Inside 5 weeks till U23 National Championships now, which means I am on big training volume, in preparation to taper 2 weeks out. That means high volume and plenty of races.
Wednesday – Eagle Crits Rd 4 E1234 – 1st
Sprint after 5hrs: 11seconds | peak 1346watts | avg 1083watts | 190bpm | 101rpm
Part of my training for the National Road Race involves plenty of big rides, 4+ hours most days. Today was no different. So I set out, 4 hours in the saddle before my local midweek crit. I already felt pretty shelled out when arriving, but nothing a can of coke and a chocolate bar couldn’t fix!
The crit started out pretty hard. We established a 4 man breakaway before 10 minutes had passed. I wasn’t looking overly forward to another 50 minutes off the front after what I had already done, but all the strong legs of the group were in the move, with 2 more coming over after 20 minutes, so it was sticking.
Through and off it was for the remainder of the race, few attacks, nothing major until 3 laps to go. Lloyd (Catford Banks) launched himself off the front and quickly established a gap. It took some huge turns from me, Titch (VC Baracchi) and Josh (Pedal Power Cycles RT), but we brought him back with just a lap to go. So it came down to a sprint. Leaving it late I popped out from 3rd wheel and got my head down and for the 3rd time out of 4 in the series I got my arms in the air.
Saturday – SDCC Woodbridge Crits E12 – 3rd
Establishing a breakaway: 1min 18secs | avg 565watts | 181bpm
With quite a small field, it was clear it would be a hard race. A strong team from Richardson’s Trek, the race set of fast and a small group of 4 quickly established off the front. Me, 2 Richardson’s lads and 1 Catford. A drop of wheels into the strong headwind and that was it, the two Richardson riders were away, I was left stranded in the gap and the Catford rider blew his doors. And that was pretty much the race. The two leaders always opening a gap, me maintaining my gap on the peloton behind to roughly 1 minute. And hour later and that was it. At least I was the only rider not to get lapped, and I managed to lap the field! My first podium in a Nat B, 17 points closer to Cat 1.
I was slightly disappointed in the prize money however. £10 for 3rd place. I paid £20, plus a non-refundable £5 for the transponder to be in the race and I finish on the podium and don’t get my money back? Great way to promote cycling to young riders!
Sunday – Glendene Summer Classic E12 – 10th
First 30mins of racing: avg 44.7kmh | avg 283watts | 164bpm
Final 1.5km: 1min 58secs | peak 1314watts | avg 457watts | 177bpm | 92rpm
Well this was one eventful race! Not a great deal happened for a large portion of the race, there was an early breakaway of 2 riders, then a winning break of 2 riders. Sadly I didn’t manage to get in either, Despite trying to get over. But at roughly 120km, with 1 lap to go, the drama started.
Some twatwaffe anti-cycling moron took it upon himself to totally ruin a bike race. After trying to drive his car into the peloton and pulling a 3 point turn between the break and the peloton, he started throwing tacks onto the course. Causing a large amount of punctures in the group on the penultimate lap. This caused the comms to get the race 1 lap short. Annoyingly, that is a message that isn’t easy to communicate to a speeding bunch. Annoyingly I found out about 1.5km from the flag. Which was just after drama two. An agitated horse trying to launch its rider at the sight of the bunch. I don’t know what was worse; The shouting to slow down, or the riders who weren’t slowing down. Either way, I was at the back, right at the back. Getting ready for the last lap that never came about. So I had 1.5km, to go from the back of a strung out peloton to a position to compete in the sprint. Riding up the outside, in the wind towards the bunched up front of the peloton. Unfortunately, in the drama, a few riders had managed to sneak off the front. But I managed to find a few gaps and came around the final corner and opened my sprint. Making up as much ground as I could, I managed 8th in the sprint to take 10th overall. I guess I will take that after the confusion!
Monday – Stowmarket 16km TT – 5th
Out leg: 10min 12sec | avg 367watts | 171bpm
Return leg: 8min 15sec | avg 389watts | 176bpm
A crazy early start! I was off at 7:50. It was not pleasant! After 2 pretty huge weeks of training, I was surprised I managed to equal my PB power. I’d like to think that means once I am fresh, I could up that power a fair bit. Unfortunately I think I used that power quite badly. I rode a traditional negative split. With a headwind out, it would have been faster to ride harder out and easier with the tailwind back. But I rode how I did, it may have cost me time, but I equalled the course record. So I was happy. Until I found out that was only good enough for 5th place. I would have liked to be much higher than that, but at the end of a tough weekend, I can’t be too disheartened!