Tom 8th at Early Season RR
Early season road races E12.
Having not ridden the circuit before and having Colin saying it was just an undulating course I think was a slight understatement. Having driven around the circuit getting an idea of the roads looking for potholes and getting a sort of feel of the circuit I soon realised it wasn’t the sort of circuit I wouldn’t necessarily say suited me especially as it was only a 7 mile circuit it meant we had to do the circuit 8 times. A lot of climbing!
The start was relatively comfortable, having NFTO (UCI CONTINENTAL TEAM) showing up en mass with a strong team (Appleby, Lewis, May and Wiltshire) I had expected it to go hard from the start in order to make a break early.
With Colin and I having made a plan of attack Colin attacked first, really shaking the group and creating a small break, getting a max of 15 seconds. But it was soon to be brought back. With James Lewis (NFTO) jumping off getting about 200 meters for the rest of the first lap and opening an ever increasing gap, but with a serge from the main the group and constant work we brought back James.
2 riders from NFTO (May and Wiltshire) and the two Holts (county cycles) broke away and got a decent gap. With That in mind I moved to the front and Tristan Robbins (Madison genesis) and I out a serge in on the decent to string it out the bunch, and the bottom of the decent we attacked out of a sharp left handed leading to 10% climb and kept the pace high breaking away with two other riders.
Getting quickly organised the four of us opened up the gap from the bunch and closed down the four up the road.
Having caught the four just before the end of the second lap we were shortly opening the gap to 1min 24 seconds. With another 5 joining us later in the race the bunch went up to 2 mins 20 then up to 3 minutes 40 meaning tangy the bunch had given up on the chase, allowing us to ease off a tad and maintain the gap.
As there were primes every lap attacks came thick and fast just before the lap board, I managed to get a few third places, but not going all out knowing well enough with the NFTO riders still in the break I knew there would be a attack towards the end of the race trying to break it up further to allow an easier chance of a team win.
2 laps to go the attacks came shaking off a few riders who were struggling with demand of the circuit, but it was only till the last lap to on the board that the bunch split leading the group of 4 of us chasing the group of seven that had just split.
Working well together we managed o close the gap to about 7 seconds going through and off but with the last Km to go the group of mine slowly started looking at each other, me more parried about not erring caught by the bunch motivated the group to keep going hard to the end, working in my favour giving me a launch pad to sprint to come in 8th.
I am very happy with the result as I’m still getting into form and the company which was there it shows that I can get good results even with strong company, even if NFTO is a UCI CONTINENTAL team.
Looking forward to the ret of the season and continuous good results.