>Go-race, go home, get cold

>What a fantastic weekend weather-wise. I even risked shorts.

I had a stomach bug earlier in the week and had missed a session. In light of this (and the next day’s 25m TT) I decided to ride the Go-Race (i.e. novice) event at the Beyond Mountain Bike Spring Crits at Hillingdon yesterday. A sore throat on the morning of the event only strengthened my resolve to wimp out of the 2/3/4 cat event.

Eleven of us lined up for the start and after three laps we were all over the circuit. I couldn’t hold the leaders’ pace for some reason and dropped well back. The first photo (by Carol P) shows me in diesel mode time trialling back up to James (British Airways) and my team mate Ralph (in the red). We worked well as a group for a few laps until Ralph dropped back for tactical reasons (“tired”). James rode away from me on the last lap and I came in 6th. My instructions were to win, so I felt a bit guilty.

Tony of the Willesden made his racing debut in the event and was doing well until his knee started giving him pain. He finished and, when he gets his knee fixed, will do well in this sort of event.

The second photo is by Nici S. Do I need a longer handlebar stem?

Race stats: 6th out of 9 finishers. Race distance: 12.27 miles, time: 34:00 (21.7mph average speed). Fastest mile: 2:28 (24.3mph – 2nd mile), slowest mile: 2:53 (9th mile). Average HR: 160bpm, maximum HR: 167bpm. Winner: Alex Peeke, Welwyn Wheelers.

The main event saw Richard , John and Simon of the Willesden lined up. I was operating the photofinish – surely a recipe for a Willesden 1-2-3? Alas it was not to be. Simon did supply some fireworks with a last lap crash. There are photos, but not for a blog with a general audience (you can see them here).

By the time I got home I had a proper cold (sore throat, snot, self-pity…) and hit the Strepsils. I decided not to race the 25m TT on the Amersham Road today. It looks like a really good racing day, but I’ve pushed my luck with colds before and lost a month of racing last season as a result. So a day off in the sun with a bit of gardening thrown in for good measure. Life is hell.