Neil White Memorial Road Race

Friday 6th March 2009

by MikeC

Sunday 1st March dawned as a beautiful early spring morning and was the day of the first competetive Road Race in the North East of England, the Neil White Memorial Road Race. Being an Australian Pursuit (handicap) all categories were present, Elites through to 4th category riders, all completing 6 laps of the 9 mile Seamer circuit. The ‘4th cats’ got a whole 8 minutes on the scratch group and if they got organised and pushed the pace they could potentially steal the victory. After 5 minutes in the ‘4th cat’ group I knew this was not going to happen! In a group of about 20 riders only 4 or 5 were willing to work at a pace not much faster than a brisk Saturday training ride. I had decided to go for the prime at the end of the first lap and was very close to the front coming into the last corner, a massive mis-judgment of distance saw me sprinting with 600 metres to go and resulted in me leading out another rider 🙁 The next couple of laps were un-eventful with me, Chris and Stuart riding well in the group until the ‘3rd cats’ caught us and the pace went up. Another 2 miles down the road and the scratch group were upon us with the pace going up again. I was making sure that I was staying in the top 15-20 riders and holding my position well, I do not have a lot of Road Racing experience but am learning quickly. Shortly after the scratch group caught us a break went up the road which included team leader Dan and 4 other elite level riders. The peloton didn’t manage to get organised enough to chase the break down, people kept attacking from the front and the surges in pace helped the break to stay away. Coming around for the last lap I knew the break was going to stick and Dan had a good chance of winning. My personal objective was to finish in the top 10 in the final sprint for the line, this was soon out of the window when, half-way around the last lap I got a puncture! With no support car and no-one else around apart from a group of horse riders I nursed my bike the 5 miles back to the HQ trying not to buckle the back wheel too badly. The great news of Dan’s win greeted me but I was left feeling a bit disappointed as I seemed to be riding well and felt good. As is always the case with a mechanical you come away thinking ‘what if……..’

Next is a 6 day training camp to Majorca from Saturday 7th March until Friday 13th (and no, I’m not superstitious!). My next race is the Chapters road race on 22nd March for more laps of the Seamer circuit. Keep coming back for more updates on training and racing stories.

One Response to “Neil White Memorial Road Race”

  1. Dan Says:

    Hey, nice write up Mike!

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