August 1, 2014

Velopark At The Olympic Park

“An interesting Hillingdon”


This is how somebody recently described the new closed circuit facility around the Olympic Park (right by the velodrome) and they weren’t far wrong!

On Wednesday night I decided to try out this new super smooth surface and to see whether it would have a place in my already pretty full racing schedule.  The appeal (in advance) was the floodlights making me think that I might find myself riding the (dare I say it) occasional “points chaser” late in the season there!!

I’m in the E12 race, being a 2nd Cat, so basically the more Elites and 1st Cats that turn up the more my life would be hell.  I’m also 90 kg so the more the road kicked up the more my life would be hell.  I also turned 41 this year so the younger they were the more my life would be hell.

As it turned out:

– There were enough Elites and 1st Cats there to drive the pace.

– The road kicked up towards the spectator gallery and then again immediately past it.

– A lot of them could’ve been my children

My life was going to be hell.

The race was 1 hour and 5 laps and by all accounts we were lapping every 1 – 2 minutes so that small rise was going to feel like bloody Alpe D’Huez by the end.

It did.

At least we went up it quickly; I’ve been told the average speed was nearly 28 mph!

Yep it was tough from the moment it started to the moment it ended but nobody got away and I didn’t get dropped.  I didn’t have the legs for any heroics though and rolled in at the back of the field.  Still a good first race there in good company.

So what did I think?  Great surface, enthusiastic organisation, a bit dicey each time we lapped the 3/4ths as it’s not that wide or long.  I couldn’t work out if the corners were badly designed or and excellent test;  nearly everyone hit their pedal on the floor at least once….there WILL be crashes…here we go again!

So was it “an interesting Hillingdon?”.  Yes but I’ll take good old flat Hillingdon any day!  What’s more they do Masters’ races at Hillingdon and I’m not getting any younger 😉




Cycle Racing
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