EMMRL Round 4 – Griffydam.
After what can only be described as a frustrating few weeks for me I wasn’t all that hopeful of a good result today. Having struggled to complete my last couple of races, nevermind get results, confidence was well below par.
That said, driving to the race spirits were lifted at the promise of an uphill finish and a “dry” weather forecast…. if only. After parking up the normal formalities were undertaken, greet the team mates and get signed on. With the absence of DS Anderson it seemed the team was destined to fall apart at the first instance with Joe’s train being cancelled. Luckily DS Ramsdale was on hand to give him a lift and get the team set for the days racing. As always there’s never a dull moment with Andy, always cracking the jokes and getting the team laughing, so much so we may have been told to keep it quiet during the Race Commisaires briefing. Nice one Andy!
So, the race. 63 miles of a rolling circuit with a testing finish. Having raced the circuit before we knew it would be a circuit that suited a breakaway. But with a few stronger riders unfamiliar to the East Mids league taking part in this round we were conscious that may change the dynamic of the race, but the game plan remained the same, get someone in the break and then go from there.
The race began and the usual high pace was set with numerous riders attacking to try and form a breakaway. Following the poor form of recent weeks I’d decided to take it a bit easier early on to try and save myself for later in the race. Early on the team were active in instigating and following moves to try and get us on the front foot. Unfortunately, after around 3 of the 7 laps a break of 4 slipped away without one of our riders in it. Lucky for us a number of the bigger teams also didn’t have a rider in the break which meant the pace was kept high in order to try and pull back the move. It was also around this point that the British summer decided to play its part. So much for the “dry” weather forecast…
With the breaks advantage going up to over a minute, I knew it was time to make a move. With a lap and half to go I managed to get myself into a move of 3, including Chris Limberger of Beeston RC and Pete Cocker of Giant Store Rutland. We worked well together and closed the gap to the break with around a quarter of a lap to go. With the bunch out of sight the pace slowed as the six of us (one rider from the break had punctured) started to get set for the finish. With around 500m to go one rider made a move which was quickly covered. In covering the move I unintentionally ended up on the front. Not ideal. At this point I knew I was committed to leading out the sprint so kept the pressure on the pedals before lighting up the sprint. Much to my surprise I held off the riders behind me to take the win!
Behind me the bunch stayed together with Jono slipping into the points in 15th and Joe and Edd not far behind. All in all a solid day for team.
For me today shows how funny a thing cycling can be. Not 7 days ago I was barely able to turn the pedals over at the end of the race and yet here I am today having taken my second East Mids League win of the season. When results are not going your way its very easy to get bogged down and write yourself off, very easy. Todays a good example of why you should always persist. You never know whats round the corner.
The last thing from me is to say a huge thanks to the team in showing nothing but support, not just over the past few weeks, but for the entirety of the season so far.
Cheers fellas, onwards & upwards.