Thursday, March 24, 2011

Wally Gimber 2011

Sunday saw the annual running of the Wally Gimber Trophy promoted by my old club Dulwich Paragon. This was my first real race of the season with a strong field and 6.5 laps of the challenging Tenterden course (Total distance 135km).

The action and attacks started straight away which made for a high pace and within the first lap a small group of the strong contenders (M.Backstedt and co) had got a gap. This lead group grew over the next lap with other riders bridging across and joining up.

The rest of us were left to fight it out in the bunch with another small group of riders making the break on the accent of the hill, which I wasn't able to go with. The pace in the bunch was then up and down with riders attacking and counter attacking trying to make a break for it. I made a number of hard efforts and attacks to try and distance myself, but was ineviatibley reeled back in.

The last lap saw a few riders from the bunch (Windy Milla, Dynamo, ....) establish a gap which they were able to maintain to the finish. With the line in sight and the momentum in the bunch building up, my now heavy legs had had enough and so had I. Kevin crossed the line just after me but had the valid excuse of being ill over the last week!

A bit disappointed not to have made any of the breaks and finished higher up, but this was the first real test of the season and there's plenty of improvements to be made over the next few months.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Second race of the season for me was the San Fairy Ann spring circuits 2 on Saturday. Raced the Clayton Velo spring classic up in Lancashire last weekend. Handicap event with some of the top British boys in the Elite group. I ended up finishing in the chasing group and felt pleased with 22nd place in my first race of the season.
This weekend was the first time I've raced at Hog Hill due to living up in Yorkshire now. Having spent the last 3 months clocking up the base miles, and just starting to get some intensity going, 30 times up the hill was going to get the blood flowing! I felt pretty well during the early laps, just trying to hide and not expending to much energy. Kevin seemed pretty active early on which I think he payed for a bit later on when things started to heat up.
When the pace did go up and the attacks started, it was just a case of staying on wheels and trying to go with the moves. With a break of 8 or 9 riders getting away the rest of the field started to fragment with another group forming and others chasing. Just didn't have enough to go with it and ended up in a group of 4 with Kevin, which also split up in the last few laps. The race leaders came across the line just as I was crossing it for my final lap.
A bit disappointed not to have finished a bit further up the field but good workout all the same, ended up with 20th place!