I arrived on the start line near the back (unluckily) after a few warm up laps on the circuit. It took me a few laps to reach the front of the bunch, but I managed to stay well up there for the remainder of the race to reduce the efforts I would have to make to out of the bends and corners as the peloton stretches like an elastic band as those at the back have to work harder out of the bends in order to stay in contact, due to slowing down more before each bend.
There was a strong headwind/crosswind finish coming in from the left meaning the peloton swung over to the right hand side of the circuit a lot as riders attempt to minimize shelter for their competitors. Aren't we racing cyclists a cruel tactical bunch ey?!
Many breakaway attempts went off the front throughout the race but none to any avail. They rarely made it further than 100m and were soon reeled in by a keen junior duo from Catford CC and others.
I remained in the front of the peloton and then came the 5 laps to go board after an hour of racing. The accelerations grew harder as more breakaway attempts went off. Come a couple of laps to go the peloton was all together with one rider around 100m off the front. As the 1 lap to go board went up a hard crash went down behind and to the right of time, I can only hope all involved were alright and have a swift recovery...
Into the last lap as the peloton slowed down over the lump before the finishing straight I took my chances and launched an attack towards the finish. I was making good ground on the lone rider up the road and thought I might have a chance at catching him. Only... at 100-200m towards the finish I was swarmed by a mass of riders. One rider clipped his rear wheel with my front wheel as he came past causing it to have a buckle, which comes as an annoying little grievance however I finished safely.
But overall I had a good time racing and have learnt something for next time. I can only be satisfied with my performance today as I do generally do better in breakaways, but today unfortunately wasn't the day for them. At least I gave it a shot!