Saturday, 3 March 2012

Early Season Update

As some of you may know, one of my goals for this year is to gain my first category license. To do so I have to accumulate a huge 200 points over the course of one season and so, I've started early. Ive already done three races, all up at croft. In my first one I came 13th, no idea where I came in the second one. The race splintered and we were lapping people all the time, not to mention that a sizeable break got away. My latest on was the North East Trophy, where I came around 25th out of 156 starters. This was a big race and had a large Elite/1st scratch. I was in the 3rd group. 

When the race started, I attacked almost straight away, to try and make an impression with the judges towards the most aggressive rider. A friend from Dirtwheels Cycles came across and together we stayed off the front for a few laps. When we got caught, I took a couple laps recovery and tried again. Once again, the same rider came across and we stayed away for a few laps. When we got caught the second time, the scratch had almost caught our group. When they did, the pace really picked up. A few of them had come straight through the group and where now tapping away on the front, determined to catch the rest of the race. This wasn't too bad, but the strong winds really tested your group riding ability and whether you could swing from one side to the other without knocking someone off. I also took part in a proper racing echelon, a first for me. 

A this point, basically all the Elites and come to the front, making a small group, with the rest of the field trialling behind them, a bit like a comet. Every now and then, there would be a split up ahead, and I took it upon myself to bridge across, often with a strong cross or tail wind. I really was surprised at my ability because this time last year I wouldn't even be able to sustain one attack, never mind two and the occasional bridge. Anyway, the constant attacks from the Elites was too much and a group got away, and once that happened everything splintered. I was in the group maybe 2nd or 3rd we were going hell for leather. We never caught the lead, but we were passing weaker shelled riders all the time that managed to sneak into the break. At the end of the race, our once sizeable group of around 30 rolled across the line containing only five riders. I later learned that at the end of that 2 and a half hour ordeal, only 29 people finished. Not bad for early season work.

Today, I was meant to be racing the national season starter, the Eddie Soens Memorial. Unfortunately, however, I was knocked off my bike on Wednesday by a car driver that was turning right from coming the opposite way. I slammed into him and my racing bike was written off. I also sustained injury to my right shoulder in the form of a torn ligament as well as bruising over my body. I'm off to the trauma clinic on Monday so they can fully assess the damage and recommend an appropriate course of action, not to mention the all important statistic of how long I'm going to be off my bike. 

Well thats all from me for the time being, hopefully I can add another race report here in a couple of weeks time. 

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