London Dynamo Summer RR E12

29 Jul

Today was the annual London Dynamo Summer Road Race – its an e123 race that is run on a different course each year (from what I can tell?). This year they decided on my favorite…The Milland Hill Course, if you look back you can see I’ve raced two or 3 times on this circuit now. The long and short of this one is that its fairly flat for most of the 7.2 mile circuit, but there is a short, very steep (25% peak) hill running up to the finish, followed by a bit of a drag. Because the circuit is quite short we were to do the climb 10 times, to make a race distance of around 75 miles. Its not a circuit that suits me all that much really, the hill is so steep that it doesn’t favor my usual approach of brute power to get my up it faster than others, as power/weight is key up here, and also traction is an issue, the more you stamp the pedals the more likely you are to get wheel slip. So I wanted to just ride hard and stick with the main guys and see what happened.

There were a few teams that had numbers, Felt, Pedalheaven namely, but Dynamo had 4 or so too, so it was always going to be an interesting one to see who marked who, and how PH with 9 guys played their hand. Being a lone rider in these situations is sometimes good as you can just go with the moves you think look good. We got started and right away the pace was high as per usual. The first time up the hill was actually perhaps one of the worst; the previous night had seen heavy rain and some of the circuit is very covered by trees and this meant that much of the circuit was damp making the hill almost impossible. As soon as you started to get out of the saddle wheels were slipping everywhere, this meant that it had to be done seated, which is no easy feat. But I was pleased to get up it in fairly good shape.

On the second lap Chris McNamara and a felt rider got away, which saw the rest of the PH guys mark most of the subsequent moves for the ext few laps. It was clear that the hill was putting people in trouble, and every time up it people would get gaped, and then up the drag onto the main road wheels would be lost and that would be that. I will have to check the results when they come out, but I would say certainly 5-10 people were getting dropped per lap. I followed the wheels and tried to get into a few moves, but nothing much was doing, and with a lap or so to go I was starting to really feel the hill. Into the last lap a few people slipped away, I was in no position to be going with that move so tried to make sure going up the hill the last time I was near the front, which I was, but as soon as it started ramping up and people started romping away it was clear my legs were not going to allow that, so I kept going the best I could and had my own tussle with Martin Smith of AW cycles for 20th or so place haha!

Pedal Heaven won with Dante, and also placed 2nd (possibly Chris?) so a successful day out for those guys, later some people felt they strangled the race with numbers, which I suppose is one way of looking at it, but if the races at this level allow teams to enter 8-9 guys then that is what they will do, they made it work, I’ve seen other clubs with those kinds of numbers in races and they have failed to get anyone in the top ten in some cases! So its not a given.

Will check the results when they come out, but I would estimate that maybe a 3rd of the field finished, lots of good riders didn’t make it round, so I was pleased that I had the legs to get round without ever REALLY being in trouble, and it bodes well for a slightly more suitable circuit, of which I think there are a couple I’ve got in the diary.

Just over 3 hours with a NP of 340w paints the picture and goes some way to explaining why my legs ached a bit on the single speed into work today!

Ride here – http://app.strava.com/activities/70415171

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