KW Club Champs

7 Oct
Today was probably the last race or ‘event’ of the season, and as such I’d had a pretty easy week leading up to it to be as fresh as possible. It was the KW club race open only to first claim members. Which to my surprise brought over 50 people in to race across two races, one being a 4th cat only beginners race, which was to be 40 mins and then an e1234 open to all (though 4th cats who had raced before were made to enter this rather than have it easy in the other race) which was to be run in a handicap format. The races were being held at Hillingdon circuit running clockwise, so while it was a circuit I knew well, I had not actually raced it that way round before.

We rode up in a fairly big group in what was unseasonably fantastic weather, got up there with plenty of time to spare in order to watch the first race, have a quick warm up and do the main race. It was looking like it would be a fairly small scratch group, but actually when it came down to it there were 6 or 7 of us that were to be set off last chasing two groups in front who had up to 1.30 on us I think. It wasn’t ever going to be easy but I had little doubts it wasn’t going to come together at some point.

As our group was due to start disaster struck when I went to clip in, missed it and I slipped onto the top tube as the chain had become wedged between the frame and small ring, I had to get off, manually put the chain back on and watch as my group were heading off down the road, by the time I got back on they had already gone round the first corner, so they already had maybe 20-25 seconds on me. I chased hard thinking I may be able to catch them, for the first ten minutes I was gaining on them, and had it not been for the headwind long straight I’d have caught them, but each time I got close they took 25m back on the straight as they obviously shared the work. When it was clear I wasn’t going to catch them, I pulled in having given it my best effort to get back on (410w for 17 mins tells that story!).

I was told I could have a lap out and join when they came back round, I was happy with this, and did exactly that, I got back in and the race continued, to be honest I found it pretty easy and was just marking the various few people who were likely to try and want to get away, chasing down any move that looked promising (much to Gareth’s annoyance 😉 ) – reason being lots of the strongest guys were not sprinter types and probably couldn’t win it in a gallop. I was happy for that as I felt confident that I could win it like that.

Lots of things came and went, I chased a few down, left a few others to dangle as it was that long straight that ended most peoples hopes, with two to go I think Gareth chipped off the front, but I was aware I had been shouted at from the sidelines on the last time I passed, so with one to go I slowed down to ask what they were shouting at. What they were indeed shouting at was that I needed to come off as I’d been lapped, bit surprised as no mention was made of this when I was told I could have a lap out otherwise I wouldn’t have bothered joining back in to be honest.

Anyway, I was pretty pissed off with the way it was dealt with, since then a few people have agreed and said a little bit of compassion given it was a club event and not the world champs, and a lap out at the beginning would have been a perfectly fine solution, given laps at Hillingdon are 2 mins long, it would have made no difference. As it was with the lack of communication, it didn’t sit well with me at the time, and I was fuming, and ready to go straight home, but in the interests of not giving the wrong impression too much and to give Gareth a pat on the back for winning solo from his break I didn’t.

That is not to say that I’m not totally thankful of Will Nicklin and all of the marshals etc for stepping up and organizing what was a great event, and it brought many new people out of the woodwork into racing at the club which can only be a good thing as we grow larger and the racing contingent was remaining fairly static.
 
I’m well aware this is a bit negative and to be honest I was debating writing about it at all, but sometimes its not all rosy and things are annoying, so in the interest of not living in a world with marshmallow clouds and fairies I thought I’d keep it to what I actually think.

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3 Responses to “KW Club Champs”

  1. unofficialpete October 7, 2013 at 9:52 am #

    What would be sport be without some controversy eh? equally surprised to hear about the sniping comments as I was to see you cruising in the main bunch and not up the road!

    • sharland123 October 7, 2013 at 9:53 am #

      Sniping comments as usual what piss me off the most – totally pointless. But it was a good day for the majority. You were looking comfortable 🙂

      • unofficialpete October 7, 2013 at 10:18 am #

        Indeed a shame, seemed overall a great day!
        erroneously blew a lung going with the cat 4 hero brigade for 15 minutes before sitting up! felt comfortable in the main bunch and was positioned well in the final corners but had no sprint left. Time to start working towards the winter series!

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