Dipping my toes

Monday 23rd May 2011

by MikeC

Race: Ballantyne Trophy Road Race, Northumberland. Conditions: Overnight rain means wet and gravely roads.

Come on guys, at least be quiet when the commissaire is talking even if your not going to listen. Ok, let’s roll out. Shoot, I’m a bit to close to the back of the bunch, I need to move up. It looks quite steady on the front, I will move up soon. Ah, the first climb of the day, now I can get through the bunch, it’s not too steep, nice and steady. That guys looks very twitchy, get past him, whoa we touched handlebars, get as far away from him as possible. Ok I’m near the front now. A few solo attacks there, happy to let them go, they will come back. Excellent, a steep fast descent, I can have some fun here!! Cool, that was fun…….where’s the bunch?? Ok, me and this other guy can work to get up to the front of the race. A few more guys have joined us to work together. The gaps only small but were having to work very hard to close it. Right, we have about 8/9 good riders here, we could make this break work, just keep tapping through, keep the pace high. Man, I’m suffering here, I’ve forgot to eat and drink, ok get a bar and sit at the back to recover, sorry guys can’t come through just yet, it’s hard enough hanging on! Ok feel better now, will start going through. Feel quite good now, must have hit a climb a bit to hard earlier on. Wow, this road is really pot holey, could do with my mountain bike. 2 laps in, shoot, the bunch have nearly caught us, might as well sit up. That’s a surprise, the bunch is only about 20 riders big, a lot have been dropped. A big attack off the front, can’t go with that, I need some recovery. The bunch seems to be moving fairly quickly, is this the last lap? Hang on, we are going the other way at this junction, stay near the front. Dam that’s a steep kicker, dig in, I’m loosing touch with those guys a bit, can’t push any harder……arrrggghhh! Phew, try and recover a bit, get the gear going. There are 3 guys in a break about 1 minute ahead and 3 guys about 20 seconds ahead of our group of about 10. There’s Tom, looks like he has a mechanical, he was going well there. That looks like a big old climb, ok get into a rhythm, keep a good cadence. This is my sort of climb, hang on, is anyone else going to do any work? Oh well, I’m not slowing down, if we drop a few then less to sprint against at the end. Ok, that was a false summit……so was that one! This must be the top. Those 3 guys still have a good gap, lets work together. I recognise this road, we must be near the finish. There’s the 1km to go sign, I might as well have a dig, I can’t sprint. My legs didn’t like that idea, I’m at the back of this group now, where’s the line, they are leaving it a long time to sprint?! I count 7 guys in front of me, with the 3 up the road that makes me 11th. Not too bad but not great, I should have eaten and drank more, I know better than that!

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