Sunday arrived with clear skies & there was a November nip in the air, great conditions for round 10 of the Western League at Lockleaze.
I arrived & got a few laps in just before the first race, the ground was damp but quite grippy, just a bit muddy in the tree section. The top of the course was good, a couple of grassy climbs would sort things out during the race.
Before long we were gridded & lined up for the mad dash up the field, at 12:02 we were off, I managed to edge ahead taking the lead into the first corner with my team mate Tony Davies close behind. We raced hard and completed the first two laps together, as I glanced behind a few times I could see the yellow Bristol South jersey of Graham Steward gaining ground.
Before long he was behind me after passing Tony & I thought this will be interesting as he is strong. I attacked a few times on sections were I knew he was weaker & he came back on my weaker sections, the race was certainly on.
I pulled out a small gap on the penultimate lap through the trees and rode probably a bit too quickly towards the hurdle. Now on previous laps I'd jumped the hurdle with no problems however on this lap the hurdle was definitely not my friend.
Getting it wrong I was launched over the bars & landed in a heap, Graham, sensing the win did what any self respecting rider would do & attacked, pulling out a strong lead.
I managed the gap but couldn't close it, a well earned win for Graham at 42:55 myself second at 43:35 & Tony Davies third at 44:54.
Roll on round 11!
I'd not ridden much in the week because I'd been resting my legs after a 600km audax the previous weekend. I had no idea what state they'd be in for the race. So riding to Lockleaze from South Bristol was one way of warming up and finding out what condition I was in. Once there, I signed on and had a brief course recce while the youth race was underway. The course looked similar to last year's which was great news because it's a configuration that suits me.
When the time came and we were called to the grid, I found myself on the second row. Not ideal, but the first lap bypassed a lot of the twiddly bits, so the initial sprint after the whistle meant I could gain ground and get to the wall in about 6th. After the stile and the root-ridden ravine, I'd worked my way up to 4th - behind another Bristol South rider - Alan Green, and the Dream team of Dave Coghill & Tony Davies (who blew my mind by riding up the ravine !!). The ensuing long drags enabled me to catch up and get into third. Thereafter I watched in awe as Dave & Tony bunny-hopped the barrier - something I'd never seen them do before. It was a single barrier and lower than usual, but even so, there was no way I was going risk it so I stuck to boring old dismounting and running.
Tony had a bobble at the ravine on lap 2 or 3 and then it was just me & Dave, the league leader. Following him for the next half an hour, I tried to work out where I could attack and came up with a plan, but before I could implement it he came a cropper at the barrier. That was my moment to hit the gas. I went all out and pulled out a gap, and at the end of that lap I heard the bell and could see I had a big enough gap to ease off slightly and concentrate on not making any silly mistakes.
And that was that - my second V50 win this season. I can't wait for the next race!
|1||Graham Steward||00:42:55||Bristol South Cc|
|2||Dave Coghill||00:43:35||Dream Cycling|
|3||Tony Davis||00:44:54||Dream Cycling|
|4||Gary Hobbs||00:38:36||Stroud Valley Velo|
|5||Sean Bolton||00:38:48||Team Swindon Cycles|
|7||Alan Green||00:39:16||Bristol South Cc|
|8||M Bemand||00:40:15||VC Equipe - Flix|
|9||Iwona Szmyd||00:40:41||Royal Dean Forest CC|
|10||Gordon Smillie||00:41:12||Cheltenham and County CC|
|11||Stephen Barton||00:41:12||Ride 24/7|
|12||Chris Lowe||00:41:47||Swindon Road Club|
|13||Dave Harmer||00:42:00||Weston Wheelers|
|14||Sally Reid||00:42:37||Cheltenham and County CC|
|16||R Worman||00:43:18||Royal Navy & Marines CA|
|17||Miriam Whitehurst||00:43:37||Radion Bike-Science Race Team|
|18||Paul Loosemore||00:44:46||Striking Bikes|
|19||Clair Wadden||00:44:56||Bristol Road Club|
|20||Chris Turvey||00:45:30||Dream Cycling|
|22||Gwen Bevan||00:46:08||Bristol Road Club|
|23||Katherine Moore||00:47:15||Gorilla Firm Racing|
|25||Neil Armitage||00:39:02||Cheltenham and County CC|
|26||Ian Sparrow||00:39:17||Sodbury Cycle Sport|
|28||John Simmons||00:40:22||Performance Cycles|
|29||Jim Denness||00:40:45||Salt and Sham cc|
|31||Clare Broady||00:41:00||Velo Vitesse|
|32||A J Bird||00:41:04||Props C C|
|33||Freya Thatcher||00:42:54||Liv Cc|
|34||Patrick Boulton||00:43:15||Winchcombe Cc|
|36||Karen Spiteri||00:45:08||Avid Sport|
|37||Hannah Reeve||00:45:33||73 Degrees CC|