Monday, 4 July 2011

Tour of Blackpool Support Races

There were mixed feeling about this race, ridden on a banana shaped course in bright sunshine with the ocean not far off. Some people though it was a good race that tested the pure sprinters and strong men, while others thought ,'what a shit little criterium that was.'  Basically, the course was two 500metre straights linked by two hairpins. The lighter people generally did better on this course because they could get down lower on the nasty corners and open up a fair few metres on the bigger lads coming out of them.

There was a field of about 60 on the start line, but this was reduced down to around 20 after thirty tedius laps on this peculiar shaped track.
In the opening stages of the race, I launched a few probing attacks to see how the bunch responded, and nothing really stuck or got away until roughly half way through the race when a duo slipped away and where joined by two other riders in the following laps. This proved to be the decisive move and they maintained a slim lead of around 15 seconds on the rest of the field. Often there would be an attack from my group to try and bridge, but they where always reeled back in, resulting in surges of speed. Whenever we passed the breakaway on the opposite straight, you could easily tell that they where giving it their all to stay away. 
On the final bend, I was in the first ten into the corner, and I knew that with my sprint I could take home some points at the very least, if not some money. Unluckily for me, someone had to crash in front of me on that last corner. I switched to the outside line but two other crashes had to develop there. So, starting to panic as other riders slipped through the carnage and seeing my chance of points starting to die, I unclipped and frantically scrambled onto the grass verge, round the pile up and back onto the track. Jumped back on my bike and opened up an all out sprint. I passed a few riders but was just half a bike's length away from the riders that came in 10th and 11th, meaning that I missed out on those increasingly precious points.

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