>Don’t go looking for my reports on races 2 to 9 – this is the first one I’ve ridden since the opener in December. A cold, a holiday and then low fitness led to an involuntary Winter break. I didn’t want to race today, but since when has that been a decent excuse? I headed to Hillingdon expecting to be shelled out on lap 1 or 2.
But I managed to hang on. Well, I hung on until getting caught behind the crash and taking to the grass with just over a lap to go. It’s nice to be back on a race bike and riding in a fast moving group, especially after taking so many kickings in training in the last few weeks.
The pace was brisk, but fairly even. I sat mid-bunch and coped with most of the accelerations – saving a few desperate efforts around the top of the course. Breaks went fairly regularly but the bunch kept tracking them down. I missed the finish, but I guess it was a bunch gallop.
The standard of riding was pretty good – only a few drifters and switchers. The trouble often happens late when tiredness impairs judgment and ambition outstrips common sense (“I can win from the middle of the bunch“).
For the second week in a row I arrived home with a front wheel puncture. More expense, but at least it didn’t affect either event.
Race stats: Race distance: 18.3 miles, time: 45:14 (24.3mph average speed). 44th out of . Top speed: 29.3mph. Fastest mile: 2:19 (25.9mph – mile 16), slowest mile: 2:54 (20.7mph – mile 18). Average HR: 153bpm, maximum HR: 164bpm. Winner: Ian Redding (Time RT-Terry Wright Cycles)