Two races!

21 Jul

Bletchingley 2/3

Last weekend saw a return to racing after the disappointment of not winning the Tour Of Sussex. It was back to Bletchingley for Dulwich’s 2/3 race. As I am sure you may know, I’ve raced the circuit around 3 times in the last year with varying success. However today was the first time in a year or so that the full circuit has been open, so it had the usual drag finish hill and also a steep 12% job down the bottom of the circuit.

The long and short of this race was that I was going to try and set it up for Gareth as its a finish that didn’t really suit me all that well. I had been to a mates BBQ the night before and got steaming drunk, which I don’t think helped matters!

We rolled round in the blistering heat, a few splits occurring, as much on the fast downhill as anywhere else. One meudon chap managed to get away and won solo, which is a great ride! It got down to the last lap and Gareth said it would be useful if I could string it out and reel in any late breaks – I did just that, 4-5 mins at high pace and I strung the bunch out and reeled in 4 people that tried to get away. Gareth flew off up the hill when I peeled off and bagged 7th. He went a bit early but showed he has good legs for this kind of circuit. Confident next time out he will know how to pace the last hill for a win.

Seale 2/3

Been a hectic week or so. Some good news in that I managed a pb both time and power on our club ten, so was looking in ok shape. I’ve also recently bought a Genesis Flyer single speed for work duties and its great fun. Though dropping people up the hills in the park only for them to fly by you on the downhill as you’re spinning out is irritating! A good week of riding and a good hard threshold workout with Gareth in the park on Friday was just what I needed.

This weekend I was moving house into our first purchase, so to be honest I was feeling a bit guilty racing, but much work was done on the Saturday, so much so I had no time for a pre race spin and my whole body ached this morning after lugging heavy furniture about all day.

Today I was quite keen to get those 16 points needed to get the first cat license in the bag. It was a short circuit at around 4 miles, plenty of corners to sprint from and a couple of hills to split things up a bit. A fairly small 50 man field for today’s race, which was hosted by Wyndymilla. As we arrived the women’s race was just finishing, great news to hear Maryka of KW had done the business in the women’s race to take the win. With 6 of us in the men’s we should have been able to do something.

The race got off to a bad start when a meudon rider hit the deck quite hard in the neutral section, but we were soon underway. My legs felt pretty decent despite the hard labour yesterday. So I was keen to make them count. The first couple of laps were a find your feet situation, and with 14 laps to do it was welcome!

A few laps gone and I was keen to test the water I romped away up one of the hills but was shut down (and kind of gave up as it wasn’t going far) but it did confirm the ‘good sensations’ in the legs. A few more times I tried with various people to get away and the best we did was about half a lap away. At this point Lawrence of AW cycles who has shown he can race at Prem Cal level got away with a GS Avanti rider, I think I was a bit blocked in as I didn’t see it go. They built up a good gap. And at the half way point of the race a around 30 miles they had over a minute on the bunch. Which wasn’t too bothered about chasing unless someone tried to get away that is!

I dropped back and saw Gareth was biding his time at the back, I said that I felt good and that I fancied myself in a sprint up the final hill, he said he would try and get away and let me mop up the rest if so. I said that we could probably both get away if we went hard enough, he agreed and a lap or so later we decided on the point to do so. I followed his wheel as we went up the outside of the bunch. People saw what we were doing but we did it anyway. Gareth went off the front and I came through and kept it quick up to a horrid left hand turn, I was taking the turns faster than Gareth who had been having confidence issues about throwing it into the bend. It wasn’t such an issue though. We went hard up up the hill and were joined by Charlotteville and Dynamo, they sat on until I asked one to come through, which he did, we lost the dynamo, and as we went through the lap board which I think showed 3 or 4 to go I pushed hard and we dropped the other guy too. Just Gareth and I again, which was good as I knew he would commit and his turns would be strong. We quickly established a gap, and every time I looked back I saw nobody, this was good. We we getting shouted time gaps, and with one lap to go my mum said 30 secs to front two and 50 secs to chasers, which was a lap out of date so we were closing fast on Lawrence and co and moving away from the bunch. On the last half of the last lap we got Lawrence in sight, I thought it was going to be perfect and I’d sprint past them to the line, sadly as I hit the last corner and left Gareth as he said he wouldn’t be able to take it as quick and would take the 4th I could see the other two just crossing the line, which was a shame, I rolled over for 3rd with Gareth just behind. And then a fair gap back to our brief break companions and then the bunch.

Over 35 mine we had closed a 2-2.30 gap down to around 8 seconds, which was a hell of an effort, not quite enough for the win but a solid ride I feel. I bagged enough points to get to 1st cat and Gareth took another strong placing after beating pedal heavens finest in a handicap midweek for another victory in a great season for him. He’s fast making a name for himself and if he wanted to u don’t doubt could get join me as another KW 1st cat.

A great way to finish the weekend, only to be brought back down to earth by moving two bengals into the new house, not a good experience for the soft flesh or ears!!

A great season so far, accomplished many goals including winning a race, I’ve won 2 road races and a couple of stages along with a few TT’s I make it around 20 months since that first outing as a 4th cat at Hillingdon to today, learnt a hell of a lot and have got a bit fitter too!

Got a few interesting road races lined up and I might try and free up some time for another shot at the club 10/25 record if I get a good day on the right course – position is better, power is higher so if I can get the right day I should be able to get close to the high benchmark Steve has set this year.

As such with the new house I’ve not got Internet just yet so Strava will have to wait for a day or so 😦

2 Responses to “Two races!”

  1. Outofpuff July 23, 2013 at 11:23 pm #

    Congratulations on your 1st cat licence Rob. I started reading your reports from the early days and knew 1st cat wouldn’t be far away and it hasn’t been.

    I have continued to enjoy your well written reports and look forward to your 1st act races.

    • sharland123 July 24, 2013 at 2:48 pm #


      Got a tough winter ahead I suspect, will have to get a bit serious about the training etc or lose 10kg but doubt that will happen. Hoping to do more tt and some track next year too.

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