3rd Race for Andy Jackson … and just the 2nd Weekend in March!
I was looking forward to getting back to racing this great event hosted by the A5 Ranges club on a great fun 2 lap course just outside Towcester.
I raced this last year and was pleased with a solid second place behind a flying and in form Matt Bottrill.
This year with no Matt racing I had just one target – the win. There was a small but quality field, with National Circuit Champion Brett Harwood, Team Bottrill’s James Perkins & Gareth Pymm.
The weekend saw great weather and meant for me the perfect warm up with a 24m ride out to the event. I had spent all the previous week constantly tweaking my position after the realisation that last week my saddle had slipped 5cm… that certainly explained my disappointing power numbers! on the way to the race I was up 4mm, down 3mm up 2mm and settled on a slight 2mm change V’s my original set up position and all felt good!
I was off scratch man at 13:15, Brett 13:10 and James 13:05. The course had been adjusted, and upped by 3.6m to 34.4m as the organisers (rightly) took out the narrow cut through of Duncote village and went further down the A45 and via Farthington.
Last year I came in on 1:12 dead for around a 25mph average. I started strong on the first lap and on the first 6m section down the A5 I was able to make good progress on my competition. As we turned onto the hilly and winding back roads I managed to catch Gareth Pymm for 3 mins and aimed to consolidate my position. Knowing my competition had power / weight advantages on the steep hills I settled into a consistent pace over the tops before being able to pick up on the fast run back past the start I was able to log the fastest first lap (and only lap in the 1 & 2 lap races under 40m), The first lap was done in 39:29 and saw me comfortably in the lead.
The second lap continued well, I had a slight slowing down for traffic but nothing major and was able to cross the line in 1:19:26 to give me the win by 1:28 over Brett Harwood in second… and a new Course Record (*ok so the only time its been raced but hey still a record!)
Overall a really pleasing ride, re-finding a strong and aero dynamic position and coming in with an average sped of 25.6mph. It was great to see coach Bob Tobin out to support both myself and Brett his coached riders
Final results showed the win:
Although the best bit for me was the ‘House brick’ award – a collection of two now with my 2nd last year… it may take a while to build a house from but you have to start somewhere!
Again I was very pleased with how all the kit performed, especially the Giant Trinity (Courtesy, Cyclesense Tadcaster), the Revolver Assym wheel, the NoPinz ‘trip suit’ and of course great nutrition from OTE Sports.
3/3 is as good start as any for me and very pleasing….Now onwards to a showdown next week in the Harrogate Nova 24m hilly against Pro-Triathlete Philip Graves – on a run of 4/4… something has to give… we shall see!