It started off with Wenty and I discussing life, love and everything in between whilst driving slightly over the speed limit to a venue we hadn’t been to before. We made our start, just, arriving at 8.25 for an 8.30 start is good in the sense that your adrenalin is still running on high as we rolled off the line, but, kids don’t do this at home.
The day’s circuit was some 7.7km of which we did 10 laps with two sprint primes thrown in between. There was a bit more wind than last week but the course was relatively sheltered so it didn’t have as much of an impact as it potentially could have.
There were a few big moves going off the front through the first 3rd of the race and some gutter riding which made things hard, but not hard enough to create the elusive split I had hoped would occur.
The first sprint prime was after 4 laps, I went a bit late but managed to get a 3rd as Wentworth (Berge Farrel) took maximum points.
The race settled down a bit over the next few laps with anything potentially dangerous being given no lee way. Some of the vet teams riding with us rode a solid tempo on the front keeping the pace up.
With 3 laps to go the race started getting exciting. Matthew Evans (Berge Farrel) launched a big move down the right hand side of the bunch, there was no response and Evans soon opened his gap up to 45seconds. There was a real lack of a focussed chase with some teams committing a bit and then letting up resulting in the gap opening and closing. Evans stuck it out at the front and it looked like he actually may make it.
On the last lap Peter Wheeler launched a move going away with another rider, they were probably 15 seconds in front of the bunch and 25 behind Evans. With 4km to go there was no sense of any team in the peleton committing to the chase so I followed what looked to be a potentially strong move, the other rider sat up and I carried on going. I reached a bit of a cross roads here as riding 4km solo to the finish in the wind with the bunch breathing down my neck didn’t look particularly promising. Fortunately JP Jacobs (Anderson Transport) came across and I just managed to grab onto his wheel. We combined well together and started closing the gap to the two riders in front of us and held the bunch at bay. We caught them in probably the last 150meteres and as we did Jacobs attacked and I got onto his wheel but couldn’t come around him as he took 2nd and I 3rd.
Sprint for second place.
The ride of the day must surely go to Evans, AKA “Fabian”, who rode the last 3 laps solo to take a good win.
All in all it was a fun criterium and I’m enjoying some road racing at the moment.
All images credit City Cycling Club