14/09/18

Racing Update #2 from Development Rider Jack Wyllie

Created by Marcus Brueton at 2018-09-14 13:05:58

With Uni out of the way and the 2.1 bagged, I got myself straight back into the routine of racing the Thursday handicap series and a road race each weekend.

Eager to get back to it after exams, my return to racing didn’t quite go to plan with back to back crashes at Cyclopark and then the Crawley Wheelers Nat B, luckily no damage done to myself or the bike. Thankfully the saying that “crashes come in threes” didn’t follow as I managed to stay upright and get myself round the next race unscathed.

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Mid-Week Handicap Series

The mid-week handicap races have been slightly different for me this season, predominantly set off in the scratch group, unlike last year where I often benefited from being placed in the first couple of groups with a hefty time gap. Whilst this has meant the chances of soloing to victory have been slim, the racing this year has been a lot of fun. With the emphasis being more on getting a decent workout in order to benefit the weekend road races, I’ve tried to be aggressive and make moves rather than sit in and take the points where I can in the bunch sprint. Consequently, my best results in the handicaps this season have come from breakaways, with 5th at the Laughton and Newdigate Surrey League handicaps and then at the Goodwood Tour of Sussex support race handicap. Whilst not the biggest races in the world, getting into these moves certainly gives me confidence that everything is moving in the right direction both tactically and in terms of strength as a rider. It would have been great to finish off one of these races and get a win, however each time I’ve learnt a little more which I will be taking on for the rest of the season.

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Road Racing:

Regional A road racing this season has followed a pretty similar, albeit slightly frustrating pattern. This was probably most evident at the Duncan Murray Wines Road Race. I had intended to race the London Dynamo Nat B at Milland Hill on that weekend, but with my Grad Ball in Loughborough on the Friday night, I decided it probably wasn’t the best prep for arguably the hardest race of the season, so instead I stayed up north for an extra night and raced the Duncan Murray. Hacking round 11 laps of Milland and it’s 25% berg will just have to wait until next year.

Keen to get in the early break I followed the moves of the stronger riders, eventually getting away just before half way, with riders from Spirit Tifosi, Morvelo Basso and a few others. With the group working well, I was convinced this one was going to stick. However just at the bottom of the drag up to the finish, we were brought back (fair play whoever did that!!), it was at this point attacks came, going straight over the top of us and forming the winning break. With 6 or 7 guys up the road I rolled in with the bunch, again not what I was hoping for but a fun race regardless. Although I am significantly stronger than I was last year and am reading races much better, so far I don’t feel the results quite reflect this.

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Regionals:

From the start of the season, the South East Regional Champs have been a bit of a target for me, with a top 20 (improving on 30th last year) I felt not an unrealistic aim, especially as I seem to go better in these attritional races.

Unsurprisingly a very strong field turned out to tackle the testing Lingfield circuit, making getting in the early move and still being there at the finish a fairly unrealistic ambition. Having already raced on the Lingfield course earlier in the season and paid the price of going very hard early on, I was conscious of saving as much energy as possible in the first half, although this didn’t stop the occasional rush of blood to the head and attempt to follow promising moves.

As the main break containing the majority of the expected names eventually slipped away, I was expecting the race to calm a little, however at halfway there was a significant split, breaking the remainder of the field in two. Initially the wrong side, I managed to see what was happening just in time and was one of the last riders to get across. With another group having broken off, we came into the last lap with myself in what remained of the peloton. It was at this point I was able to get into a strong group of four with two riders from Richardson Trek and Vitus joining us soon after, escaping what remained of the very depleted bunch. With my legs screaming in agony for the entirety of the last lap, I came to the finish in 21st, slightly misjudging my sprint to the line and getting rolled in the final few metres. Whilst gutted to miss a top 20 and my first National point, I will take 21st, hopefully something I can improve upon next year.

With a little trip to Belgium coming up and racing well into October, there is still plenty of racing left this season and I am optimistic that there are good results to come. As always, big thanks to Norwood Paragon for their continued support!

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