Very windy, five TCC riders (me, Elwyn, Neil, Steve and first-time racer Dan), nobody in the top 10. Somebody won but I was too far back to see!
That’s for Mac. If you want to hear more, read on…
The penultimate race in this excellent series saw two ailing riders (myself and Steve), Elwyn – who is looking stronger and stronger with points last week, Neil who has been moving up the bunch steadily, and first-time racer Dan who keenly arrived early to find that the course was completely under water at turn two. A foot of water in fact, with pump on hand to try and reveal the racing line – or any line that was not submerged!
Another sell out (of course). With another fine turnout from Dynamos (of course) and the now usual faces from a variety of other teams. A few Wheelers are back, but many have migrated South. Warming up, the wind down the straight is awesome. Up the incline to Brian’s Bends feels as effortless as an electric bike. Through the bends the wind blows me off line. Could be another day for breakaways. Definitely not a day for aero wheels!
We start late; 40 minutes total this week, and immediately a Dynamo attacks off the front. I go with him (no bike issues this week, thankfully) but as soon as we complete the second lap the wind puts a firm hand on my shoulder and we are brought back into the fold. Steve, clearly feeling under the weather is sitting in the bunch, Elwyn and Dan are comfortable and I am already in recovery mode. Elwyn moves up and works on the front, the Dynamos do likewise but it is hard and progress feels sluggish. There is a half-hearted breakaway, which again is chased down. Seven laps to go and Elwyn attacks strongly into the wind. The peloton are happy to be dragged along. I defend my position, top 10, outside right for the last few laps, with Steve following wheel. The bell sounds and I attack hoping to give Steve and Elwyn some shelter down the straight. Upping the pace into the wind sounds great and I hope to reach the second bend and wind assisted incline before peeling back, but in reality it is too early and I barely lead the bunch to the clubhouse. Elwyn and Steve are still well-placed as the peloton slide past and I have technically “blown up”. The sprint winds up and all go too early into the wind. Dan, Steve and Elwyn are all just outside the points and I roll in after the bunch. Still you have to try and mix things up.
(Courtesy of AEphotos, all rights reserved)
Last race is next week and is sold out (of course). As I mentioned, there is a race at Longcross at 9AM for Cat 4s and another the following Saturday. If however you fancy something a little different (and a trip to the London Bike Show thrown in), Imperial Cycles are sponsoring the Crit races. Only 24 entries available here so be quick (I’ve entered already). Cat 3s and ladies race on the Sunday afternoon, enter here.