DS Anderson writes:
The Rutland CiCLE started way before the day itself for me. Reality struck about 2 weeks before Sunday 24th April. Receiving the technical guide document which was delivered with a virtual thud into the email inbox made the point that this was no ordinary race entry. There were prescribed actions and times and rules that needed to be observed all of which added to the tension I felt.
LLB Racing Team only have 4 riders and this is the minimum required for the team to race. Anyone dropping out now meant the team didn’t get the chance to race with the big boys.
So imagine the minor heart failure I felt when a month out from the event Joe texted to say he’d checked his licence and it was a 3rd Cat rather than the required 2nd Cat minimum to ride. Inside my head sounded like a holed submarine with all the claxons and sirens going off. An ever so slightly panicked post went onto the racing page. It turned out we had 2 options: 1. A local rider Edd knew Andy Magnier or 2. A rider from Chronomaster. We decided to offer Andy a guest ride. As it turned out Andy has form and a really great guy to put in with the team.
Panic over – well no. 2 days before I received a voicemail from Edd saying he may have to work the weekend. I was about to unpack the towel ready to throw it in. Another drama, another short notice call but in time the disaster was averted and Edd was free to ride. My nerves were shredded. It didn’t matter about the excitement of our biggest race of the year I was happy just to turn up with 4 riders and get them over the start line.
Now everything in place and ready to roll. Riders signed on and I’m at the managers meeting the night before the race. Ping – message from Edd “Jono had a problem at sign on”. This late in the day and another stress! I try and find out what the problem is/was. Edd said it was Andy’s idea to text it to wind me up…. And it has!
On the day of the race we had Belgium jazz beats blaring out in the carpark, surrounded by mobile worlds of the pro teams. I am a little overwhelmed until Andy Magnier a massively experienced rider says “When you’re chewing on your bars trying to keep in touch with the bunch those caravans don’t make any difference. A very levelling thought. A very short thought flashes through my mind that we may even get someone to the finish.
There’ll be plenty of other views from the rest of the team of the race itself, I just had a great time and enjoyed every minute of it.