Race Report: Imperial Winter Series Cat 4 Race 9
A short report this week for what, for me was the shortest of races.Six TCC members; myself, Clarry, Chrissy, Richard, Tim and Elwyn, constituted the largest turnout this season. Wheelers had taken a late winter migration to Preston Park but Dynamos made another strong showing.
Tim punctured twice riding over, so a mad dash to switch tubes (take note: all Hillingdon spare wheels are 10spd). Dash for the line and we are off. Being on the front, I decided to mix it up and attack from the off. A strong young rider goes with me and we are almost away and up the slope. Into Brians Bends and my back wheel locks solid. At 25mph. Rear derailleur is in the back wheel and I skid 20m to a halt holding the bike up as I snake the bend. Tim said it looked fantastic.
And then there were five. Tim attacks off the front. A lot. Chrissy holds mid pack, whilst Elwyn, Richard and Clarry sit in. Attacks come and go. First a five who, typical for Cat4, don’t seem to work together despite our cheering from the bench. Then Tim and the young strong rider, then Tim on his own. Nothing holds and with five to go the group are back together for the typical sprint finish. Elwyn pushes up with Tim, and the pace rises for the bell. Brian’s bends sees Tim on the grass and out of contention, but come the sprint Elwyn makes top 10 and his first BCC points as the others roll in with the group.
So another fine turnout in good conditions with TCC mixing it up in the race and in the points at the end. Sad not to be involved myself, but it was almost as good to supporting from the sidelines. Two more races to go. Both already sold out. As Rob mentioned, there will be two beginners races at Longcross on Feb 8 and 15, so it is not too late to start racing. And the course is on the Saturday club run, for potential mass support. See my last report for how to enter online.
As for the bike: Ksyrium Elite wheels are very strong; kinked one spoke and a slight buckle, derailleur is a write off, chainstay dented. If it was carbon, the frame would have snapped. For anyone running a Giant TCR, or any other bike, check the rear hanger. If it is held on with two small bolts, change it regularly (every year or two) because there is very little metal holding the derailleur in place! My bike had never been crashed or dropped – this was really a JRA – “just racing along” accident. Now thinking of a replacement new/used frame.