It was the first London League for ViCiOUS VELO so the new kit got a few comments, I really thought everyone would hate it but most people came up and said how much they liked it. The course consisted of substantial lengths of single track through woodland squeezing between the gaps in the trees. By end the end of the race both Andy and I had both shredded our skin suits on the trees, that's how tight it was in places. Not good for passing and with the large London League fields of riders getting to the trees first was crucial.
Andy and I were both gridded on the front row at the start, from the off a trio of Arctic riders lead out the race leaving us fighting for the places behind them. Darren Barclay lead from the start to win solo. Today I had the measure of Andy (very rare) and it was down to me to chase the Arctic boys. First of all Matt Holmes came into sight and I passed him without t0o much trouble and quickly put time into him. The next rider in my sights was 2nd place junior Alec Briggs. I managed to pull him back and get myself onto his wheel as he looked to be taking it quite easy, perhaps unaware that I'd caught him. I started to think about where I was going to attack and then the shit hit the fan - I crashed into a back marker that had crashed just in front of me leaving me nowhere to go. After I'd untangled my bike from his I was up and going again but with my handle bars bent sideways riding the technical stuff was a bit tricky. A quick bike swap at the pits and I was back in business. I'd lost a lot of time, Alec was long gone so I was back to battling for 3rd with Matt Holmes breathing down my neck.
In the woods Matt decided to pass me where there really wasn't space for two. I came out the loser, forced out of the corner as he came through the inside to crash off the course into a tree. By the time I was back on the bike, with my chain back in place the gap was massive and the bell for the final lap was ringing. Demoralised by my crash I continued round the last lap with no hope of catching Matt and was almost caught by Paul Sheers. I finished in 4th place overall, just off of the podium and 1st veteran.
Andy fought on to finish 6th in spite of dropping down to 9th at one point. Phil Jones took a load of photos, I'll add them later.