Saturday 9th May 2015
E12 By Andy.
Signing on for an e12, national B comes with an expectation. The guys here know how to ride fast, race hardened winning tactics are second nature to them. On the line there were predictions of who was going to win, foregone conclusions “oh no here comes another even faster guy he’ll probably win”. So the expectation is to get beaten pretty badly (and at best learn something in the process). Maybe only a handful will enter and we’ll get some points by default.
There was a nice atmosphere on the start line most riders knew each other. Barny and I lead most of the first lap side by side resplendent at a comfortable pace for photo opportunities. A little bizarre, it would probably be about another hour and a half before we could talk without gasping for air in between syllables.
Boom! Barny attacks. Some were astounded, someone said ” don’t worry he always does that. Brilliant. The pace picked up a bit. Attacks came, a few got away, then a few more, soon there were 8 to 10 up the road. The gap grew steadily lap after lap with helpful time checks coming from the impartial commissaire 😉
There came a point when the feeling in our chasing group changed. Perhaps intuitively riders knew if we didn’t work together soon all of the points would be up the road. A pace line formed and the reel back started.
After a particularly brutal effort on the home straight by one of the main contenders the gap was reduced to about 15s. Strung out and gassed with 2 laps to go. A short rest and he attacked again, now two riders were bridging. No one was coming through. Without thinking I began to bridge to the Bridger’s into the wind. I thought “if I’m in no mans land here for too long at this late stage my sprint won’t be up to much, but what the hell”.
A group of three might be more likely to bridge the remaining gap. They may have kindly eased off a touch to let me on, maybe not. A few turns each and we’d made it to the lead group, 1/4 lap to go. A short respite before the sprint.
The sprint started early, with the tailwind we were flying. The lead group was blown apart, fast guys to the front. Head down, mash for the line. Just hold on, a quick look around, surprisingly no one was gaining at a position risking pace, head down, keep going. Crossed the line 6th.
Thanks to Barney, Richard, Stephen, Matt, Chris and Susan for the well done’s on the finish line. Not a bad team turnout.