EMRRL Round 9, the penultimate round. For me the goal was simple, to win the league. After consistent strong performances from the team throughout the year, we were well placed in both the individual and team standings going into this round and with another strong performance, we could almost certainly seal both the individual and team titles.
So, the plan. With Edd absent due to his inability to descend (sorry mate!), it was left to me, Jono and Joe to do the dirty work. This meant that, with our main rivals fielding 6 riders, it was going to be a hard race. We agreed we would approach this race, like any other, being aggressive early on in the hope we could get someone into the early move. This would take the pressure off whilst making sure we didn’t let our rivals sail off up the road. If this didn’t succeed and it became apparent the race was destined for a sprint we would aim to get me into as good a position as possible in the final kilometres and then see what happens.
To cut a long, 70 something mile story short, the race ended up in a sprint. A fast pace throughout meant that any moves were neutralised almost instantly with nobody given any daylight, despite our own and other teams best efforts. Therefore, as planned, coming into the final kilometre I was well placed with both Joe and Jono having done some brilliant work to keep the race together. After a sketchy final few metres I managed to come over the line in 2nd place with my closest rival Harry Thompson not placing, despite some brave attacking in the last lap. This meant I had won the individual EMRRL title.
Now, whilst I may get the honours for the individual title it is at this point, in a truly gracious and slightly predictable sportsman style victory speech, that I thank my team. Not just for your efforts yesterday, but for the season. I don’t think any of us imagined we would be in this position come the end of the league, in only our first season. We are though and I can only credit that to the team (riders and management), for not only their quality of riding but their support throughout the year. Thanks fellas, or as Edd may say, chapeau…
Before I sign off there is a still a round of the league to go and with the team title not completely secure and Edd still placed second in the individual standings, there is work still to be done. As ever, we will try and secure a good result to end the season on a high. Other than that, my final thanks goes to our sponsors, Cannondale, Muc-Off, Cannondale and of course Leisure Lakes Bikes for your ongoing support.