Well, today was my first race in nearly a month, so I've had plenty of time to train beforehand. The ' through and off's ' and power-sprints I've been doing really came into their own on this race.
The morning was cold, with temperatures hovering just above zero. The sky was grey and uninviting, and yet, a full field turned up. Someone had even come abroad, and kept on racing on the wrong side of the road (The organisers told him off after).
The course itself was flat except for two railway bridges, and had no nasty corners, although the road surface wasn't great in parts and a few people got punctures, which was race over for them.
At just over 5 miles long, the circuit was to be navigated 9 times, and if no breaks got away, was a sprinters paradise.
Anyway, the start was rolling, from the HQ in Wistow Village to the start line. They say that this part is neutralised, but thats a lie, since the rolling start is a race in itself, as riders jostle for position before the competition gets underway.
Now, the previous day, I had been advised to stay in the top 15 riders throughout the race, not to do too much work, and go with an attack every now and then (more towards the end). Also, I'd been told the the race is traditionally windy, since it is very exposed, and to watch out for splits in the peleton.
I don't think any splits happened, but if they did I didn't notice since I was well placed throughout the entire race.
Some people attacked every now and then, and an early lone attack was reeled in after 5 laps, and I was surprised to see that it was a women that had kept the men at bay for the best part of 25 miles. However, she was lapped 2-3 laps further on so she must have given it her all.
With about 4 laps to go, a usual attack happened, and got about 100 metres of the front. Now this was where the race was lost. Due to lack of co-operation, commitment and just pure laziness in the peleton, a train never got going at the front of the bunch, and the break gained about a 30sec advantage at their greatest point.
Me, realising that no-one was going to go to the front and work, psyched myself up and put in a powerful attack, with anyone unable to follow, I increased my advantage over the group over half a lap to about 15secs, and maintained it for another quarter, then, the pack finally realising that if they didn't start working and upping the pace, they'll end up sprinting for fifth, so they got themselves organised and caught me just before the final bell.
Once I got caught, I quickly got into optimum position again 5-10 riders back and sat in to preserve my energies for another attack with 2 miles to go. At this point, the break only had around a 15sec advantage, and was within catching distance if a couple of riders sacrificed the chances of winning to reel them back.
Me, knowing that no-one was prepared to do that, attacked once again with 2 corners to go, however I was caught with about 500 metres to go and about 10secs off the break.
I kept my pace and rolled in around 25th place.
A much better try than at Eddie Soens, and with the decreased field and limited categories, I got a much better place.
Once again, thanks for reading.