Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Another race thwarted by illness...

Final lap sprint for the line. Photo courtesy of Phil Jones

No sleep on Friday night sitting in the paediatric ward at our local hospital with my daughter wearing an oxygen mask isn't the best race preparation but with a decent night's sleep on Saturday night I felt like it was worth giving it a go. But by Sunday morning the tell tale signs of a cold were there, sore throat and dried up nose.

Racing a bike in frozen playing field at -5°C and dressed in not much more than a lycra skinsuit is probably not the best way to keep the cold at bay but it was too late to pull out now. Still the course was good and not too technical, by the time the racing started I'd be bound to warm up.

Like Andy I had a good start and was in the front group chasing Darren Atkins as he started to stretch out his lead. By the second lap I was kidding no-one, my lungs weren't working and I had gone into the red. It became a case of damage limitation by trying to give away as few places as possible. I passed Matt Denby who was running after suffering a mechanical which was good for me as it looked like his race was over. Then as I settled in to seeing out the last 3 laps I slipped out on one of the relatively easy corners, the frozen surface has polished up and I'd leaned the bike a little too much.

As the race entered the final stages Matt Denby passed me, in fact I'd lost the plot and let him pass without a fight. My hands had turned numb and I couldn't feel a thing. I even started to worry that I'd broken a finger in my fall as it felt floppy and not a part of my body... I'd totally given up. The only thing to rouse any sense of competitiveness was on the final lap when I had a battle for 9th place which I managed to win.

By the time we got back to the car I had the full-on screaming pukeys as the feeling returned to my fingers. Sitting in the car for five minutes on the verge of crying, rocking backwards and forwards trying to get my hands back to life sorted me out though. Think it may have been a bit disturbing for any bystanders though!

It's Wednesday now and I'm still ill. Things aren't looking good for the weekend's regional champs. It's going to take a serious dose of good luck to hold on to the regional champs title that I won in Ipswich last year.

Just about holding it together on the 2nd lap. Photo courtesy of Phil Jones

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