Saturday was my targeted opening race, 4th cat only at Hillingdon, manageable stuff, but the optimism of knowing I should be able to do well in these races now did actually create a bit of pressure,
Luckily I laugh in the face of pressure,
I have trained all winter with the PB race team..!!!! ????
My preparation for the race was about as bad as I could of made it, after an intense block of training I felt exhausted, after arranging a date the night before which was actually so bad I had to drink gin to alleviate just how incredibly annoying she was,all in all I was shattered and in no mood to race, but then I reminded myself that I trained in the cold and wet all winter so I could race…!! Shower, kit and I’m on my way.
falling asleep on the motorway I had a pro plus to liven me up, arrived at Hillingdon an hour earlier than normal, so stuck the heater on and had a quick half hour snooze in the van, I woke up with guys on turbos and rising up and down warming up, I remember thinking I bet they are well worried about the guy asleep in his van being a danger in the race.!! Lol
So I warmed up, was to cold to get the turbo set up so did it out in the road, 20 mins then 15 on the circuit,
Lined up in a field of 30, at the front as always, away we went and it settled fairly quickly, I was really comfortable following the wheels and staying in the front 10,
My plan was to see how I felt then try and get away with a few laps to go and avoid the carnage of a 4th cat sprint, lots of attempts were made up get away, watch them all with not any real worries, then 1 went in his own, again i didn’t see him staying away, but then 3 other slipped off the front, so I waited until it went up the little rise out of the hairpin and attacked from around 3rd place, only one guy could come with me, I gave it all I had to jump across to the group of 3, and as we did they all crumbled, two of us continued for a lap but wasn’t getting anywhere, picked up the other lone rider and it was all together, 1 guy slipped away and a lap later another and it stuck so left the bunch sprint for 3rd, even though I hadn’t wanted to sprint I was feeling really comfortable so followed the wheels in around 15th into the finish straight got a safe line and passed a few to finish 8th and 10th overall.
Was really happy with my race, mainly due to my power and fitness being more than enough to give me a day in this kind of company, guys were coming up to me on the warm down saying how strong is rode, and in fairness I did, it was a great day.
all this is testament to you guys pushing me on our team rides and mr paul butler pushing me every other time I get on my bike..!!
You have my utmost respect and appreciation.
Ps, in the clubhouse afterwards one of the guys in the race commented on how wicked our kit looked, his mate agreed, as did I..;)
Paul: The photo is the old kit, the new kit is way more awesome – you’ll be seeing the back of it a lot this season.