Cutmill 3rds

13 May

Initially I was really looking forward to this as it seemed the course would be OK for me (still not a flat finish (are any of the SL races?) but not too bad and plenty of fast downhills. However it quickly became something I was dreading due to an odd series of events. A work five a side tournament had been put in on the Friday, and for various reasons, it wasn’t something I could duck out of. Added to that given we got to the semi’s and lost to a dominant Sony Music team we went out to celebrate…I didn’t sleep that night and was at Dalston Junction at 5.45 am waiting for a train home. Needless to say I was buggered yesterday. To top it off my partner was having a girls dinner party so I had to leave the house and wasn’t allowed back till they’d gone…Bed at 2am then.

So woke up this morning, and I must say, I’ve felt better, legs battered from 6 games of football, and tired as hell. Still it was a lovely day, what did I have to lose?

We lined up, and there was a good contingent from KW there today, 6 of us I think. And each of those 6 had the legs to win it I would say. We got going and I felt it straight away, we got onto the long drag which the finish line is in the middle of and my HR was through the roof, so much so that I got gapped the first time up it and spent a lot of the first lap right near the back. Second time round it was slightly better, and I could tell my body was just waking up, this time Damien went off the front on the climb with a couple of other guys to form the first and only break of the race.

A few laps passed and I was starting to feel a bit better, my back was aching a touch by 30-40 miles, must get that sorted. In the second to last lap, we went round the worst corner on the course, a pothole ridden gravel covered corner, I stupidly didn’t knock it into the small ring quick enough, and the result of my faffing with the shifters was that I dropped my chain right at the beginning of a climb that went into the fast downhill section. Brilliant. I thought I’d snapped it to be honest, anyway, I got the chain on, took me a bit more time than I’d have liked though, 35 secs according to my race file!!! I chased hard, a motorbike waited for me, I was hoping he was going to let me draft, but he didn’t, he stayed about 20 ft in front of me the whole time. Luckily it was the fast down section that was coming, and I’d sen the whole race that I go downhill quicker than nearly anyone, without really trying (combo of the bike, my weight, and what not) so I managed to catch back on to the group quite fast. I went straight up the outside of the bunch and got back into the top 15 riders.

Bell lap came and the break which was still only a couple of riders as I don’t think anyone bridged were within sight at times, but they did a great job of eeeking out every last bit of effort and we didn’t catch them till the very end as it happens! We came down the first fast sections, through the horrid corner. The pace was higher, but I was comfortable, if not a little bit achey. We came onto another corner which was a bit dicey, I was on the left about 10 back. All of a sudden I see the group move over, and then the clatter of bikes as a few blokes go down (more on this later)…

I was in a great position coming down the last of the hills into the wet little flooded lane (wish I had bought my glasses!!) however the corner there was also a bit tough to take, and someone cut me up and I lost my top 10 position, and got shoved back into the upper teens probably. We drove hard through the little lane, and approached the final climb, I actually now felt ok, and was ready. I hit the slope in probably 10th wheel or so, followed a Dynamo who’d been going well, so I was happy with my position. As I drove on and the pace went up, lots of people went backwards, at this point I think the eventual top 3 made their move, I wanted to go with it, but sadly said Dynamo wasn’t quite as quick up the slope as I wanted to be, so after I’d gone round him and coming to the crest I was5th or 6th and I kept digging, onto the short flat before the line and I shifted down the block and got back on the pace, I was nowhere near the front lot now, but had a few bikes over the people behind from the looks of it. So I came in either 5th or 6th depending who you ask, I’ll know later. Robin came 3rd, and Stephen won it! Funny as he had said “stick in there Rob, this finish will suit you well” he was right, but I couldn’t get there today.

That crash sadly bought down a clubmate (Ed) and his bike was fucked, its hard to think of a better way to describe it. The top tube was mangled and snapped totally in two places (s works SL3 frame), he later came by and his arm and shoulder were not in great shape. But for a law type, he’s pretty tough (cake is for pussies apparently) so he shrugged the cuts off, but was probably a little upset about his bike 😦

So in summary, I was in hindsight happy with the result despite conditions of my body, and a rather hilly course (for a fat knacker like me), avg speed was 22.5 mph, and top speed of 47 mph or so. I’m also now officially a Category 2 racer! Which was pleasing. So onwards, now to get my head kicked in my people with a lot more talent than me 🙂

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