Well this is a B I G one!
Major goal for the year ticked off: Cat 1 achieved! Along with something I didn’t expect for quite some time…my first National Title! Here’s how it went…
Wednesday – Eagle Crits Rd 6 E1234 – 1st
Winning the Bunch Kick: 10secs | 1340watts | peak 1403watts | 190bpm
I’d been at work all day, so heading straight to RAF Woodbridge with not the freshest legs for the evening crit. It was quite clear in my head, a win meant cat 1. No pressure.
The race was hard from the gun, with lots of attacks and lots of chasing. The group being dominated by Pedal Power Cycles jerseys was always going to make it hard. Their sheer numbers were impossible to crack. But with other strong legs in the group, It was hard to establish a breakaway, as there was always someone to chase.
Nothing was sticking for more than a lap. Which meant it would be coming down to a bunch kick. Not bad, but never ideal. I managed to nap 2nd wheel, interrupting the Pedal Power lead out, but putting me in the perfect position to launch my sprint. The finishing straight was into the wind, and stupidly I launched my sprint way too early. But at least it got me a new 10sec PB power, and a 1st cat! So can’t really complain!
Sunday – RTTC National Circuit TT Championships 32km – 4th Overall – 1st U23
So here it is. National Championships 1 of 4 over the next 3 weeks. 1 week of taper down and firing on all cylinders! Thanks to Matt (Creator of the 4 Man Chopper – check it out) for the pre race rub down, it certainly helped after a week on the Shiv! After catching the Nocturne on Eurosport and wishing I was there, it was off to bed for an early start.
All packed and ready to leave, we headed for Cranfield. Greeted by the friendly faces of Gareth and Simon, the team physio and manager. I went through my usual pre race routines and then rolled to the start. I had heavily studied the routine, so I knew the first rolling but mostly downhill stretch would be a tailwind. Nice and easy to get upto and hold a high speed. Next was a big left hand turn onto a wide open main road, heading south-west, straight into the gales. I knew this was the time to go hard, it was where the time would be made up. When I made it to the turn off the main road, turning back on myself and regaining the tailwind. The road became more twisting, heading through a few villages and ending with a long drag and then a sharp left back to the start/finish. We went round this loop twice, for a total of just over 30km.
Second time along the headwind section I tried to up the pace again, and then when I turned back into the tailwind I tried to up it again rather than trying to recover. Upping the pace every kilometer I got closer to the finish. By the last corner, with 200 metres to go I was on my knees, but I knew it was just one big effort to the line!
Rolled back to the HQ and Simon told me I was in provisional 5th place and top U23. This was great news! The second place rider, Hamish Bond (Aerocoach) not being a UK citizen made him ineligible to any prizes, which bumped me up to 4th, and maintaining the U23 title!
Big congratulations to Dan Bigham for yet another National Title!
Thanks as always to all the sponsors that make this possible (check them out below), my coach Mark Walker and my Dad for putting up with my expensive and rollercoaster ride of trying to make it as a pro cyclist…