Well here it is, the start of the season. I’ve certainly missed those pre race nerves, that smell of burning rubber, and carbon wheels screeching round hairpins.
Today’s race was an E/1/2/3/4; which means anyone with a racing licence can race. We get set off in groups depending on what category you are in.
The first group set off. Then 3 mins till the next group then 3 mins till my group set off. I was with the E/1/2 group.
Coming back to racing is always a shock to the system. Nothing quite compares to it. Training gets you the fitness but that’s only half the battle.
Being a junior rider (under 18) I am on restricted gearing with a gear of 52-14. So basically we set off sprinted, I put it in that gear and left it there the whole race. Makes it a bit more of a workout I reckon, but at least I didn’t have to worry about changing gear.
We weren’t hanging about from the off. I was told the past week our group never caught the groups ahead so the pace was high straight away. Everyone pretty much worked together in a chaingang for the most of the race. Very few attacks as it was such a fast pace. In the end we averaged just under 46 kph for the 30 odd miles it was.
We did eventually catch the groups ahead with about 6 miles, which was around 3 laps, to go. This made the bunch huge easily over 100 riders. To make things worse because we caught them we were all right at the back. I then spent those last few miles trying to get closer to the front. As things do, everyone got a bit anxious and things were getting sketchy round the bends. I stayed out of trouble and made it to about top 25 ish coming into the final finish.
The wind had picked up slightly and unfortunately it was a tailwind finish. I started my sprint early and just tried to hold position but I ran out of gears and watched others come past me in the last meters. I just about managed a top 10 I believe. So I see it as a good start to the season with lots of promise for the upcoming races.
It’s come to the time of year where the training pays off and I hope to be writing more of these but replacing the “top 10” with “top 3” and “top 1” very soon.