>Winter Series race 10

>A brisk day today with frost just clearing as we arrived at the circuit. The Slipstreamers had been cyclo-cross training so there was plenty of mud to be cleared from the circuit (thanks Imperial).

The race itself went well. I find that I’m no longer fearing getting dropped at every stage. I didn’t see much of the front, but I did make a break to join up with a pair of riders who had a small lead. Having caught them, I didn’t know what to do with them, so I sat up and waited for the bunch while trying to get my heart back into my chest.

The sprint was chaotic and I didn’t get involved.

Stats: position – 36th out of 43 finishers, race distance – 18.28 miles, race time – 45:04, average speed – 24.3mph, average HR – 154bpm, maximum HR – 176bpm, top speed – 29.6mph (in the ‘sprint’), fastest miles (the 12th and 14th) – 2:20 (25.7mph), slowest mile (the 1st) – 2:49 (21.3mph).

The winner was James Lowden of Lewes Wanderers.

The picture (that’s me bridging to the two leaders) is by Sylvain Garde and is part of a gallery on LondonCycleSport.

This was the fastest race and my best for recovery. This is partly due to being less stressed and, I think, because the remnants of the virus I had over a month ago are slowly clearing my system.

Tonight is the Willesden CC club dinner. I have to drive, so no drinking.

Tomorrow is the Harp Hilly Hundred reliability trial. This was the second road event I ever rode back in 1974 (the first was a Boxing Day 1973 10m TT). I haven’t got the base miles in this Winter, so it’ll be interesting to see how I last. The weather forecast is changing by the minute, but it should be a wet and windy ride.