With the Tour De France fast approaching on the 5th July here's a great video to explain what it's all about and the history behind the world's most well known bike race.
Racing in the 3rd Cat only race around Winchester Park and Ride car park today for 50 minutes + 3 laps today there was plenty of drama. Within the very first laps team-mate Sam Baker had a puncture around a tight corner bringing him crashing down to the ground hard forcing him to retire from the race. The race went on after 1 neutralised lap and a strong attack from Ben Marks from cycleworks,co.uk went off the front gaining almost 200m. Matt and myself worked to reel this dangerous attack in, however other riders were very reluctant to help out. A few other riders whom also did short efforts on the front also very frustrated with the lack of cooperation. Somehow the attack was brought in but the high chasing pace and surges in pace had split the group.
In the lead group were 9 riders including me, a constant flurry of attacks went off the front and I had a go myself but these gaps were quickly closed down. The top corner claimed a couple more riders to the hard ground, which further contributed to splits in the peloton. With an almost constant presence on the front with other riders refusing to do anything I resigned myself to going at a moderate pace waiting and chasing down the attacks that went trying to lose the other riders in the process.
On the final few laps I was sitting very near the front. A fellow rider pointed out that my cornering was far better than that of another rider active at the front, leaving for an opportunity for me to attack and gain distance in the corners. He admitted afterwards this probably made me a bit overconfident! Here's why- through both corners in the last lap taking a very aggressive line, I caught the pedals on the floor coming out the corner, the first corner made for a bit of a jolt and I carried on.... However the final corner, being the 3rd rider back, I caught the pedal hard on the floor throwing me up vertical on the bike, by some miracle I managed to land it alright, powering on for the sprint finish. Withi this lack of momentum and after doing so much in the duration of the race, not leaving much left in the tank, I managed 5th place. On the bright side this should at least give me some more points towards a 2nd Cat license and this race should help contribute to developing some form.
Chapeau to winner Ben Marks who despite a large attack in the beginning of the race won the bunch sprint.
Photo Credit: Graham Robins
Today was my first race on the open road, and I was really enjoying riding on a rolling course with a good position in the main bunch until lap 4... My chain snapped and I watched as the race rolled away. Neutral service kindly stopped for me but three was nothing to be done so I got to watch the rest of the race from inside the car and they were kind enough to give me a ham sandwich which was appreciated! In the end it was something out of my control. Crit race at Winchester tomorrow- hopefully I'll have better luck...
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