17th June – ZipVit Crit @ Curborough 2/3/4 – weather conditions were pretty brutal, 31 degree heat. The race started as normal, fast! The first 20 minutes are always fast in these type of races, massive surges out the corners, the further back you are the more you are going to suffer. As the race unfolded, 3 men managed to slip away, no one wanted to really chase it down. The heat was unreal and trying to get enough fluid down was becoming hard, dry mouth big time.
The last few laps Grant decided to attack and got away for a few laps with a mammoth rider. Unfortunately Grant was caught and swallowed up in the pack. Going into the last lap, it’s all about moving up the pack and getting into the right position for the the last left hander before the sprint. With the podium places already gone, it was about fighting for 4th place. After coming out of the corner 4th wheel my chances were pretty good, unfortunately I left it a little late to start my sprint and lost a couple of places coming in at 9th place. Overall happy to get a couple of points, Grant managed to roll over in 13th – not a bad effort considering his massive attack.
18th June – Mike Jones 2/3/4 RR – After building a bit of confidence the day before, we were looking forward to this race. Although, again the weather forecast was hot it didn’t matter. We had 4 riders in this, myself, Grant, Rich and si. The race was hard from the gun, the course was rolling with a climb up to the finish. The race got harder and harder due to the heat, the same as the previous day, not enough fluid and no one available in the fedstations.
Before we knew it, me and Grant were chatting near the front then out of no where Grant was riding away with 6 others. I immediately sat up, I then got in a heated discussion with a guy because he wasn’t happy I was blocking for my team mate… as these discussions carried on the whole pack had slowed down to nothing and everyone was happy for me to sit on the front. At this point, the breakaway was out of sight…result!
Going into the last lap the break away had been caught. The pack had trimmed right down due to the heat and people simply didn’t have enough fluid to finish the race. Going around the last corner into the climb for the finish, I managed to get myself in a good position on the right hand side of the pack with a nice gap ready to jump for the sprint finish. Then with 1k left some rider came down and brought about 20 others down with him. It was carnage, blokes and bikes everywhere. I had managed to avoid coming down but I was pinned against a hedge. As soon as the crash happened 11 riders had managed to avoid it and sprinted to the line, I jumped back on but only managed 18th place..gutted! After 70 miles of racing that happened 😦
29th June – Malory Park 2/3/4 – only me on this one. It was a Thursday night race, I had been work all day, it is a 100 mile round trip, and to top it off, It had been raining all day. I would be lying if I said I hadn’t considered pulling out but I had a little chat with myself and just maned up💪. When I arrived it was light rain but as soon as it was time to warm up it was pretty much heavy rain…typical! The race started fast but this race was about looking after the watts and getting the much needed points. After seeing a lot of failed attacks I knew this one would more than likely stay together.
After a few crashes it was important to keep your wits about you, the surface was bad in places. The second to last lap came and a couple had managed to getaway, to be honest i thought about trying to jump on but I decided not to as I thought the pack would catch. The last lap and again getting into position is vital. As I managed to move up the pack and get near the front, the guy in front of me started his sprint, it was a bit earlier than what I planned but I just went for it. As I looked back I seen a crowd of angry cyclist trying to get over to me, one managed but the others didn’t, it was the longest sprint ever but I finished in 5th place as the 2 that went stayed out for 1st and 2nd place. Again overall happy to get the points.
July seems to be another busy month, myself and Grant start July in Rhyl on the 1st. We both have quite a few midweek races and some important points are on offer. We take June like we do every month as a lesson learnt, every race is different and all the experience helps us build for seasons ahead.