With only 6 days to go until 24hrs of Exposure I felt I needed to test my legs once more. Give them a good work out in race conditions.
Three groups. 4ths, 3rds & Scratch Group containing the Elites, 1st and 2nd cats.
I was off in group 2 as I've dropped down to a 3rd cat. We started off well and I tried to contribute as much as possible so we could try and catch the group ahead that had been given 5 mins (Oh and fend off the group behind that were given 2mins). Bearing in mind I have done this race quite a few times and ridden the course more times than I've had hot dinners I still almost managed to mess it all up. I did a big big turn on the front after the downhill forgetting there was a short steep climb afterwards. My recovery is pretty good at the mo so I knew I could do a big un and slot in say 10 riders back and be fine. The climb almost sent me out the back. doh!
|Rolling along the duel carriageway|
Next thing I know the scratch group come thundering past. Up went the pace. Not too high thank god.
Apparently the scratch group had been really flying from the start. We were very surprised to see them so soon as we were not hanging about.
I tried to stay in the top 15 or so riders as not to miss a break. Of the better riders the Metaltek - Scott boys were obviously going to try something and they did. I was right at where the bunch split. the rider in front of me couldn't quite hack the increase in pace and he left a big gap. I was lucky to be able to nip across the 4 or 5 bike length gap to a group of about 8. We were going at quite a pace. I was just about comfortable with it. I made sure I did my turns well. We were not away that long. Just a few miles I was a bit gutted as I think we could have caught and pasted the 1st group easy with the riders.
On the same point on the 2nd lap where the Scratch group caught us we caught the 1st group. I don't think we took them by surprised as we'd been sat behind them for a while. Anyway we were all one big group on the road now. The Jif lot were down the front messing about and I thought at one point they were serious with a move so I joined them. They sat up. Then I got up to a small break with some quicker riders in it only for that to fall apart after I'd done a few turns. No one seemed to want to get away. Somewhere on the back road two of the quicker juniors got away. I missed the move where they got away. Saw a few other attempts and made sure I was part of them or got them back. Back onto the duel carriageway we had the break at about 10 seconds for quite a while. There was no need to bring them back just yet. As we neared the end of the race I had a small did which killed my legs and sent me back in the bunch. This was a bad move as I was now about 4th wheel. With the small drag to the finish I guess I managed to get past enough riders to roll over the line for around 20th (ish)
The race was won by Dale Appleby of Metaltek - Scott. Bloody good ride concidering it was his 1st ride on the road since breaking his collarbone.
I was very happy with the legs. All felt good. Bring on the next race.
Best thing is I had some tan lines from this race. (My legs couldn't have been whiter at the start)