Thursday, 17 April 2014

Back To It

A serious lack of motivation has been the main cause for not updating this blog. Inbetween cycling, racing, travelling, moving, studying and romancing I haven't had much time to do anything else. However, I feel my absence from this blog has stretched to an annoying period of time. I occasionaly visit it to look at how I've progressed since my junior days and think it's about time I gave it a spring clean and updated the wallpaper.

I'll start from where I left off last year.

The Rutland Classic ended in disaster. I was yo-yoing in the peleton, moving my way up to the top 10 to dangling at the back again and again, like a broken record. There were 150 riders in this race and compared to my usual field of sixty to seventy I was in serious intimidation territory. For the first part of the race, fitness wasnt too much a problem. I was capable of staying near the front but the chimp kept escaping from its cage, causing me to feather the brakes and slip into the embrace of the bunch. This race ended for me when I was caught up in a crash at around 45km in. I didn't come off but was held up by a crash which caused riders behind me to plough into the back of my bike. A puncture, broken spoke and a minute wait for a spare wheel put an end to my chances of at least making it to the first off-road section. Even my team managers attempts to tow me back behind the team car at close to 45mph at times didn't have much effect. The bunch was winding up for the first intermediate sprint so as I increased my speed, the peleton to no doubt was upping the ante. Not a great introduction to my first UCI race but I enjoyed it whilst it lasted.

Racing at York Sport
Continuing on, during the rest of the year I won an E/1//2/3/4 on the Saxton course from a downhill sprint. Difficult as I started this sprint from over 300 metres out, and on 52/11 gears! Somehow I managed to hold it to the line, my first win!
I won a further 5 races on the new York Sport circuit, in a variety of elite of second cat races. In the races I lapped the bunch.

Win at York in a 2/3/4.

Sprinting for 3rd in an E/1/2.

One-two with team mate Billy.

Win at York. The 'fishing rod'.

The sweeping hair pin bend at York is perfect for my small frame and aggressive position.

Tour Series team.

Half way through the season Dirtwheels snagged a guest spot in the Redditch round of the Tour Series.This was my second appearence on the national stage and was slightly more succesful than my Rutland adventure. I hung onto the very elite group on a hilly course for 35 minutes. Yo-yoing off the back. Getting dropped on the hill but getting back on the corners. I eventually got dropped and lapped by the break, in the process cheekily coupling onto the back of the trio, in full view of the TV cameras.

In action at the Tour Series.

In August I spent two weeks traversing various Cols around Lake Annecy in the French Alps. The weather was great, I got a tan, ate amazing food, all in the pleasant company of the King family who put up with my antics for the entire fortnight. Cols of note I climbed during my time included the Madeleine (2000m), Semnoz (1699m), Forclaz (1157m), L'Arpettaz (1581m), L'Epine (987m), Colombière (1613m) and many more.

Top of the Semoz.

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