Arthur Caygill Trophy Road Race, Richmond

Tuesday 26th May 2009

by MikeC

After the steep, bumpy, rocky, rooty grin enducing nature of my last mountain bike race it was back to the road for the Arthur Caygill Tropy Road Race, part of the Richmond Cycling Meet 2009. 3 days of competetive and non competetive cycling over the May bank holiday supported by Velo29. Saturday was the 5 dales sportive, Sunday the road race and Monday the grass track. Chris W and myself had opted for the Sunday road race on a very tough and fast hilly 10 mile circuit. We had decided on a reccie lap so turned up early and set off. A few wrong turns and big hills later we got back to the HQ with literally minutes to spare, woops. We were lead out to the cobbled town centre which was littered with people and fairground rides and started by the Mayor (werent we a privelaged bunch of racing cyclists)! We started with 7 miles of main road before reaching the course proper. A few lone attacks managed a small gap but failed to stay away for long. It was obvious a few riders fancied their chances in this race (me included). After the descent towards Richmond the course took a hard left and up a short steep (18%) climb, it then leveled off for a mile or so before a long climb to the top of the moor. I was staying in the top 15 riders and knew the course would naturally break the race up. Unfortunately Chris lost contact with the bunch towards the top of the climb and was chasing to get back on for the rest of the race. The attackes kept coming with no-one managing to stay away. On the second climb of the long hill a quick glance back saw more riders getting dropped. At the top of the climb a small break went but I didnt have the legs to go with it. It included the eventual winner and 4 other strong riders helping it to stay away. The gap was probably 30-40 seconds and by the start of the long climb to the finish line there was no chance of catching it. The climb dropped more riders leaving the chasing group of 10 (me included) sprinting for 6th place. I briefly lost the wheel at the top of the climb but managed to get back on and finished somewhere between 10th-15th. After 2 weeks of a mysterious virus type thing my legs felt ok but they couldnt take me to a result. It was a good race on a great course on a fantastic sunny day. I have lots more road races coming up so check back for more blogging activity (hopefully with better results).

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