Saturday, 30 April 2011

Yorkshire Day @ The Races (2/3/4)

Wind was the order of the day, with a strong gale blowing across Tockwith throughout the races. The cloudless sky and sun did little to warm the place up, with temperatures hovering about 14ºC. 
The course itself was triangular in shape, and completely flat. The wind blew directly into the straight before the last corner, and this is where a lot of people struggled. At 1.5km in length, the race was to complete 25 laps.
A field of 60 riders turned up on the day, the majority of them 2nd category, and also a few familiar faces from races gone by.

A very fast start on the day nearly caught some people out, and it wasn't long into the second lap that a break formed. The break itself consisted of about 8 riders, which was whittled down to an elite 4 by the end of the race. 
Sensing that this break had potential, and by now I was fully warmed up by having to work my way up the field after starting at the back, I put the pressure up at the front, in hope of bridging to this strong pack of riders. After a lap of some crazy riding, I looked behind me to see that I, in my haste, had formed a group of my own, and we probably had about 20secs on the strung out peleton. 

However, the 5 riders behind me where fully content on sitting on my wheel and not pulling through to catch the leading group. 
Even after much frantic hand shaking symbolising that we should form a mini-chaingang, and some encouraging words pointing out that we where actually catching the lead group, a rider or two reluctantly came through to take up the chase. However, the efforts where half-hearted and they weren't really trying to catch the break, scared that they may spend too much energy in doing so, and get spat out of the back of the peleton if it caught them. 
That little episode could have reminded you off this years Paris-Roubaix, where the second favourites of Boonen and Flecha were reluctant in helping Cancellera, and in doing so, this lack of co-hesion enabled Van-Sumeran to snatch the win. 

The following few laps consisted of much reluctant pedalling from my fellow breakees, the now bunched peleton crept up behind us and engulfed us
Even in this peleton riders where reluctant to contribute and the big teams had no interest either since they too had people in the break. 
A couple of short-lived attacks later, I settled into the bunch, hoping to conserve my remaining energies for the bunch sprint for 5th place.

After much frantic accelerating on the bell of the last lap, I saw myself starting to slip back into the belly of the peleton. Relizing that if I was pretty far back, I would  do horribly in the inevitable bunch sprint, so after a spot of cheeky riding in the form of amazing cornering on the chicane before the last corner, I managed to salvage 20 place or so. 
The 100m bunch sprint was the best I have ever done. Many weeks of training dedicated to this form of riding saw me jump up another 15 places near to the front of bunch. However, the finish line came too soon and I had to settle for a respectable 21st place and 1st Junior.

Thanks today to Vicky for taking me, who herself did exceptionally well in the women's race to grab herself a ninth place and her first licence point.

Once again, thanks for reading.

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