There are good days in racing, and then there are those other days too!…
Sometimes races are won before you even leave the house, but likewise they can be lost the same way. Happy Valley had been my just about my worst result last year and I always knew I was going to struggle. Just eating my breakfast that morning seemed to be effort enough.
I hadn’t felt any pressure at the first two events, having not been to either before or not knowing quite how strong I was compared to the other riders. But suddenly we were heading to a much more local track that I’d raced at before whilst my team mate was heading to the 3 Peaks race in Yorkshire which sounded like a lot more fun to me (His blog to follow)!
But as my lady says, “you’re going racing and no one really cares where you finish anyway”, although she bloody does! In the morning warm up I felt instantly out of touch with the featureless, grassy playing field that we were racing on. I always blame the tyres, but I had plenty to choose from and they all felt similarly vague and slow!
On to the race and I was pleasantly surprised by being gridded, but not that it seemed to matter as I began losing places by the first corner! Normally I use certain riders as markers, but by the end of the first lap the lead group of ten or fifteen riders had established a safe gap whilst I was watching them from across the field in around 25th/30th position.
I’d begun flagging in the dry, windy heat straight away and when I saw the lap board say 7 laps to go, I almost threw in the towel. But I’d come hunting for what points I could lay my hands on, improve my fitness and get some experience so on I battled, constantly being geed on by Crissy and Frank!
After the halfway point I’d settled down into a rhythm of sorts and concentrated on clawing some places back. I started with one of the Lewes riders and then a Sigma Sport rider. I felt okay, but seeing riders that I knew I should be racing so much higher up the course was frustrating.
On the last lap I gave it everything to catch Nick Welsh from GS Invicta and I was just thankful to finish on the same lap as the leader in 23rd (TBC) position – an improvement of ten places from last year where I finished one lap down. I’ve tried hard to work on my overall power output for races like this, but something still isn’t clicking. I’m looking forward to getting back onto a proper cross track this weekend at Herne Hill! Lets pray for rain!
The bikes will be serviced by THE.ÆIGHT.BICYCLE.CØMPANY at Tribeca Sport with kit and bike fits from Bike Science. Bikes and team rides are still available so if you’re interested you should contact Glen via firstname.lastname@example.org for more details. They have several packages to suit you as well as a full range of bikes, servicing and bike fitting in their shop in Southborough, Tunbridge Wells.