy King (Cyclefit Racing Team) who has been improving with each week of racing after a year out due to a knee injury. His move was also shut down by Jerone from Sigma Sport who took it upon himself to chase all the moves this week.
350m to go. I was slightly boxed in, but 200 to go a gap appeared and I just went for it. 52 11 all the way to the line. Just before the line I raised one fist half way, and then slammed it back down to my bars. I’d been beaten. Tom Smith (Felt-Colbournes) lunged on my right to take the race by 0.01 of a second!
A little disappointing. If I’d managed to win that race after being away for so long, I’d of been really chuffed. But 2nd was still a strong result after the epic ride I’d done. Well done to Tom who took his first win of the series after coming in the top three five times but never managing the top spot!
Oh and I won the SERRL Fowlmead E1 on Sunday, but only two people turned up so there isn’t much of a report to be done about that. So basically, I rode away and lapped the other rider and took a cheeky ten points. But the best thing about Sunday was that my Dad came 2nd in the 4th cat race. So I can do a report on that!
SERRL 4th Cat race : After twenty or so minutes three riders went away. My Dad, Paul Martin, chased and bridged across and latched onto them. He was doing his turns and getting stuck into the racing with the other riders in the group, who were all struggling against 30+mph winds. At one point I was in my lowest gear on the flat and going nowhere! On the second time I lapped his group I told him to try and attack them. Which he did to great effect on the last lap, leaving two riders wondering what had happened. Adam Hudson of Deal Tri came round my Dad just on the line to win by less than half a bike. To say the least my Dad was over the moon with his result, having only raced six times! It seems his standard race training of 600km Audax’s is beginning to pay off. He also won the WindyMilla Bike fit from last weeks Hillingdon Winter Series, which will help him get the correct fit on his brand new bike.