Andy Morrison Memorial RR

7 May

After a recent spate of elite races I was keen to come back to a 2/3 level of race and see if the beating I’d given myself in the likes of the Les Ingman had made a difference. In training rides etc I think it had. I think however I may have overdone it a bit during the week, not on volume as such, but just commuting each day seemed to have left me with dead legs by Friday, which the constant pulling away from lights (not to mention my commuter is stuck in the big ring and 20t – not ideal, must fix that!) and having the day book ended means that it does catch up with you. So actually on Saturday morning after trekking up to Cranfield I didn’t feel great. Still, I thought to myself that I’d felt worse than this before and pulled out a result, so what the hell.

Now when I signed up for this race I thought it was a regular road race, albeit a short one at 40 odd miles. However what it turned out to be was almost a crit, round a 2 or so mile circuit, that had a bit of everything, downhill, cross wind section, and a very fast uphill with a stonking tailwind. We got told that lapped riders would be taken out, which was at least a sensible way of going about it on such a short circuit which was going to be fairly selective.

Over the first couple of laps I tried to get near the front, various people were pinging off the front, I tried to join a couple of moves that got brought back, it seemed hard to get away, and really the best chance of doing so was up the hill, but it was clear that I didn’t have the legs to go full on and then nail it into the crosswind section, which is what it took to get the gap you needed. A few riders had got up the road, I had a chat with a mate and we said we would try something soon to see if we could get over, but I had a feeling he was going much better than me. It was about at this point that a young lad from Arbis started drilling it on the front, I was 3rd wheel behind a big bloke and I was doing 500 watts, this lad was hammering it, I couldn’t believe it, it smashed the group to bits behind, and actually briefly we managed to get get a gap without even realizing But it was all brought back, with 5 laps to go there were a couple of established groups up the road, and I was just wanting to go home, it had also started to rain. With 3 to go Ed came by and called me onto his wheel, we got away for a bit but through the crosswind section it wasn’t happening.

So with two laps to go it was just going to be a normal run in, I was just going to roll in, but I didn’t know how many were up the road, so thought I’d give it a sprint just in case, before I go on I will say that the road was perfectly wide enough, and it was safe to sprint, I do not advocate sprinting for the minor places in most occasions, but this was a smallish bunch now and I had a clear run, we approached the line and I thought people were leaving it a bit late so I just went on the outside and ‘won’ the bunch kick by a few bike lengths, which at least offers some comfort that I can still sprint. Shame it wasn’t from the right group! Ironically my legs felt FAR better the next day after getting a proper nights kip, now I’m improving more slowly the little things are becoming more apparent, things like sleep – I must be getting old!! Results not out yet, but I suppose I’d be in top 20 somewhere, not really worth shouting about, hence its taken me 3 days to muster some enthusiasm to talk about it!

However, a stage race in the Tour of Milburys this Saturday has me excited, not least because it has a 4 mile prologue to set the GC, but also because its down where I used to live and also I have a strong teammate coming with me too, should be fun. Then we’re doing a Surrey League 2/3 on the Sunday, so a GOOD night sleep Sat and I should be ready to go again on Sunday. Its only early season but I still worry about my results drying up despite my numbers being better!

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