Central Region Circuit Race Championships
This was a last minute entry which was only possible due to the magic of social media - Twitter -where I saw places were still available, after being unable to travel up to Northumberland for the Curlew Cup.
The race took place at the Hillingdon circuit, the conditions were good and the race began before I had even got on the bike. As I approached the circuit I could see a friendly face (Alicia Speake of CC London) whom I spoke to after the SE regional champs and we began chatting and catching up, signing on and then got prepared for the race (rollers, turbos etc.) as race time was dawning another rider had just arrived and asked “Is there a full field?” to which we both responded “yes, and with you more” she then replied “perfect, I can get points even when I finish last”. At the time I assumed she wasn’t here to win and/or she didn’t felt overly confident, I then went back to the sign-on sheet just to see the final list and to see if I recognised any other riders and who to look out for. It was then I noticed that the new rider was a cat 1 rider who rides for Neon Velo, alarm bells rang and I knew she was the one to watch and she was bluffing/playing mind games.
As the actual race started I wanted the race to be fast and I didn’t want anyone to sit in who couldn’t keep the pace so I was at the front putting a bit of effort to whittle out any weaker riders immediately. The first lap wasn’t too pacey and I had drifted back to the field but not too far to keep an eye out for any attacks, one attack went following the first lap out of the finishing straight and dropped a few riders. The second attack was the one that really broke the field which, surprise, surprise, was undertaken by the Neon Velo rider (Annabel)on the slight gradient where I had to manoeuvre round a few riders and inject some pace to catch her and another rider (Laura, Les Filles). I also had two riders, Alicia, on my wheel and Tracy (Les Filles) on hers.
We caught the riders ahead and were now a 5 man break away which worked well and stayed away for the entirety, keeping the pace high and increasing the gap with every pedal stroke. The time-check passed 1min 20s and the board now, to much humour, just displayed ‘Big Gap’ and we were able to view the field in front.
The race was between four of us (Annabel, Laura, Alicia and myself). Tracy was just about hanging on to the back wheel and I knew she wasn’t a threat in the sprint and I was happy for her to do so, the pace was high and she wasn’t causing any problems. As the penultimate lap drew in I overheard Annabel say to another rider “Don’t worry I’m not a sprinter”, instantly I thought ‘she’s a sprinter, she’s not here to come away empty-handed and not contest this race’.
As we were still all doing our turns it was then my turn coming into the final lap and I gave the signal to the next rider to come through which they refused. I thought ahead to the course and planned when I would swing off and get off the front, that point arose at the tight left hand corner where I took it wide and right and gave the other three no choice but to take the inside line allowing me to get a wheel. This would, however, mean that I was on the inside for the final right hand turn before the finishing straight but I was aggressive enough to not be boxed in and waited for the sprint to begin, which never really began so I decided to make the first move and I overtook the wheel in front accelerated and was able to keep ahead of the group and cross the line in first place. Laura Greenhalgh from Les Filles in 2nd, Annabel Fisher of NeonVelo in 3rd, Alicia Speake of CC London in 4th and Tracy Corbett of Les Filles in 5th.
This was a terrific race that I was able to enjoy and gain a great result for Norwood Paragon and myself.
I will be back wearing the Paragon colours this Saturday (25.06.16) to take part in the Great Cressingham Road Race where I hope to put in a good performance. I want to thank the Paragon for their kind words and constant support, and I hope to see you all again soon.
No report attached