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.