Python RR

4 Aug

This Sunday was my annual trip to Drift Road circuit which is near Bray. Nice part of the world, early start at 9.30. Got there nice and early and predictably the entire car park was already full even though I was an hour before the start time!

A decent field today, 88 riders on the sheet, couple of big powerhouses, the ‘tank’ from NFTO and Sybrandy of Sigma, this sort of course probably perfect for that type of rider. Being a similar kind of rider, but much less talented, I always liked racing the circuit. Though this version of the course is a little less pleasant than the John Walker which has its finish line on the course. This version means you take a left onto a straight road with 400m to go. Its pretty hectic.

Anyway, the weather was decent, I managed to get pole position in the car park behind lead car, clearly a minor victory in itself. Soon we were out of the village and onto the course, what awaited was 88 miles of racing. Towards the beginning legs felt great, and I tried to stay near the front and follow the wheels, this worked fine and while nothing of note stuck, I was near the front and not in any trouble. However, at about half way distance, I was stuck to the left of a rider who wasn’t interested in moving when everyone jumped, and I think this put me out of position somewhat. Next thing I knew, I looked up the road and there were about 5 guys away…!

They seemed to hover not too far ahead for sometime, I thought that this was likely a race winning move, I waited a couple of mins and on the long straight Drift Road, where sadly there was a headwind today Jake Martin jumped to go with a move of a few guys, I went with him, then went round, and went to the front of the small group away, I might have been a bit keen as I looked round and suddenly I was on my own about 30m clear of the bunch and probably 50 or so behind the group. If there was ever a place that it was tough to get away on, its this road, dead straight for about a mile, and a crap wind. I grinded away and it looked like I was making a bit of progress, but it didn’t take long to get reeled back in. This was the chance to get over, had I had a few takers it might have worked.

A lap or so later Henry Latimer of Catford jumped, and got a gap, a chap went with him, I didn’t know whether they would make it over or not, but I had probably not go the legs to go with. I think this was the 2nd or third ride over 3 hours I’d done since March, and certainly the first race. So it made sense my legs were feeling it at the 75 mile mark. A few other people tried to get away, Lawrence of Catford gave it a good go, and I did try to get over but the bunch came with (sorry Lawrence). Into the last lap and the hectic run in was playing out. for the last couple of miles we averaged well over 30 mph, and into the left turn I was probably a bit too far back, despite trying, the teams bustling for lead outs etc was quite hard to find a way through. I sprinted out of the corner and then saw how far the finish was haha! I rolled in having burned myself out. 28th apparently!

James ‘Tank’ Lewis from NFTO won, he got away 2 up with Roy Chamberlain of Corley – respect to Roy, he is always up there, and shows no sign of slowing. I heard one of the other lads say to him “you’re the best vet I know” he deflected it by saying he’d get eaten alive on the continent, but still some rider.

Got about 10 races left including some midweek stuff, if I want to retain 1st category then I need to get myself into the points at some point. Not been a great year on the road, bad luck, injury, and just tough races have meant that mostly I’ve got points in crits. I’m confident I’ll manage it though.

Next up there is a couple of mid week crits, then a SERRL race in the depths of Kent, and then the national 10, where I’d like to get into the top 10/15 if possible – but will be tough with the current crop of testers out there going so well!

2 Responses to “Python RR”

  1. Nigel Williams August 11, 2014 at 10:10 am #


    Enjoyed reading your blog on our event 8 days ago – a nice rider’s eye view and roughly how I saw it from the commissaire’s car. We like the off-circuit finish on Crouch Lane, safer in my eyes than facing oncoming traffic on Drift Road, though I accept there’s a bit of hustle and bustle in the finale

    Good luck with keeping the 1st cat over the remainder of the year.


    Nigel Williams, Python RT

    • sharland123 August 11, 2014 at 10:12 am #

      Fair enough. It’s not unsafe I don’t think, just I always misjudge the length of the road and I like the long drag the John Walker uses on Drift Rd.

      Cheers, hopefully should be doable.


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