08/08/18

Racing Blog update from Development Rider Jack Wylie

Created by Marcus Brueton at 2018-08-08 10:43:35

Racing update from Norwood Paragon Development rider Jack Wylie

Hi guys - for those of you that don’t know me, I’m Jack currently a Cat 2 rider in my second season racing and in my first season as a Paragon rider. I’m a little late in starting the blog this season, so in attempt to keep everyone’s interest I’ll break the season and blogs into three parts.

With this past year my final year at Uni, I decided it was probably best to put the racing on hold from late April to mid June, to focus on my exams and make sure the dreaded 2.2 was avoided. However, while I was home for the Easter break in March and early April I had some wet and wintery early season racing to get stuck into.

Wally Gimber:

Following the cancellation of the early Surrey League races due to the double beast from the east, unintentionally my first race of the season also happened to be both the longest and hardest race I’ve ever done, the Wally Gimber Nat B. Excited to finally get my season under way and test the legs, this excitement was quickly replaced with apprehension after seeing the start list which resembled a who's who of domestic pros, fresh from winter training camps. Either way this made survival the job for the day. Weirdly I actually find these races the most enjoyable, just being sat on the limit all day seeing how long I can survive.

After a frantic start, the day’s break went allowing the race to settle a bit. I spent the day, sat not so comfortably in the peloton trying to save all energy possible, well aware that the race could take off at any minute. In the end I finished towards the back of the main bunch. Not a particularly standout performance, but having been routinely spat from National Bs of lower quality last year, to survive this was definitely a confidence boost and evidence that winter under the new coach had worked. (@astutecoaching - check them out! They've honestly been brilliant, especially tailoring my training during exams)

http://www.norwoodparagon.co.uk/filevault/gallery/images/600px1533724715154.59.142.2360.jpg

Tour of the Marshes:

Following Wally Gimber I had the Tour of the Marshes, another National B, lined up the weekend after. Despite lacking the depth of the week before, the field again was strong, as a result I was keen to really test myself and get up the road. Following the early moves, I was feeling good until around half way, when I hit a huge pothole left by the recent bad weather, giving me a rear flat. A little assistance from the neutral service and I was soon back chasing, trying to claw back the minute and a half gap to the group. I ended up spending a pretty painful half hour on the bumper of the neutral service getting back into the race, setting a new 20 min power PB in the process, so not all bad! However, after eventually rejoining the bunch it was confirmed by the other riders that the rattling that had been coming from my back wheel, that I’d been ignoring in my desperate chase back, was in fact a broken spoke in the wheel I’d just been given - race over. A frustrating end but again lots of confidence gained, giving me belief that I can do more than just get round National Bs.

http://www.norwoodparagon.co.uk/filevault/gallery/images/600px1533724715154.59.142.2361.jpg

To end my small block of Easter racing were some Regional A races, the first of which being a Surrey League at Seale in probably the most miserable conditions I’ve ever ridden in. This was also the first time I raced alongside my Development Teammate George Skinner. The two of us were keen to make any early moves, almost taking it in turns to get up the road or follow attacks. It soon became pretty clear that the race was going out the back rather than off the front as the bunch depleted rapidly. Given the weather this wasn’t massively surprising, as I’ve never seen race ending mechanicals celebrated so much. Nevertheless with hands so cold that changing gear was a challenge let alone opening up a gel, we ploughed on, coming into the last lap with little more than 10 of the 50+ riders left in contention, leaving a depleted bunch kick inevitable. George picked up 3rd with myself in 8th. Not what I was looking for personally but a solid performance nonetheless.

Thanks for reading and hopefully I’ll have more success to report in the next post!

Jack

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